Spicy Sausage & Tomato Soup

July 2014 785
This new soup comes to me from my dear cousin Megan, who also knows her way around the kitchen. This is an incredibly tasty addition to my soup rotation…I mean, the girl put BACON in her soup! We obviously share the same genes!!

I did make a few “tweaks” to the recipe …The original recipe called for slightly less meat and added Cannellini & Kidney Beans, which could easily be added back into the soup if so desired.

What you will need:
• 4 Slices of thick bacon, chopped
• 12 oz Hot Italian Sausage
• 12 oz Andouille Sausage
• 1 Red Onion, chopped fine
• 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on heat preference)
• 4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
• 1 Bay Leaf
• 28 oz whole, peeled, tomatoes
• 14 oz stewed tomatoes
• 1 tbsp tomato paste
• 3 c chicken broth (I ended up adding 2 more cups, personal preference)
• 1 c of Zucchini, halved and sliced thick
• 1 c chopped fennel
• 4 c (about of chopped Kale)
• 1/4 cup white wine
• Salt & Pepper to taste
Garnish (optional)
• Shredded Parmesan
• Parmesan & chia seed crisps

How it’s done:
1. In a pan or dutch-oven, add chopped bacon, fry until fat begins to render, and ends become crispy. Add sausage, brown meat then remove from the pan, set aside.

2. Add onions to pan, cook until softened.
a. Add Fennel, cook until they begin to brown
b. Add garlic for the last 30 seconds…do not burn the garlic.
c. Add the tomato paste & white wine, mix ingredients well.

3. Scrape the sides of the pan into your soup pot (or if using a dutch-oven, just scrape the cooked bits from the walls) Add Tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and meat to the pot
4. Cover and let simmer 30 min
5. S&P to taste
6. Add Zucchini for last 5 min
7. Kale will wilt rapidly with the heat of the soup, (so for best color& texture) add only when you are ready to serve.
8. Top with Parmesan & ENJOY!

Homemade, Healthy Mayo!

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This is 1 of 2 posts, since they fit together so beautifully, I had to do them together!

I know not everyone is doing the Primal/Paleo thing…and that is totally fine with me!  BUT I DO believe in taking the time to educate yourself on what exactly you are putting into your body 3+ times a day.

So,I have not been a big Mayonnaise fan for years now…but there are times when you could really use the help of that flavor enhancing sauce; in addition, this “aioli” fad is definitely bringing mayo back into the spotlight.  Now, I AM NOT talking about that store bought stuff! (once you have made your own, the fact that store bought mayo is white…totally freaks me out!)  The danger with store bought Mayo is in the ingredients…specifically Canola oil!  If you have ever dabbled into the “Paleo realm” you know about NomNomPaleo.com … and this comes directly from her!  It is TRULY amazing, and turns Mayo into a whole new, delicious, addition to almost anything!!

What you will need:

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1.5 tsp lemon juice (I have used lemons or limes)
  • 1 tsp white Vinegar
  • 3/4 c macadamia nut oil or avocado oil (I used avocado)

**Important – ALL ingredients should be at room temperature

How it’s Done:

  1. Mix all ingredients (EXCEPT the oil) into a bowl.  (I cheated and used my emulsifier/whisking tool, so I used the provided mixing canister)
  2. VERY IMPORTANT!  Add the oil VERY slowly and in 1/4 cup increments  (it helps to have an extra set of hands in the kitchen for this part)
  3. Once you reach the desired texture, you are done!

Credit: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/3440774534/paleo-mayonnaise

Italian Wedding Soup – without grain/pasta

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This recipe makes A LOT, so be warned!  I always like to freeze a few pre-portioned bowls of soup for those nights when I work late or just don’t want to cook.  I am really, really pleased with how this turned out, I had to control myself in the kitchen so that I did not eat ALL the meatballs BEFORE they went in the soup!!  It has, most definitely, been added to the rotation!!

