Well, another Christmas has come and gone. It is my favorite time of year. I’m always a little sad when it ends. I truly love everything about it.
We had a lot of events to attend this year. My birthday is in December and I got treated to a Transiberian Concert in Hershey, PA.; it was amazing. We always have an annual Christmas party at our house. There is a dirty Santa ornament exchange that can get pretty intense, but lots of fun. There are multiple parties to go to as well. It all happens and ends too fast for me!
We attended our last party on the 23rd at a friend’s house. Lots of great food, including oysters, smoked duck, and all kinds of goodies. My contribution was potato, sausage, and kale soup. I also made some homemade bread. EGG BREAD or CHALLAH
This recipe came about because of a soup my husband had at Olive Garden, Zuppa Toscana. He asked me to come up with a recipe for it; so I did. I have to admit, it went over very well at the party. I was asked to give out the recipe and I’m happy to oblige.
Give this one a try. You’ll be glad you did. If you’re a Weight Watcher this soup comes in at 4 PP per 1 cup serving.
POTATO, SAUSAGE, AND KALE SOUP
- 8 oz lean Italian turkey sausage, removed from the casing
- 1 tsp canola oil
- 1 medium onion, fine dice
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 slice bacon, diced
- 4 C fat-free milk, reserve 1 C to the side
- 2 C water
- 2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
- 8 oz red skin potato, sliced thin (I use a mandolin)
- 2 C kale, cleaned, medium chop
- 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- Splash of Sherry
- salt and pepper to taste
- nutmeg, freshly grated
- In a 5-6 quart soup pot brown the turkey sausage, breaking it up as it cooks with a spoon or spatula. Drain and remove it from the pan, and place it on paper towels to remove any excess grease. Wipe the pan with a paper towel.
- Add the canola oil to the same pan. Saute the onions and bacon. Cook until the onion is softened and the bacon is cooked.
- Add the grated garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute or until the garlic is fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
- Pour 3 cups of the milk and 2 cups of water into the pan. Add the chicken bouillon granules and bring to a simmer. (DO NOT BOIL) Add the potatoes and continue to simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- With the remaining cup of flour, add the flour and whisk, set aside.
- Add the sausage back to the pot and the kale and continue to simmer another 10 minutes.
- Add the milk and flour mixture and continue to cook until it is slightly thickened.
- Add the splash of Sherry
- Taste and season with salt and pepper
- Grate a small amount of fresh nutmeg, be careful not to add too much it can over power your soup. It will enhance the flavor of the kale.
- Serve immediately. Very good with some grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Til next time
When exploring healthy options and lower carbohydrate recipes I discovered radishes. Yes, that’s correct, radishes. I only used to use them for color in my fresh salads and a little heated bite. I’ve made radish roses for decoration on a crudite’ plate. I never thought of cooking them and using them as a potato substitute.
The French use them as a nibble with sweet butter and salt and a nice baguette. Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, has a recipe you can find on the web. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/radishes-with-butter-and-salt-recipe2-1945613. While I like them this way, cooking them has been a revelation.
My dear friend at http://thecoastalcrushstyle.com/ sent me an article about weight gain. It got me thinking about carbs and how I could eliminate them. The article was actually very good. You should give it a read! Check it out on Instagram. (see references below)
I love hash browns. Who am I kidding; I love potatoes. One of my favorite breakfast meals is a frittata. I use Ore Ida’s Potatoes O’Brien for that dish and it’s amazing. That is actually where I got this idea from. I must admit, it made me very happy this morning.
I took a large bag of radishes and peeled them. Then I boiled them until they were just easily pierced with a knife. I strained them and returned to the hot pan, off the burner so it would help absorb the moisture. Once they were cooled I diced them into a small dice. I added some banana peppers from our garden and a bit of diced onion. So this morning Radish Browns were born.
You will want to make sure your diced radishes are dry. The drier they are the less time it will take to brown them. Keep an eye on them and turn them several times to prevent burning and sticking. The end result is wonderful.
I topped mine with some cracked eggs and stuck the pan under the broiler. I broiled it until the egg whites were set and the yolks were still slightly runny. Watch it carefully, it only takes a few seconds. Of course if you don’t like runny eggs, leave it under the broiler until they suit you.
