Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup Recipe

kale-potato-soup-web

It’s been cold and rainy this winter (well, at least for California), and because of this I’ve found myself reaching for my Dutch oven to cook soups and stews at least two or three times each week.

The one I keep making again and again? It’s this spicy sausage, potato, and kale soup that I fell in love with a couple winters ago. This paleo, gluten-free, and Whole30-approved recipe is hearty, nutritious, and so flavorful, plus it’s easy to make and comes together in about 45 minutes.

I think that adding kale to soup is one of the best ways to enjoy lots of this leafy green, the spice from the Italian sausage goes so nicely with it, and the potatoes make this a filling, well-rounded meal.

And did I mention how delicious it is? Because it is. My boyfriend and I seriously battle over leftovers of this stuff.

Oh, and if you’re not already familiar with the wonderfulness of the Dutch oven, and you also make (or want to make) lots of soups, chilis, braised dishes, and such, I highly recommend adding this thick-walled cooking pot to your cookware collection pronto. Otherwise you can just throw everything together in a regular ol’ soup pot.

SAUSAGE, POTATO, AND KALE SOUP RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 lb potatoes, chopped into 1/2″ cubes (I use Dutch yellow baby potatoes)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp chili pepper flakes (omit if you want less spice)
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and, once hot, add the sausage. Break up the sausage with a wooden spoon and cook until slightly browned, about 6-8 minutes. Once browned, remove the sausage and set aside.

Add the onion to the Dutch oven and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, less than 1 minute. Re-add the sausage, as well as salt, pepper, chili pepper flakes, potatoes, chicken broth, and the bay leaf, and stir to combine.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer over low heat until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf, add in the kale, and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes, until the kale is tender. Season again as needed, serve, and enjoy!

Advertisements

What is Whole30? + Whole30 Meal Plan – Week 1

whole_30_program_rules

There’s a good chance you’ve heard a friend mention Whole30 while they pass up a drink at happy hour, or a coworker talk about the program while munching on a grilled chicken salad in the breakroom.

If you don’t quite know the details of a Whole30, it’s basically a 30-day reset where you eliminate certain foods from your diet like added sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, soy, processed foods, and anything not “real.”

Foods to be enjoyed during the month are meat, eggs, seafood, vegetables, fruits, and natural fats. Whenever possible, it’s recommended to opt for sustainable, ethically-treated, grass-fed, pasture-raised, and/or organic fare.

The goal of the Whole30 is to make intentional, mindful food choices, feed your body well, and hopefully shift your emotional relationship with food. It’s NOT a diet.

There’s no calorie counting, portion limits, or weigh-ins. You nourish your body by eating real food when you’re hungry, and that’s about it.

Completing a Whole30 isn’t necessarily a walk in the park. It can be challenging, even for those who tend to eat on the cleaner end of the spectrum. But I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to change their relationship with food for the better. And you’ll learn A LOT while going through the program (check out what I discovered from last year’s Whole30).

Plus, the food you enjoy on a Whole30 doesn’t have to feel limiting or sacrificial. Some of my favorite recipes that I make year-round are Whole30-approved (or can be with simple modifications).

Need a little help getting started? Here’s my Week 1 Whole30 Meal Plan. It includes leftovers and a few repetitive meals, but I find that relying on repeat meals prevents me from wasting time making food decisions and allows me to batch cook, which is a huge timesaver. Keep in mind, I’ll also add in a pre-workout snack if I need one (a banana or apple + almonds is a good go-to).

Week 1 Whole30 Meal Plan


Monday

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs + raw sauerkraut + 1/2 avocado + glass of green juice

Lunch: Chicken and vegetable soup

Dinner: Homemade bolognese sauce with spaghetti squash + roasted broccoli


Tuesday

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs + roasted broccoli + raw sauerkraut

Lunch: Grilled chicken + kale salad

Dinner: Salmon + sauteed kale + roasted sweet potatoes


Wednesday

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs + 1/2 avocado + raw sauerkraut + green juice

Lunch: Leftover chicken and veggie soup

Dinner: Roasted chicken + delicata squash + roasted broccoli


Thursday

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs + roasted broccoli + raw sauerkraut

Lunch: Grilled chicken + roasted potatoes + kale salad

Dinner: Leftover bolognese sauce with spaghetti squash + roasted broccoli


Friday

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs + 1/2 avocado + raw sauerkraut

Lunch: Roasted chicken + leftover veggies + bone broth

Dinner: Burger patties + sauteed onions/mushroom + avocado + kale salad


Saturday

Breakfast: Brussels sprouts with bacon and eggs + green juice

Lunch: Leftover burgers and veggies + bone broth

Dinner: Carnitas + sauteed bell peppers


Sunday

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs + sauteed kale + bone broth

Lunch: Leftover carnitas + sauteed bell peppers

Dinner: Shepherd’s pie (cooked that afternoon with meal prep)

 

 

 

 

Super Simple Green Smoothie Recipe

super simple green smoothie

You know how sometimes you’re running reallyyyy late in the morning, but still want to start your day off with a healthy breakfast?

If you don’t know this feeling, I deeply admire you and wish you could teach me your ways. For the rest of us who tend to hit the snooze button hard and often, I want to share my super simple green smoothie recipe that only takes a mere 4 minutes to make. Yes, 4 minutes!

From gathering your ingredients, to twisting the lid on your mason jar before running out the door, this green smoothie is easy, nutritious, and so quick to make you’ll have no excuses for not having a healthy start to your day.

Four ingredients are all you’ll need: spinach, banana, almond milk, and chia seeds.