Here is what you will need:

Meatballs

  • 1/2 lb andouille sausage (removed from it’s casing)
  • 1/2 lb hot Italian sausage (removed from it’s casing)
  • 1 lb Grass Fed ground beef
  • 1 c shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 onion chopped fine
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2c Almond Flour
  • 2 tsp dried Basil
  • 1 tbsp salt

Soup

  • Water
  • 2 qts Chicken Broth
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 c Carrots (about 6)
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, chopped fine
  • Olive Oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 head of Cauliflower chopped small
  • 2 c Spinach
  • Parmesan cheese shavings for garnish

How it’s Done:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix all ingredients for the meatballs together in a large bowl.  On cookie sheet, line with parchment and make quarter size meatballs (I wanted them bite-size, but you can make them whatever size works for you…I did have to use 2 cookie sheets)  BAKE for 30 min, remove from oven and set aside
  3. In a large soup pot, add & heat about 4 tbsp of olive oil, and add chopped onion and carrots, sauté until they just become tender and add the garlic, heat for about 30 sec.
  4. Add the Chicken broth and water, bring to a boil.  Make sure to taste as you go, you may need to add additional salt
  5. Add cauliflower and meatballs.  Using medium heat, bring to boil once more.
  6. Remove from heat and add the spinach.  Mix together and serve (top with parmesan & fresh pepper)

Primal Cinnamon Doughnuts with Maple Butter Cream Cheese Glaze

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So, who doesn’t love doughnuts and coffee on Saturday mornings?!  I am definitely guilty of “cheating” with the traditional fried doughy goodness bombs …But now I have a GREAT Grain Free, baked option!

What you will need:

  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk (almond works too)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Doughnut pan

 How it’s Done:

  1. Pre-heat to 350
  2. In two, separate bowls, mix all dry ingredients together and then all wet together.
  3. Mix both wet & dry together, and put mixture into a storage baggie/piping bag to make the transfer to the donut pan easier.
  4. Bake for 15-20 min

 For the Glaze: (this IS NOT primal/paleo, but it’s so good…who cares!)

While the doughnuts are baking… Use a small sauce pan and heat to a boil.

  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • a touch or maple syrup
  • pinch of salt

DO not heat, just set aside for now

  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  1. Stir ingredients (except cream cheese) over heat and bring to a quick boil
  2. Then reduce heat and continue to stir until all ingredients incorporate well.
  3. Pour into heat safe bowl and mix with cream cheese until smooth.  Then set aside.
  4. Once Doughnuts have cools slightly, you can spread the glaze over the top of each doughnut and enjoy!

Doughnut Recipe Concept from: slimplate.com

Broccoli Rabe & Italian Sausage

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This is a “side dish” in my house, but could easily be a meal all by itself.  I understand, not everyone likes Broccoli Rabe, but think this combination is a great way to balance and enhance the flavors of both main ingredients!  …AND it’s easy!

What you will need:

  • 8-10 oz of Italian sausage
  • 4 cups Broccoli Rabe (chopped)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic (sliced thin)
  • Parmesan (shredded or shaved)
  • Salt & Pepper

How it’s done:

  1. Bring a med/lg pot of heavily salted water to a boil, and blanch the broccoli rabe for 2 min, or until bright green.  Drain well, and set aside.
  2. In a large pan, cook sausage completely.  (If sausage is in casing, remove before cooking) 
  3. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil & garlic to the cooked sausage…cook for 2 more min
  4. Add the blanched broccoli rabe, cook for another 2 min OR until the stalk pieces are just tender.
  5. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste, top with parmesan cheese…and serve!

Recipe Credit from: Ibreatheimhungry.com

Grain Free Raspberry Scones

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I am not ALWAYS big on breakfast, but today is Saturday and sometimes you just need something special!

Prep time:  5 min ~ Cook time:  15 min

Difficulty 1/5

 What you will need:

  • 2.5 c. Almond meal
  • 1.5 c Raspberries
  • 2 tbsp Raw Honey
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

 How it’s done:

  1. Preheat to 375
  2. In a bowl, mix almond meal, baking soda, salt
  3. In separate small bowl, mix egg and honey well.
  4. Slowly pour egg mixture into the dry mixture, add in raspberries…do not over mix the raspberries
  5. Roll into balls, and shape with hands. 
  6. bake on parchment lined cooking sheet
  7. Bake 12-15 minutes

Lime Chicken & Avocado Soup

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I LOVE my old recipe of Chicken Tortilla Soup…BUT it’s full of things I don’t eat anymore, SO I am really excited that this taste delicious!!!  I usually make a double batch and freeze half of it.

