Turkey Sausage Pasta Sauce, Low Points

I did not grow up eating sausage, and the first time I ate Italian Sausage as an adult I did not like it. Trial and error taught me that I don’t like fennel seed.

When I started Weight Watchers (now called simply WW), one of the members @dhallakx7 made a cookbook of low point recipes. This means they are lower in fats and sugars and higher in protein. He made a low fat sausage by using ground turkey instead of pork. I took his recipe a step further by using ground turkey breast (zero points on WW Freestyle) and of course I left out the fennel seed. I made a few other small changes…

I added my turkey “sausage” to a pasta sauce and it’s delicious! Here’s how you can make this low point recipe at home:

ground turkey sausageSausage Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 TB plan, fat free Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 TB dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 TB beef broth
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 TB red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Sausage Instructions:

  • Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add turkey.
  • Stir together all the other ingredients.
  • As turkey begins to cook (it will turn from pink to white) stir in all other ingredients.
  • Continue cooking and stirring, breaking up the meat with a spatula as you go.

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) can chopped tomatoes (mine were stewed in Italian spices)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can canned tomato sauce (mine was no salt added)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Your homemade turkey sausage
  • Red wine, optional

pasta with sausage sauceSauce Instructions:

  • In the large skillet from the sausage, heat olive oil, garlic and onion over medium heat approx. five minutes.
  • Pour in tomatoes and tomato sauce. Mix in salt, ground black pepper, basil, oregano, bay leaf and cooked sausage. Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove bay leaf from sauce before serving. If you have the points available, stir in about 2 oz. red wine. I used pinot noir.
  • Spoon cooked sauce over hot pasta (sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese if you have the points available) and enjoy!

Pumpkin Muffins, 2 Points each

These fluffy muffins have only 2 smartpoints each on the WW Freestyle program, formerly known as Weight Watchers.

Enjoy some of the flavors of fall with real pumpkin, apples and just the right spices! This uses the 2 ingredient dough base so popular on the WW Connect app.

If you have points left, spread on an extra treat – like a bit of pecan apple butter!


  • 1/2 c canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 c nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2/3 c whole wheat flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c finely chopped apple
  • 1 TB powdered peanut butter (like PB2) or unsweetened cocoa (to tone down the sour flavor of the yogurt)
  • a few shakes of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger (or just use pumpkin pie spice mix if you have it, but I didn’t.)


  1. Preheat oven to 350*.
  2. Stir together pumpkin and yogurt until well blended.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, egg and apple. Stir until just blended.
  4. Add powdered peanut butter / cocoa and spices. Just when you think you have enough, add another shake of cinnamon and ginger.
  5. Spoon into a tin for oversized muffins – makes 4 muffins.
  6. Bake at 350* for 20 minutes. Leave in oven, raise temp to 400* and bake 8 minutes more. Test with toothpick that centers are firm before removing from oven.
  7. Place muffin tin on a cooling rack and cool for 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.


People on the WW Freestyle plan can expect to lose .5-2 pounds/week. Try one month free with this link:

Paper plate core workout

You know those little boards on the floor you can slide on – you have to put those things that look like soft shower caps on your shoes, and then you slide around and work out?

paper plate pike pull-ins

paper plate pike pull-ins (that’s not me)

So the instructor of today’s core class wanted to replicate that, which is hard with a room full of people, so we used paper plates. (Which are NOT $500!) It’s the 2nd time I’ve done this workout with her – and it’s tough!

Start in a plank position, but your feet are on paper plates and not on a mat, or in socks, so they can slide. And you slide your legs in so your knees are tucked under you  – a bunch of times. Then you slide in with straight legs in a pike position – a bunch of times. Then you put one paper plate under your right hand and one under your right foot and slide the right side of your body out and in. THEN you put your feet on the mat and your hands on the paper plates and slide your hands in and out the way you would on one of those little wheeled scooter things. So you don’t have to buy this stupid thing: You can just use 2 paper plates over and over! Like this lady: When you start getting terribly worn out, lie on your back and do some form of crunches. Then jump back in a plank position and paper-plate your way to a tough core. And don’t be like me and do 2 sets of pushups before a core class that uses tons of shoulder muscle!

2010 goal update: 3824 crunches, 84.5 minutes of plank remaining.

Now I’m going to make potato leek soup and hope that maybe it’s a fraction as good as my grandmother’s was with this Chef Bobo recipe.

For lunch I had a stuffed pepper. I was tired of the same rice, beef, tomatoey thing, so I found a recipe on the Oragnic Valley web site for Wild Rice and Chard Stuffed Sweet Red Peppers. But I used brown rice, brocolli  and leeks in green peppers – because I always adapt recipes. And I added a dash of tobasco. Or 4.

Enjoy your weekend. I think I am taking two 7th graders to Disney on Sat and meeting some mom friends for dinner Sun. And my husband will be making beer cheese soup in a crock pot and running 18 miles. Maybe we’ll find time to some thrilling laundry together 🙂

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