Sausage Potato Spinach Soup

This soup was really good!  We were sad when all the leftovers were finished.  I made a really bad soup the other day that is NOT making the blog.  This soup, on the other hand, is on the opposite end of the spectrum.  It’s simple, it’s delicious, and it may even be good for you!

 

Ingredients:

1 pound Jimmy Dean regular sausage

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or more if you like it spicy!)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

5 c. chicken broth

1 bay leaf

1 pound red potatoes, diced with skins on

3 cups spinach (I used frozen spinach)

2 T. fresh basil

2 T. fresh oregano

Thickening agent: 1 T. cornstarch mixed with 1 T. chicken broth

 

Directions:

Brown sausage in a soup pot or dutch oven.  Drain fat if needed.  Add garlic, onion, dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes.  Cook while stirring until onions are clear, about 3 minutes.  Add salt and pepper, chicken broth, and bay leaf.  Turn up the heat and let the soup begin to boil.  Add the potatoes and continue to boil the soup until the potatoes are cooked, about 10 minutes.  At this point, I actually had to walk away from the soup, so I turned off the heat, put the lid on my dutch oven, and let it sit for 30 minutes.  When I came back, the potatoes were great!

Add in spinach and fresh herbs and cook for about 2 minutes until they begin to droop.  Combine corn starch with chicken broth in a small bowl and then add to soup and stir.  I used this in place of 1/4 c. heavy cream.  If you can do the cream, go for it!

Original recipe:

http://damndelicious.net/2014/10/29/sausage-potato-spinach-soup/

 

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins

These are mostly made of nuts and apples.  I found myself eating more of these than perhaps I would have if they were straight up flour, sugar, and such.  If you want something sweet but want it to be a little healthier, this is a good compromise.  They do have a little bit of a “healthy” taste because of the nut flour, but if you don’t mind that, they’re pretty good!

 

Ingredients:

2 1/4 c. almond meal/flour

1/2 c. quick oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF quick oats)

2 T. ground flax seed

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 c. coconut oil

1/4 c. maple syrup (I recommend the real stuff!)

1/4 c. non-dairy milk

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 c. finely diced apple with skin on (about 2 small apples)

1/2 c. walnuts or pecans, chopped

Topping:

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Directions:

Combine all of the dry ingredients (almond meal/flour, oats, flax seed, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

Melt the coconut oil in a medium bowl.  Add the maple syrup, milk and vanilla and stir.  Next, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is combined.  Add in the apple chunks and the nuts and stir.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill to 3/4.  Put a little bit of the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top of each one.  The original recipe calls for more, but it was way too much and didn’t soak in.  You may use more if you want.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.

 

Original recipe:

http://www.simple-veganista.com/2013/04/apple-cinnamon-muffinsgluten-free.html

 

Healthy Fruit and Nut and Seed Salad

This is one of those salads that looks healthy.  I think it’s the chia and pumpkin seeds that really give it that look.  This was one of those, “Hmmm….let’s see what’s in the fridge” meals.  What I thought was going to be a pretty boring meal actually turned out nicely.

 

Ingredients:

2 handfuls of spinach

1/2 apple, diced

1 T. pumpkin seeds

1 T. chia seeds

2 T. craisins

Salad dressing of your choice

Optional: top with chicken

 

Directions.  Put all ingredients on a plate or in a bowl, starting with spinach and ending with salad dressing.  Enjoy!

Rocky Road Chocolate Cookies

Nothing says, “I love you” like some chocolate cookies.  Okay.  Maybe there are some other ways to say it quite effectively, but this won’t hurt.  Try these out for your valentine tonight!