Prep Time 15 min ~~ Cook Time 1.25 hrs

Difficulty 2/5

What you will need:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1 medium jalapeno
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1.5lb. chicken breast
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes w/chilies
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 medium lime
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 medium avocado 

How it’s done:

  1. Dice the onion, celery, and jalapeno (scrape the seeds out of the jalapeno before dicing). Mince the garlic. Cook the onion, celery, jalapeno, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until tender.
  2. Add the chicken breast, chicken broth, canned tomatoes with chilies, oregano, and cumin to the pot. Bring the whole pot up to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to low, place a lid on top, and let simmer for one hour.
  3. After simmering for an hour with a lid on, carefully remove the chicken breast from the pot and use two forks to shred the meat. Return the meat to the pot. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the soup. Get as much juice as possible from the lime by using a spoon to scrape the inside of the lime.
  4. Rinse the cilantro and then roughly chop the leaves. Add to the pot, give it a quick stir, and serve. Dice the avocado and add a few chunks to each bowl. (if you are OK with dairy, you can also add cheddar cheese & sour cream)

Inspiration From: http://www.budgetbytes.com

Butternut Squash Soup

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At the whisper of cooler weather..I jumped at the chance to make a Autumn Flavored Soup!  So simple and comforting.   No Dairy & is Primal/Paleo Friendly

Total Cook time: 1 hr   ( I allowed extra time for it to cool before I ran it through my Blendtec)

Difficulty:  2/5

What you will need:

  • 1 large Butternut Squash – peeled and chopped
  • 1 large yellow Onion, – chopped
  • 1 qt of Chicken Stock (Veg. stock would work too)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • Pecans (optional)

How it’s done:

  1. In a large pot (I prefer a deep Canning Pot when I make soup) Add your coconut oil & sauté onions until translucent.
  2. Add Butternut squash, Stock, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Salt
  3. Bring the pot to a boil, allow squash to cook until it is fork tender
  4. Once tender, I set it aside to cool slightly…I waited about 30 min… Run it through a food processor, blender, or Immersion blender to puree ingredients until smooth.
  5. Serve!  Garnish with Cinnamon and pecans

Dark Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

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Paleo/Primal Friendly Cookies – AND they actually taste GOOD!!!

Time: 15 minutes prep

Bake Time: 15 minutes

Difficulty:   2/5

What you will need:

  • 3 cups Almond Meal
  • 1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup Chopped Walnuts
  • ¼ tsp Kosher Salt
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/3 cup Raw Honey
  • 2 Tbl Virgin Coconut Oil (melted)
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg

How it’s Done:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the dry ingredients together with a fork. Includes: almond meal, salt, and baking soda.
  3. Add the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts to the dry mixture and stir evenly.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together (honey, oil, vanilla extract, and egg).
  5. You may need to heat the honey and oil in order to liquefy them. Be sure to heat BEFORE you add the egg.
  6. Make a crater in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the whisked wet ingredients.
  7. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until evenly mixed.
  8. I used my hands to make 1tbsp sized, cookie balls, and then gently flattened them (into the shape I wanted) in my palm.  The cookies don’t expand much during baking, the shape you make will stick.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes then let cool for at least 5 minutes.
  10. The cookies will not come off the parchment paper very easily if they’re too warm.

Recipe Credit: www.fedandfit.com

Scallop BLT

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Prep/Cooking time: 20-30 min

Difficulty 3/5 

(for me the “3” comes from trying to get a decent sear on the scallops in a stainless-steel pan)

It is great as first course or appetizer!!

What you will need:

  • 10-12 (or an even number of scallops)
  • EVOO & Butter for frying scallops
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes sliced
  • Butter lettuce – cut into small pieces
  • 4-5 thin slices of prosciutto – baked in oven until crispy

For Tartar Sauce:

  • 1 c Mayo
  • 1c Dill relish (I NEVER use sweet)
  •  tbsp minced onion
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • S&P to taste

How it’s done:

  1. Assemble ingredients for Tartar sauce and refrigerate
  2. Scallops – rinse and pat dry before frying
  3. Add EVOO and Butter to hot frying pan, sear scallops (light brown color on each side…BUT be careful NOT to overcook)
  4. Assemble the stacks as shown…may require toothpicks for presentation