Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Core values

The sound of bacon sizzling crackled in the air, eggs cracked on the kitchen counter and grease popped in the cast iron skillet. Shouts of "Get out of here" and "Is it done yet?" filled the small galley kitchen of my childhood home.

Saturday morning breakfast was underway.

Nearly every weekend morning, my mom would make a big breakfast. It was her favorite meal and ours, as well, as we got the time to connect as a family after a busy week of sports practices, scout meetings and multiple jobs. It was also one of the regular occasions where I don't remember my family fighting. There would be any combination of fried eggs, bacon, sausage links, hash browns and, what I looked forward to the most, biscuits and sausage gravy.

No one made sausage gravy quite like my mom. It had just the right ratio of gravy to sausage and the sauce was white - not that gray you sometimes see at a restaurant. The sausage was definable, not overly crumbly and not too chunky either. The spice was nice, letting the flavor of the fresh-from-the-butcher, full-fat sausage shine through.

Even to this day, I have not found a gravy like the one I ate on so many Saturday mornings. While I have made many of my own versions, I know I didn't do it justice by trying to make it too healthy - skim milk, turkey sausage, low-calorie margarine.

So this morning, I didn't try. Even as I have thought about her breakfast specialty for days.

But I did make biscuits and gravy.

Pumpkin biscuits with apple gravy.

I had leftover Pumpkin Biscuits from the BODYPUMP launch, and I have been enjoying them since with Earth Balance and honey. But I wanted something more. Something different.

And that's when I began thinking of my mom's biscuits and gravy. I was sure the flavors of sage often found in sausage would complement the biscuits but I didn't feel like going to the store. And thus laziness breeds ingenuity.

Made with apples sauteed in Earth Balance, cinnamon, stevia and almond milk, the gravy is sweet and creamy. Perfect a top the soft pumpkin biscuit.

I enjoyed this for breakfast with a side of egg whites but I'm sure it would be nice with some whipped topping or ice cream for dessert.

Apple Gravy

2 teaspoons Earth Balance or butter
1 apple, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 packet stevia
1.5 teaspoons whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze

In a skillet over medium heat, melt Earth Balance. Add in chopped apple, cinnamon and stevia, cooking until the apples are soft; about 4 minutes. Sprinkle flour on apples, tossing to gently combine; cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in almond milk to prevent lumps. Cook over medium heat until the mixture bubbles; turn down heat and cook for 3 minutes more. Makes 2 servings.

Nutritional stats per serving: 111 calories, 7 grams of fat, 12 grams of fat and 2 grams of protein.

To cut down on the calories, use a light butter or margarine. Earth Balance, which I use because I'm dairy free, has 100 calories per serving - compared with 45 calories for a popular light margarine.

1 comment:

  1. This post had me craving some heart clogging breakfast food, until I hit your health version. Now I'm thinking that sounds GOOD! :)