Spicy Sausage, Kale, and Potato Soup

A while back, on Pinterest I believe, I ran across a recipe for Kale and Spicy Sausage soup. I decided to check out the blog it came from, The Candid Appetite, and fell in love! Turns out he is a fellow WordPress user, and everything on his blog looks amazing! Not only is he a fabulous photographer (a little jelly there), but his recipes are mouth-watering!
This recipe stood out as something I definitely wanted to try when it got cold out. Clearly, it isn’t cold here in Southern California right now, its about 85° outside but whatever… My grandfather passed away last night and today my brain has been in a daze. He was really old and was battling liver cancer, so it was his time. He lived a wonderfully long and happy life but I digress. Cooking is the only real way I know how to let go and decompress. Everything else disappears, I relax, and I get into the zone. This soup was made with lots of love today.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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In a large cast iron pot heat one tablespoon of oil. While thats heating up I removed the sausage from its casing, then roughly chopped it into smaller pieces. Raw sausage is hard to cut so don’t worry too much about it. It will crumble as you cook it and break it up. Stir the sausage every so often, letting it brown on all sides. Once its fully cooked and brown, spoon out of the pot with a slotted spoon, and set aside. I usually put mine in the microwave so I’m not tempted to eat it all while I do other things. I promise, it’ll taste better IN the soup!

 

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As the meat browns, dice the onion and roughly chop the garlic. We are huge garlic fans in our house, so feel free to use less. I’ve also added garlic and onion powder to this recipe, so do what tastes good to you. I drained the fat out of the pot when the sausage was done, but DO NOT scrape the pot yet! You want all of that flavor to stay.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the butter. While the butter melts use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot. When you’ve gotten all of the yummies off the bottom add the onion and garlic coating it well with butter and flavor, let it cook for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Now you can add the seasonings; salt, pepper, onion, nutmeg (I know it seems weird, but Jon swears by it in his recipe, so do it!) garlic, and chili flakes.

 

 

 

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Kale is an awesome green that I use pretty regularly. Its so healthy for you, and tastes so great with just about anything! There are a bunch of different types, this is the most common.

At this point, you can remove the kale from its tough stems, you don’t want those in your soup. Rinse and chop it up into bite sized pieces then add it to the pot. I know it’ll seem like a lot at first, but kale (like spinach) wilts down tremendously. So you’ll want a LOT of it. Plus, its healthy and tastes yummy in the soup! You may need to add it in batches until you have room for it all. Mix it in with the garlic and onion until it turns bright green.

 

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While the kale wilts, clean the skin of the potatoes and slice into medium pieces. You want them all about the same size so they cook evenly and consistently. Add them to the pot, along with the cooked sausage (you almost forgot it was in the microwave, huh?). Mix everything together and add both boxes of chicken stock. Bring to a boil slowly so the potatoes have time to cook, but not overcook.

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Last, but definitely not least, the holy grail.

Heavy. Cream.

 

 

Serve with french bread, or eat it on its own! I absolutely LOVED this recipe, thank you Jonathan!

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Kale Chopped Salad with Feta and Balsamic Dressing

My friend Jenna has an obsession with the recipes a fellow food blogger posts, and I honestly cant argue with her. Iowa Girl Eats posts some of the most delicious recipes ever!

Every so often I’ll find a new recipe in my inbox that Jenna has forwarded to me. Finally I had some to recreate something she came up with.

I am a big fan of going to the gym, and trying to “eat clean” as people call it. This salad fit perfectly in my wedding-ready-diet! Those of you who havent tried Kale yet, Im not quite sure what you’re waiting for … but its delicious! And soooo good for you.
I have to admit though, I’d never used a shallot until today *gasp* I know, I know..

For this recipe, I made some changes to fit my taste and what the grocery store offered. So, after the gym I swung by the store and picked up these ingredients. Adding fresh avocado, crispy salty bacon, sliced almonds, creamy crumbled feta, and sautéing the shallots and brussel sprouts together made for an amazing, and huge, lunch salad!

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Ingredients

Kale
Shallots – 3 medium
Avocado – 1 large, ripe
Brussel Sprouts – 2 cups worth
Bacon
Garlic
Sliced Almonds
Feta Cheese
Dressing of your choice

My local grocery store didnt have the type of Kale Kristen used in her salad, Lacinto Kale, so I just picked up a large bunch of regular kale. Hey, for .99 you really cant beat that.