Spinach is one of my favorite greens to add to a smoothie, because it’s not very bitter. Plus, the sweetness of the banana mellows the spinach out so that it doesn’t taste like you’re drinking a salad. I promise, this drink is super tasty!

Also, this smoothie is loaded with fiber, which will help keep you full until lunch. #ALLthebenefits

SUPER SIMPLE GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup organic almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed organic baby spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients together in a blender, cover, and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy, or into a mason jar for an on-the-go breakfast.

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon with Eggs | Whole 30 Recipe

Brussels sprouts, bacon, and egg dish that is paleo and Whole 30 approved

Like so many others, I’m on the January Whole 30 train with the hope of resetting my body after a December of chocolate, cheese, and enough wine to make any Game of Thrones character blush. By the end of December, I was feeling sluggish, bloated, and lazy about making food choices.

 

Enter the Whole 30! An eating program that cuts inflammatory, processed, and hormone-unbalancing food groups (like grains, dairy, artificial sugars, and alcohol) for a full 30 days. If you haven’t heard about it, check out the details here.

 

I completed my first Whole 30 in August of last year, and while it was hard at times (like anything worth going after), I felt incredible by the end of the month. In fact, by the end of my second week on the program, my energy levels were through the roof. I was running faster, lifting more weight, and once home, sleeping more peacefully. The Whole 30 creators call this energy Tiger Blood, and it’s ah-mah-zing.

 

Besides the increased energy, I love that the Whole 30 never made me feel totally deprived. (Well, except for when I had to order a water with lime when going out for drinks with friends. Let’s be real; that part sucked.) I LOVE food and cooking, and both are an essential part of who I am. The Whole 30 celebrates healthy food and allows you to enjoy tons of nourishing, homemade foodslike this brussels sprouts and bacon dish with eggs.

Continue reading

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

slow cooker kalua pork

Today’s message is: “fake it ’til you make it.”

I’ve never been to a Hawaiian luau, and I’ve never seen nor enjoyed any bit of a whole pig smoked in a sand pit, but I made this kalua pork in my slow cooker yesterday and shamelessly admit to having firsts, seconds, and an extra bite or two as I wrapped up leftovers. Is this recipe authentic? No. Is it tasty. YES.

slow cooker kalua pork

Kalua pork is traditionally smoked in a sand pit with sea salt, banana leaves, and koa wood. When you don’t have the luxury of a sand pit, a slow cooker and a little natural liquid smoke can be a girl’s best friend. Simply toss three ingredients in a slow cooker before work (pork roast, Hawaiian sea salt, and liquid smoke), and by evening you’ll be saying mahalo to yourself for making such a smart, delicious decision.

slow cooker kalua pork

I was way lazy with this dinner, so I just paired the pork with sautéed bell peppers, a little quinoa, and some gluten-free soy sauce, which was perfect. Next time I make it (which will probably be sooner than I’d like to admit) I’d like to be more ambitious and try my hand at a pineapple quinoa “fried rice” to go along with it.

You can always slow cook the pork overnight too. In fact, the longer you cook it, the juicier and better it’ll taste. I’m going to use my leftovers by scrambling the shredded meat with eggs and veggies for weekend brunch.

Now go make this!

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lb pork shoulder or butt roast, fat removed
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke, hickory flavored
  • 2 tsp Hawaiian Sea salt

Directions

FYI, I just kinda eyeballed it with measurements. Wash and pat dry the pork, and place it in the slow cooker. Pierce the pork with a fork (that’s a funny thing to say), sprinkle with salt, and pour the liquid smoke evenly over the roast.

Close your slow cooker, and set the time for anywhere from 8-12 hours on low. When done cooking, shred with a fork and ENJOY!

(This entry was originally posted by me on my original blog What She Makes.)


Green Juice Recipe

green juice ingredients - kale, celery, apple, ginger, lemon, cucumber

I’ve been massively craving greens lately—kale, broccoli, and asparagus have been my favorites—but spending quality time in my kitchen has been on the back burner the last two weeks.

To balance out lots of evenings spent away from home (when satisfying greens aren’t always the most convenient), I’ve been trying especially hard to get my fair share of vegetables in before dinner.

Green juice to the rescue!

green apple

While I don’t like missing out on the fiber I’d get by eating my veggies whole, I personally feel invigorated after gulping a glass of green juice and find it to be a suitable substitute for healthy eating (errr sipping) on the go.

This juice recipe doesn’t taste “green.” In fact, it has a sweet, spicy, citrusy taste because of the apple, lemon, and ginger (an always winning combo).

I try to drink my juice within 12 hours of juicing, but it should stay good for up to a full day if stored properly. Also note, this recipe makes two servings, because I always make enough juice for myself and Michel. Feel free to half it for a solo serving, or just make two and have one for breakfast and one for an afternoon pick me up.

How do you balance out busy evenings away from home when cooking a veggie-loaded dinner isn’t an option? Do you make your own juice too? Have any favorite recipes?

healthy green juice in a mason jar

My Favorite Green Juice Recipe (Serves 2)
Ingredients:

2 apples (I prefer any green variety)

6-8 big kale leaves

1 small cucumber

4 celery stalks

I lemon, peeled

2″ piece of ginger, peeled

Directions:

JUICE! (Hint: put the apples through last for best results.) Pour into a glass and serve.

Feel like something a little thicker? Try my favorite green smoothie recipe instead!

baker cat sleeping

I hope you enjoy this recipe just as much as this sweet cat is enjoying her nap.

xoxo,

Melissa