Monday, January 9, 2017

ZUPPA TOSCANA MADE HEALTHIER

A quick lunch at Olive Garden with my hubby while shopping at Christmas reminded me just how much I love their Zuppa Toscana.  There are many copycat recipes out there for this soup and most of them call for cream, etc.  I decided to give it a try "my way" using turkey sausage and 2% milk and the results were just delicious.



Once you have all your ingredients ready this is a very quick soup - my turkey sausage was in a meat carton not a roll so I just cut it with my knife into little cubes and cooked it that way so it came out with these nice little hunks - depending on your brand of sausage you may have to add a little olive oil to the pan when browning the sausage.
Back into the same pan the onion, the bacon and then when they are translucent...

add the garlic for a minute or two, just make sure to not burn the garlic.
 Slice your spuds in half and then into half moons.
Add in the chicken broth...
At this point I place the soup into a soup pot and cook until the potatoes are fork tender.
Add the milk and the Wondra flour...
Then the kale - I love that you may now purchase the kale in a bag, cleaned and chopped - how easy is that?

Ready for lunch with a little bread! Oh, so good on a cold winter day!
My head test pilot - hubby! Shhhh, he had no idea I took the photo! 

Recipe for lower calorie Zuppa Toscana Soup




Ingredients

  • 1 pound turkey mild Italian sausage
  • 4-5 medium russet potatoes, cut in half and then in half moons
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large white onion, chopped (or two medium)
  • 4-5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups kale or more, be sure and pack the kale down in your measure container
  • 3 cups 2% milk, could use 1% or FF.
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 T of Costco crumbled bacon (30 cal per TBSP)
  • 1 t red pepper flakes (you may omit if you do not like a bit of heat)
  • 1-2 T Wondra Flour

Directions

  1. Place Italian sausage in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat until browned on all sides. About 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Add the onion and bacon, sauté until softened and translucent. 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. During the last minute of cooking, add garlic and sauté, stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn, will take a minute or two.
  4. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until potatoes are fork tender.
  5. Add 1-2 T Wondra flour to the milk and whisk until all smooth, add to the pot.
  6. Return sausage to pot and add the kale. Cook until leaves are wilted and sausage is warmed through. 3 minutes.
  7. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary
  8. Ladle into serving bowls and serve immediately.

Cooks note:  Depending on the size of the potatoes, the amount of kale you add, you may have to add a little more chicken broth so you have sufficient broth to make this soup!



 Thank you for stopping by.











Tuesday, January 3, 2017

I LOVE NAAN - USES FOR THIS WONDERFUL BREAD

I love naan the Indian flat bread, it is the most versatile of breads.  My new favorite is the one from Costco.

 
This is the one from Costco and they are smaller than others and of course being Costco there are lots in the package.
Besides being so versatile the bread is also healthy - 130 calories, low sugar and 4 grams of protein. There are virtually thousands of recipes using this bread from pizza (fun to make individual pizzas) use to make fajitas, chicken recipes, sandwiches, it's good toasted and good to put things inside like bacon and eggs and on and on...I am going to talk about the two things that I love to do with naan - using leftover taco filling and as I did last week leftover beerock filling (or bierock). I will post a link below for a blog post I did on making beerocks.
So simple, heat the leftover filling in the microwave or the stove-top.
If you like cheese or need a little more protein (I used reduced calorie cheddar) grate some cheese.
I like to wrap the naan in between a clean kitchen towel before heating in the microwave - two of them about 15 seconds, give them a check and a few more seconds if necessary. They will stay warm for a bit in the towel.
With both leftover taco filling and leftover beerock filling I like to top with angel hair Cole slaw. It is not expensive in the bag already shredded very small - one of those things that is nice to not have to do and it makes the process so much faster.
I don't have a recipe when I make this so this time I measured to make the dressing for 3-4 sandwiches.

2T mayonnaise, regular or reduced calorie
2 pkgs of Stevia
1/2 T apple cider vinegar
2 t fat free half & half

Whisk it all together until it is smooth and creamy - may need to add a little more half and half.  I was out of poppy seeds but I would normally add some to this dressing. Toss the dressing with some of the slaw and you are ready to put your sandwiches together.
Fill the heated naan with the leftover filling of your choice, top with some cheese and then the Cole slaw - a toothpick holds it together very well.
One for me and two for hubby with some carrots and he was a happy camper.

Resource

Beerock recipe and instructions, Link


 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

HEALTHIER SNACKS FOR NEW YEAR'S DAY 2017

I did a recent post for Honey Hot Wings that were baked - big hit with hubby so those will be included in the "healthier" snacks for football watching tomorrow. Not that they are the healthiest thing around but more healthy than deep fried wings.

Here is the menu:


Why two fries you say - they taste different and he likes both and they are both warm snacks and go well with the wings.

I will post the link below for the Honey Hot Wings.

Recipe Sweet Potato Fries:

Preheat oven to 400°

I really have no exact recipe so will just tell you how I make them.  Any kind of sweet potato will do, any variety. Peel the sweet potatoes - I try and find long, round ones, and cut in half and then into fry shapes.

Add the sweet potatoes to a plastic bag and add about a T of EVOO and shake and rub them together to get the EVOO distributed well - place on either a rack on a cookie sheet or if you have a mat for "frying" without oil, use that.  If you have neither you will have to take them out and turn them over half way. Sprinkle with seasoned salt (or if you prefer with salt and pepper and what ever seasoning  you like) and bake for about 20 minutes depending on the width of the fries, oven, etc. Check them at about 15 minutes.

Serve by them selves or with your healthier ranch dip.

Healthier Artichoke Dip recipe:


Ingredients


2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup reduced calorie mayonnaise
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup great northern beans
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
1 t evoo
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 shallot, peeled
2 13.5-ounce cans of artichoke hearts, drained



Directions

In a small pan add the t of evoo and cook the garlic and shallot until they are done - if you can tolerate these ingredients raw you may skip this part.

In a food processor add all the ingredients except the Parmesan cheese and the artichokes and process until smooth. Then add all but a couple of tablespoons of the cheese and the artichokes - whirl to mix - some of the chunks of artichokes is good.

Place in a heatproof container, top with the remaining Parmesan and bake for about 20-30 minutes in a 350° oven. Serve with veggies and rice chips such at Good Things Rice with Poppy & Sesame seed - 19 of these crackers and 130 calories and 2 grams of protein! Plus they are tasty and easy to find - made by Nabisco.

Parmesan-Carrot Fries Recipe

Preheat oven 450°
 
Ingredients


1 pound fresh carrots
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
Cracked black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2-3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

Clean carrots, cut into matchsticks and toss in a plastic bag with the EVOO, sea salt and pepper. Spread them on a rack or special mat for roasting and roast for about 12-15 minutes. Remove and place on a plate and top with the Parmesan cheese and the fresh basil.

Resource

Honey Hot Wings Link

Silicone mat for oven frying Link

Thank you for stopping by and have a safe and Happy New Year's Eve!!!