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I rinsed and dried my kale before cutting the hard veins out of each stalk. Then chopped the greens into bite sized slices. Setting that aside in a large mixing bowl, I got to work on my shallots.

Shallots, if you dont already know, are from the onion family. Very good flavor, and easy to use. I peeled and sliced them as thin as I could get them. Now, Kristen fried hers crispy, but I decided to keep mine just sautéed and only cooked in a very tiny bit of oil.

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Start those in a sauté pan with a very small amount of oil. Add a little sea salt for taste if you’d like. And then start on the Brussel Sprouts and Garlic. Cutting the hard ends off and, again, slicing them as thinly as you can. So they’re similar to shaved, like a mandolin would give you. As you get through each one, pick out the hard core pieces, those aren’t too tasty unless they’re cooked much longer. Mince the garlic as small as you can, I use a miniature food processor for mine – wayyyy easier!

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Add both minced garlic and brussel sprout “shavings” into the pan with your shallots and stur until everything is coated with “juice” from the onion. Turn heat to low and let it all wilt together for about 3-5min, depending on your stovetop.

As for the bacon, I precooked that and sliced it into bite size pieces. And the almonds were purchased pre-sliced. Im not looking to chop any fingers off just for some crunch in my salad lol Cut your avocado in half, and take the seed out. Peel and slice however you would prefer it for your salad.

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When your shallots and sprouts are tender, add them to your mixing bowl of kale. Toss so that the warmth of the onion/sprouts/garlic helps wilt the kale somewhat. You dont want it sad and droopy, but just enough to make it less tough.
Toss in the desired amount of toppings, drizzle with your favorite dressing, and enjoy!

This salad really was amazing. All of the flavors and textures combine so well together, and it is bangin healthy!!

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If you’re interested in the original recipe, from Kristen, you can find it here –> Kale Chopped Salad with Maple Almond Vinaigrette 

White Sweet Potato and Kale Soup

As of a few months ago, I never knew white sweet potatoes even existed! My bff is doing the whole Paleo diet thing, and was coming for dinner so I decided to get her a sweet potato since we were having something on the side that wasn’t paleo friendly. I dont usually eat (orange) sweet potatoes, “Im just not that into you”, so when I was at the store I accidentally grabbed a white one. When dinner was done, we both realized this potato was WHITE! Well, more yellow, but you know what I mean.. it wasn’t orange. She absolutely loved it! I tried a bite and fell head over heels.

Since I’ve been trying to eat healthier, this was the perfect way to change out eating bad white potatoes. And now that Hubs has been on this vegetarian thing for almost two months now. I originally thought he was only going to do it for a month, but it sees to have stuck. Since he has been home more often lately (yay!) I have been incorporating more vegetarian dishes lately.

 

Today I was working on some homework at a friends house and she made a vegan lentil soup with the vegetable basket that gets delivered every thursday (genius) and I was totally jealous. So I rushed home and decided to make my own! I ended up just making this recipe up, and it tastes great. Hope hubs loves it 🙂

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Ingredients

2 White Sweet Potatoes (as fat/round as you can get them) – Cubed
1 bag of Organic Corn (Trader Joe’s has the best)
2 Yellow Squash – Halved and sliced about a 1/2in thick
1 Large White or Yellow Onion (next time I might use two) – Diced
10 Garlic Cloves – Chopped, Roughly
1 Bag Kale
3 Large Carrots –  Diced
2 Cartons Vegetable Broth
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
Sage
Chili Flakes
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder

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In a large stock pot add 2 tablespoons of EVOO and let it heat until glassy. Add carrots, onion, and garlic. Cover with as much seasoning as you’d like. Honestly, I never measure seasoning… I like my food flavorful and just add until things are covered. Stir it all around and let it simmer for about 10min with the lid on.

Add potatoes and corn, stir together. Add both cartons of broth, kale, and more seasoning. Be as light or heavy with the Chili as you’d prefer. I was accidentally a little heavy handed with mine, but its not bad! Hubs likes heat, so he’ll appreciate it.

Turn the heat to medium and let it simmer until potatoes are tender to your liking!

Enjoy 🙂