"...what a person accomplishes in life is directly correlated with the people around them." - John Berardi

Friday, October 17, 2014

Zuppa Toscana

Yeah, I've been slightly MIA the past week or two since we were having lots of fun with more family visiting, as well as trying to finish getting ready for sweet baby #2 (a girl!) to arrive in about 6 weeks, give or take.

It's been nice to see some positive differences between this pregnancy and my first (even though it was quite good as well). I have learned so much about which foods cause swelling in my hands/face/feet, as well as being nicer to myself when I feel like I "should" work out but really NEED to rest. Sleep is king too... pregnant or not... if you're not sleeping, you're probably not rocking the other areas of your life either (wanting/eating quality foods, exercising, feeling energized, etc.)

Anyway... This little gem, I adapted from a recipe I received years ago and have had on a 3x5 recipe card. It tastes very similar to the Zuppa Toscana soup you can get at the Olive Garden. It was a favorite for my husband and I when we used to go crazy on the all-you-can-eat soup, salad, and breadsticks they offer. It's so great to enjoy this awesome soup still but not go to bed with a grumbly stomach like I did in the Olive Garden days (the bread was probably the most problematic for me).

I'm definitely going to make this as one of the freezer meals I'm putting together in preparation for our baby next month! Be sure to check out that post if you're into fat-burning, delicious freezer meals :)

Zuppa Toscana

1 lb ground Italian Sausage (or make your own using your choice of ground meat, I used turkey this time, and some of my Italian Sausage pre-mixed seasoning)
1 tsp crushed red peppers
1 large onion, diced
4 slices of bacon, cut into pieces
2 tsp minced garlic
10 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
2-3 large potatoes, sliced into rounds 1/8th in. thick (I always use sweet potatoes/yams now)
1/4 of a bunch of kale (I used spinach this time since I didn't have kale on hand)
1 tbsp salt

1. Over medium heat, cook the sausage & crushed red peppers in a large pot. Once cooked, be sure to drain the excess fat, then refrigerate the sausage while preparing the other ingredients.
2. Cook the bacon, onions, and garlic until the onions are soft and translucent.
3. Turn the stove up to high and add the water & salt, heat until it comes to a boil.
4. Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft.
5. Add the coconut milk and turn off the stove once heated through.
6. Stir in the sausage & kale.
7. Serve and enjoy!