Paleo Zuppa Toscana

I’ve seen this soup floating around Pinterest, but knew it was off-limits for me with my sensitivities to dairy. Then…I saw a paleo version that uses coconut milk and I knew I had to try it. I loved it, it was creamy and wouldn’t have even known it was made with coconut milk, if I didn’t make it. My husband on the other hand said he could taste the coconut – I think it was all in his head LOL!

The soup is rich with potatoes, kale, sausage and bacon and made in your slow cooker – it’s a win, win recipe!

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Low-Carb Pizza Casserole

I hope everyone had a great Easter! I made some new recipes and can’t wait to share them with you later this week. Lately, I’m trying to eat low carb to help kick start some weight loss and get ready to wear a bathsuit in a few short months…ugh. So in addition to eating low carb, I’m counting calories, working out and drinking Keto\\OS. The scale is starting to move, but the best is that I’m feeling so much better and not so sluggish.

This recipe reminded me of a recipe my mom used to make when I was a kid. It was similar but of course it contains a pound of pasta.

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Roasted Sausage, Brussels Sprouts and Squash

Lately my kids have been on a veggie strike and I’m not sure what happened! They used to be really good about eating vegetables, but lately any vegetable has been a no-go. They love sausage so I thought I would have a winner with this dish….nope, they turned their noses up at it.

Both my husband and I enjoyed this dish. It was quick and easy to make especially during the week and we had leftovers for lunch the next day. I like the combination of the brussels sprouts and sweetness from the butternut squash. I mean you can’t go wrong with roasted vegetables..we’ll for adults at least.

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1 package of sausage links (I used a sweet Italian chicken variety, but use whatever you like.)
8 oz brussels sprouts, halved
1 medium butternut squash, cubed
extra-virgin olive oil
salt & fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the vegetables on the baking sheet and then place the sausage on. Drizzle the olive oil and turn to coat. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Roast for 25-30 minutes or until your vegetables are fork-tender and the sausage is cooked through and the skin is crispy.

Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli

Lately I’ve noticed both of my kids are rejecting vegetables. I’m not sure what happened, they used to be so good about eating salads and now the mention sends them into a tizzy. So needless to say, I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate more vegetables into our meals without them being as noticeable. This dish was a huge hit! Cooper gobbled it and up and asked for seconds! It was a quick and easy meal, especially since the broccoli and pasta are cooked in one pot.

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1 lb Italian chicken sausage, casing removed
12 oz pasta (I used orecchiette)
6 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt & fresh ground pepper

In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain fat and remove from the heat. While the sausage is cooking, begin to bring a large pot of water to boil. Once the water is boiling, cook the pasta to al dente and add in the broccoli florets. Reserve one cup of pasta water and set aside before draining.

Return the pot to the stove and add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the garlic and saute until golden and then reduce the heat to low. Add the pasta and broccoli to the pot along with the cooked sausage. Mix well and add in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to create a thin sauce and add any additional water as needed. Serve in bowls and top with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Source: Skinnytaste

White Bean, Kale & Sausage Soup

I can’t tell you the last time we’ve seen the sun here in PA. It’s really depressing and makes me want to make hearty soups and stews…and this recipe will not disappoint. It’s a super easy recipe to make and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Perfect for dinner during the week!

This soup was a winner for everyone….no complaints except from Cooper who picked out the beans and threw them across our dining room. He’s been quite the little troublemaker lately! Dinner is usually hit or miss…there’s no in between. I know he’s figuring out what he can get away with, but any times on how to deal with a picky toddler, I’ll take them!

1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
12 ounces smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
5 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken stock
8 ounces kale, stems removed and finely chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 – 15 oz cans of Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
couple dashes of hot sauce
salt and fresh ground pepper

In a Dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add the sausage. Brown both sides, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the browned sausage to a paper towel lined plate. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and cook the minced garlic for one minute. Pour in 4 cups of chicken stock into the pot and add in the kale, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Using a hand immersion blender, puree a third of cannellini beans with 1 cup of the stock. When the kale is tender, add in the remaining whole beans, pureed beans, sausage and the remaining 1 cup of stock. Season with hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Stir together and allow to simmer until the soup is heated through. Scoop out into bowls and serve with a hunk of crusty bread.

Source: Five Heart Home

Sausage Spinach Calzones

While looking through my stack of magazines I’ve been saving, I saw this recipe for calzones. I knew it was something I wanted to make and I’m so glad I did! It was a HUGE hit with everyone and they were gone in no time…Madeline ate two of them!

They’re super easy to make on a weeknight especially when you’re using premade pizza dough. I think the next time I make them, I’ll make a double batch and freeze the leftovers so they can be reheated in the oven when we need a quick dinner.

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 ozs sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
4 cups baby spinach
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 lb prepared whole wheat pizza dough
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside. 
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the sausage, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks until it is no longer pink. Once the sausage is cooked, add in the baby spinach, stir until it’s wilted and cooked. Remove from the pan and place into a bowl.Stir in both cheeses and seasonings until well combined. 
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into 6 inch long and divide into five equal sized pieces. Roll out each piece into a small circle. Place 1/2 cup of the filling on a half of the dough circle and then fold over the other side. Crimp the edges with a fork and place on the prepared baking sheet. Continue this process until all five calzones have been made. Cut two or three slits into the top of the dough to allow steam to escape and brush the top of each one with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. 
Bake the calzones for 15 minutes until the dough turns golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before eating. 
Source: Eating Well Magazine