Sunday, July 29, 2012

How I Learned to Love Breakfast ~ Homemade Breakfast Sausage

I never ate breakfast growing up.  I despised most breakfast foods.  I didn't like eggs, bacon, pancakes, cereal with milk, toast, sausage, or danishes.

There were a few exceptions:


Waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream

Apple cinnamon walnut pancakes with butter and cinnamon sugar

Biscuits and Gravy  

Hash Browns

Pilsbury Cinnamon Rolls in the pop tube

Those were special occasion foods reserved for Birthdays, vacations, and Holidays. I only ate breakfast when those were on the menu.  And even then, it wasn't until mid morning, hours after I stumbled out of bed.

I am not a morning person AT ALL.  It takes me a while to roll out of bed, and even longer before I'm functional.  The thought of food or coffee within the first couple hours of me waking up was nauseating.  I used to get sick on car trips as soon as dad cracked open his green thermos full of coffee.    

Once, when I was about 7, we were visiting my Grandparents in Washington, and they took the whole family to a super fancy brunch at a restaurant overlooking Snoqualmie Falls. Rumor has it that the breakfast was very expensive, even for children, and that I only ate a few strawberries.  My Grandparents were NOT happy with me.  

Most mornings I skipped breakfast.  My mom was always on me about eating breakfast.  Sometimes she could get me to have a poptart or a glass of Carnation Instant Breakfast.  But most times I'd just wait till I got hungry around lunch time.

I know, I know. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day blah, blah, blah. 

As I got older, I still couldn't really eat until I had been up for a while.  But I had started to like some breakfast foods.  Bagels and cream cheese?  Yes, please.  Leftovers from the day before?  Sure.  A grilled cheese sandwich or a quesadila?  Always.  But still no eggs or "traditional" breakfast foods. Eventually, I learned to like an egg breakfast casserolle my mom made for Christmas breakfast every year.  It barely tastes at all like eggs and is full of bread, sausage, cheese, and a mushroom sauce. 

Mom, I can't wait for Christmas breakfast.  I look forward to it all year long.  We'll make an allergy friendly one again this year! 

When I met Dave, he was a breakfast person.  I'd want to go out for an early Sunday lunch.  He would want a big, Sunday breakfast.  Most places won't serve lunch until 11.  But every Sunday morning hangover needs a filling, greasy meal to make you feel better.  I usually ended up getting a side of hash-browns or a side of biscuits and gravy.  Sometimes I would order a meal and ask for the eggs on the side and give them to Dave.   I always wanted to order the fruit bowl, but they always have melons, and I'm very allergic to them.  Sometimes I timidly asked if they would make an exception to their lunch service times and ordered a sandwich or a burger. I got mixed responses.  I never went hungry, but I didn't understand the obsession with breakfast. 

As slowly as I introduced him to new foods, like cheesecake, he introduced me to breakfast foods, like bacon and cheese omelets .  Then suddenly breakfast became my favorite meal of the day.  I couldn't get enough of omelets.  Fluffy eggs stuffed with veggies, meats and cheeses.  A pile of hash-browns.  A side of gravy.  Sourdough toast slathered in butter.  Then came the love of bacon.  Glorious bacon. 

I could eat an enormous breakfast Sunday morning and then not eat again till dinner, or even Monday morning. 

As I've gotten older, my body has decided that it functions much better on a protein heavy morning meal.  I am more awake and less hungry throughout the day. It just makes me feel better.  

Last year, Dave started working and living out of town, so I ended up cooking scrambled eggs for myself most nights.  It was quick, easy, and filling.  I was loving breakfast so much, I was now making "brinner."

Then in February, I found out I was allergic to eggs.  The food that I had grown to love, ripped away from me.  

Once again, my dear friends, who both eat a paleo diet, found me recipes that didn't have eggs, or could be made without eggs, but were still filling.   One of the recipes was a root vegetable hash topped with meat and avocado and a fried egg.  Leave the fried egg out of the recipe, and I would have a tasty breakfast! 

My local grocery store makes amazing homemade sausages.  They have so many flavors, including an Italian breakfast sausage.  Right now, I can't eat it because it contains bay leaves and some other ingredients that I tested positive to.  

The other day, I really wanted some sausage on my breakfast hash, so I decided to figure out how to make it myself.  

I am a lazy cook, I admit it.  So instead of starting out with a whole pork roast and pork fat and grinding it myself, I decided to buy plain, organic ground pork and just season it for myself.  I added salt, pepper, some of my fermented garlic cloves, and a chopped up red bell pepper.  I mixed it all together and browned it in the skillet.  I could have stuffed it into casings or even made patties, but that's so much work, and I was hungry! 

I ended up roasting my sweet potatoes in the oven only because they end up using so much fat when you cook them in a skillet and they get a bit too greasy for my taste.  I know that one should get plenty of healthy fats in their diet, and I would already be eating lots of other healthy fats in this meal. 

 Everything in moderation, right?!?!

While the sweet potatoes were cooking, I added a diced up onion and added it to the browned sausage.  I let it cook until it was soft and translucent.  When the potatoes were done, I added them to the skillet with the cooked sausage and tossed it.  I served it with sliced avocado on top.  You could definitely add a fried egg or two on top.  I was getting low on veggies when I made this, but I will add more veggies in with the onions, like some chopped baby spinach or some shredded zucchini.  And with any breakfast, it would be great topped with some hot sauce.  But the eggs and hot sauce will have to wait for me right now.  But you should try it and tell me how it was!  

Homemade Breakfast Sausage 

2 lbs organic ground pork
2 tbl salt
2 tbl of pepper
1 red bell pepper, minced
4 tbl fennel seeds
10 (fermented - opt.) garlic cloves, minced

Mix all ingredients together until just combined.   Can form into patties first if desired.  Brown in the skillet or use in your favorite recipe! Always cook pork thoroughly until no longer pink in the middle. 


  1. I am so sad for you that you are allergic to eggs. I have the same breakfast every single day: 2 fried eggs & 5 strawberries sliced {on the weekends I spice it up with bacon and sweet potato hash browns}!

    1. Mmmmmmm! Sounds like weekend breakfast at our house! I had been making these yummy egg cupcakes ( every week and having them for breakfast. I just made them for hubby for the first time this week and he's hooked. Perfect breakfast or snack after the gym!

  2. Thanks for linking in, Mellissa. Cheers