When radishes are cooked they take on a potato flavor. You can also roast or bake them. It’s one of those vegies that has a surprising flavor when they are prepared differently. Don’t take my word for it; give this one a try!
RADISH BROWNS AND OVEN BAKED EGGS
- 16 oz whole radishes, peeled
- 4-5 banana peppers, seeded and sliced (can use any type pepper you like)
- 1/4 medium onion, large dice
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 4 eggs
- Boil the peeled radishes for about 5-8 minutes or until a knife inserted pierces the flesh easily.
- Drain and return to the hot pan off the burner to absorb some of the moisture.
- Let cool and dice into cubes, as for hash browns.
- In a medium skillet that is oven-proof, add the olive oil and heat over med-high heat.
- Add the radishes, peppers, and onions and cook until the radishes begin to brown. Turn occasionally so they don’t burn and brown throughout.
- Once browned, season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the mixture flat and crack 4 eggs in different areas over the top.
- Place under the broiler until the eggs are set to the desired doneness.
Note: you can also, whip the eggs and add a bit of milk, and cheese and pour over the top instead of the cracked eggs.
A bit of fresh chopped basil would be good on top with any style egg.
Til next time,
Well, here is the crock pot mystery soup I promised earlier. I got up this morning before work and made this. It took all of 20 minutes to put together. I walked in the door after work to a wonderful aroma and dinner.
This is a dry bean soup. No pre-soaking or cooking the beans. The crock pot does it all for you. It’s healthy, filling, and I promise very tasty. This is a Weight Watcher friendly recipe too.
You can find packages of 15 bean soup in most groceries. Mine came from Walmart. They are sometimes labeled as 13 bean; it doesn’t matter, it will come out fine. They usually come with a flavor packet. I never use it but feel free if you want a different flavor. The ingredients listed are all you need. You could add a meat to it. Sausage, shrimp, ham, or chicken would work well. In my world, the beans stand on their own.
As always, I prep everything and then just throw it all together, mix well, and turn on the crock pot. The only thing left is the can of tomatoes. They get thrown in last just to heat through. That’s it; your soup is done.
I like to dice the veg smaller, close to the size of the beans. The addition of Italian seasoning may seem odd, but it works well.
This recipe makes a lot. Be glad, it’s always just as good (maybe better) the next day. This is the final product. Serve with a salad or some nice rolls and enjoy.
Well, I’m off to my grandson’s last soccer game of the season. I hope you enjoy the recipe. My family loves it!
Thanks for reading and following along. I love seeing your comments and photos. Keep them coming!!!
15 BEAN SOUP (CROCK-POT)
- 2 (32 oz) boxes of chicken broth ( or equal amount of canned broth)
- 1 C water
- 1 package of 13 or 15 bean soup mix (dried beans)
- 4 medium carrots, small chop
- 3 medium stalks of celery, small chop
- 1 large onion, small chop
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning (dry)
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 (14.5 oz) can, fire roasted tomatoes
- Mix everything together except the can of tomatoes
- Cover and cook for 10 hours on low
- Stir in the tomatoes and cook an additional 15 minutes to heat the tomatoes through.
Til next time,
Ahhhh……Fall. It’s a great time to cook and eat meals with a little more substance. Still, this one is a Weight Watchers recipe coming in at 4 Smart Points. It has a total of 12 servings. I turned it into 8 servings. I have no problem with 6 points for a larger serving. Well worth it in my opinion.
I wanted to use items that I already had. I always keep a good stash of Italian spices. My pantry is always stocked with diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. What self-respecting Italian wife would I be?? I mean c’mon….haha!!
I use ground turkey all the time in place of ground beef. Not that there is a thing wrong with ground beef. You could totally use ground beef in this recipe. I don’t think you will be disappointed with either choice here.
It has a great flavor from the baby bella mushrooms and fresh basil. I would definitely serve this to guests with a salad and some crusty bread. It is good comfort food that is packed with flavor.
I made a few small changes to the ingredients. I recently discovered roasted piquillo peppers. They are a sweet pepper grown in Spain. I also love cavatappi because it has a cool shape and really holds sauces well. The increased amount of basil, really pushed it to flavor town. I always manage to have fresh basil on hand too. I still have some from my last summer planting.
So, without further adieu here are all the details.