Ingredients:

3/4 c. brown rice flour

1/4 c. tapioca starch

1/4 c. potato starch

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 c. cocoa powder

1/2 c. coconut oil, melted but room temperature

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. packed brown sugar (I used light brown because that’s what I had)

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/3 c. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened Cashew Milk this time, but normally I use coconut milk)

1/4 c. Enjoy Life Mini-Chocolate Chips

1/4 c. mini marshmallows or 4-5 big marshmallows torn into bits

1/4 c. chopped walnuts

 

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix flours and starches, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.  In a stand mixer bowl, mix coconut oil and sugars.  Blend on low.  Add vanilla and blend again on low.  Add half the flour and half the milk and stir just a little bit before turning on the mixer to prevent a flour cloud.  Mix briefly with the mixer.  Repeat with the rest of the flour and milk and mix with mixer briefly.  The dough should be very thick.  Add in chocolate chips, marshmallows, and walnuts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, form dough into balls and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Chill the dough balls on the cookie sheet until ready to go into the oven.  Bake for 10 minutes or until desired firmness.  *Note* Coconut oil will harden as it cools, so do not over bake.

Pumpkin Pancakes

This is my own original recipe.  It’s the perfect way to use up leftover pumpkin.  I hope these make you feel as warm and cozy as they make me feel!

 

Ingredients:

1 c. brown rice flour

1/2 c. oat flour

1/4 c. sweet rice flour (or more brown rice if you can’t find this)

1/4 c. potato starch

1/4 c. teff flour

1/4 c. tapioca starch

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp salt

2 T. baking powder

2 1/2 T sugar

 

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

3/4 c. pumpkin puree

2 flax eggs (2 T. golden flaxseed meal mixed with 6 T. warm water and set aside)

1 3/4 c. coconut milk (from a carton)

1/4 c. oil

1/4 c. walnuts, chopped (optional)

 

Directions:

Stir together flaxseed and water in a small bowl and set aside.  Combine dry ingredients including spices.  Add in the wet ingredients including the flax eggs.  Stir to combine, then add in walnuts.  Heat a non-stick skillet to medium heat.  Add pancake batter, leaving 2 inches between each one to allow for expansion.  When the edges are looking dry and the middle is bubbling a little and the bottom side is brown, flip pancakes.  Cook for another minute or two and then remove from pan.  If your batter is a little too firm, add coconut milk one Tablespoon at a time until desired thickness.  Serve with a pat of butter on top and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

1 T. butter (I used Earthbalance)

1 medium onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves

1 tsp yellow curry powder

2 1/4 c. pumpkin puree

2 1/2 c. chicken broth (I use HEB or Swanson’s) or vegetable broth

1 can coconut milk

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

small handful of pumpkin seeds

 

Directions:

Heat butter in a saucepan.  Add onion, garlic and curry powder and cook for 5 minutes.  Slowly stir in the rest of the ingredients except for the pumpkin seeds.  Use an immersion blender to blend all ingredients except the pumpkin seeds (or blend it in a blender).  Serve in bowls or soup cups and sprinkle in pumpkin seeds as a garnish.

 

Original recipe:

http://www.justataste.com/thai-coconut-pumpkin-soup-recipe/

Turkey Cranberry Salad (or Chicken)

I know, I know. This post would have been better around Thanksgiving time, but I wasn’t ready to post it then.  I was too busy having fun with family :-).  Instead, you are getting a random February post about Thanksgiving leftovers.  People make turkey other times of the year, right?  You could also use chicken instead of turkey if you don’t want to go to the trouble of cooking a big bird when it’s not a holiday. Or perhaps you still have leftovers in the freezer… If so, this is great way to make them moist and delicious instead of merely passable.  As the weather is warming up, think about taking this salad with you on a camping trip, a long hike, or just a fun family picnic.  You can even use canned chicken if you need to!

 

Ingredients:

3-4 c. cooked turkey or chicken, diced or shredded

4 T. diced red onion

3 T. diced celery

1/2 c. craisins

1/3 c. sliced almonds

1/2 c. mayo (I used Vegennaise)

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp salt

 

Directions:

Combine mayo, paprika and salt.  Stir in remaining ingredients until combined.  Add more mayo if you want it to be more moist.  Eat with crackers, in a lettuce wrap, on a sandwich, etc.