BAKED GROUND TURKEY PASTA CASSEROLE
- 1 lb 99% lean ground turkey
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 8 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms, pre-sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 oz package of roasted piquillo peppers, drain and chop
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 15 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 (15 oz) cans of tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 C fresh basil, packed tightly (about 20 nice sized leaves) rough chopped
- 12 oz cavatappi, cooked for 8 minutes
- 1 C part skim shredded mozzarella cheese, divide in half
- 1/4 C grated fresh Parmigiano/Reggiano cheese, remove 2 Tbsp and set aside
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 9×14 casserole dish with non-stick spray (I use Pam with olive oil)
- In a large skillet, brown the turkey, onion, and mushrooms on med high heat. Continue to cook until all of the liquid has evaporated.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to the boil. Add salt to the water and drop the pasta in and bring back to the boil. Boil for 8 minutes. Remove, drain, and set aside.
- To the meat mixture, add the salt, garlic, piquillo peppers, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and basil. Stir well to combine.
- Continue to cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes so flavors can combine.
- Stir in the drained pasta, 1/2 C of mozzarella, and the 2 Tbsp of Parm/Reg cheese. Stir until is all combined.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the dish is heated through and bubbly hot.
**For 12 servings = 4 SP per serving For 8 servings = 6 SP per serving
Til next time,
Okay…….so I’m looking for recipes using basil! My go to is always Pesto. It’s great and I make a pretty good one. I’m looking for other ideas!!! This is my second crop this year. I have to say, it’s more gorgeous than the first.
I would love to get some new recipes. I would also like ideas about what you do with the last of your crop. You know…uses, storing, preserving, anything at all will be appreciated.
I will post the recipe that is my favorite. It will go in my cookbook and posted on my blog. All of your ideas and thoughts will also be posted. So when you send them to me, add a little about yourself. Tell me where the recipe came from or where it originated. Give me some hints or tips on how you use it. Don’t forget to mention the name of your blog or website. If you wish to remain anonymous, I will respect that too.
So……pull out your favorites and send them to me. I can’t wait to prepare and taste all of them. Looking forward to hearing from you and thanks for reading!
The deadline is October 20th, 2018. The post will be the first week of November.
Til next time,
It’s Fall! Or is it? Hard to tell with the temperatures we’ve had in Maryland. It’s been in the upper 80’s and severely humid. It’s been a boaters paradise to grab the last moments of summer fun. As for me……it’s just too stinking hot!!!!
I’m ready for sweaters, jeans, and colorful leaves. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s ever going to happen. I know it will and I’m really pushing it. I do every year because I love the cooler months. I am truly a Fall and Winter gal.
It’s getting to be that time of year when I am ready for a change in foods too. Soups and stews are two of our favorites. There is nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of yumminess on a cold day. I can remember going to my Grandmother Pearls in the fall and winter. She would always have some sort of soup on the wood stove. This was a soup she made all the time. It’s quick and easy and very tasty.
Fresh lima beans have a short season. My grandmother used to get them by the bushels and shell them. She would then freeze them for later use. So if you can’t get fresh lima’s, no worries. Frozen limas are just fine for this. Same goes for the corn, I use frozen all the time.
A nice complement to this or any soup is cornbread or a buttermilk biscuit. (See the posted link for buttermilk biscuits below). You can add a salad if you like. We usually make the soup our main, but anything goes!
You can make this on the stove-top or in a crock pot. Either way the taste is great and the soup is very filling. I hope you enjoy it!!
FRESH GREEN LIMA BEAN SOUP
- 40oz. fresh or frozen green lima beans
- 16 oz frozen corn kernels
- 2 (15oz) cans of fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
- 6-8 C of chicken broth (depends on the amount of broth you like)
- 2 pieces of uncooked center cut bacon, cut into small pieces
- 2 tsp of sugar (more or less after you taste, it depends on the tomatoes)
- Fresh ground pepper and kosher salt to taste
- Put the first 5 ingredients into a large stockpot on the stove-top.
- Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer, stir all together until well combined.
- Simmer for at least one hour, 2 hours really brings out the flavor.
- Add the sugar and season with salt and pepper to your taste.
To use your crock pot repeat the steps above. Set your pot to low for 4 hours.
BUTTERMILK BISCUITS..and failed fried chicken!
Til next time,