Zuppa Tuscana Soup CopyCat Recipe

IMG_5194.JPGThis is one of my favorite recipes to make and freeze. It makes a great meal to take to someone who is sick, bereaved, or just had a baby.

I discovered the recipe while I was pregnant with Lil’ Man and craved soup. I’ve tweaked it a bit from the original that I discovered online to fit more of our families tastes and sensibilities (the original recipe called for a lot of butter, half and half, and pork Italian sausage).

It’s gluten free naturally, and can be easily made vegetarian. I’ll include substitutions under the recipe.

 

Creamy Tuscan Soup

(Zuppa Toscana Copy Cat from Olive Garden)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb turkey Italian sausage, crumbled (not in the casing)
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers (that’s 1/2 packet of the pepper flakes that come with take out pizza)
  • 1 large diced white onion (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup bacon crumbles (I like the ones from Costco)
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 4 large cartons of chicken broth (your favorite brand/variety)- it’s about 12-ish cups of liquid. You could also do boullion cubes and water if you prefer.
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 3 large potatoes sliced (skin left on)
  • 1/2 bunch Kale or spinach, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Cook sausage in a large stockpot, crumble it up as you cook it.
  2. Once sausage is cooked, add bacon, onions, and garlic, and cook until onions are soft and clear (about 10 minutes).
  3. Add the broth, and cook on medium until the soup boils.
  4. Lower stove to low add sliced potatoes and cook over low heat until potatoes are tender, about 30-45 minutes.
  5. Stir in the milk, red pepper, and the kale/spinach and cook on low for 10-15 minutes, until kale/spinach is tender.

Makes about 10-12 servings.

To make this dish vegetarian, use soy italian crumbles and vegetable stock.

To make this dish vegan, use the variation above, and also substitute the evaporated milk for your choice of non-dairy milk.

As you store this soup in the fridge, it will become spicier, so I recommend no more than 2 days in the fridge before freezing it.

Support your New Years Resolutions with our Uplifting Prize Pack!

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Three weeks into the new Year and there are so many of us that are settling into our routines that incorporate our New Year Resolutions (NYR). One thing that really helped me is posting our family’s weekly meal plan. I love the Weekly Meal Planner pad from Shutterfly- It’s easy to use!

I’ve partnered with my friend Brooke, over at Crying Out Loud to help one lucky winner with their NYR with an awesome Uplifting Prize Pack!

This Prize pack includes:

  • Yoga Toe Socks
  • Adult Coloring Coffee Tumbler (I go one of these for Christmas and I love it! I use it daily- it helps me stay out of the coffee shop). I’ve stuffed it with some of my favorite tea bags!
  • The Gratitude Journal for Women
  • Weekly Meal Planner pad (30 pages)- That’s enough for a whole year, plus a few extras.
  • Multi-color Unicorn Pen
  • $25 Tiny Tags Gift Certificate
  • $10 Starbucks GC (not shown)

To Enter to win, Click here or here to enter.  We’ll randomly choose a winner on 1/27/18. Giveaway is open to all US residents.

Don’t forget to leave a comment as part of the mandatory first entry! Have you turned your NYR into a habit yet? If so, how? If not, Do you need support?

Freebies & Amazing Deals at Vons!

Vons has really been stepping up their game recently. Log on to your Vons account (either on vons.com or the Vons app), click the Just4U button, and search FREE in the search bar.

What you’ll get varies, but my free offers this week are:

A free Pizza and free yogurt! In addition to these great freebies I’ve also got a $5/$25!

Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 9.46.43 AM.pngThis week Smart Ones Frozen Entrees are .99 when you buy four or more. I have a few buy 7, get 2 free peelie coupons from the last time I bought Smart Ones- I tend to buy the ones that have coupons on them, so I can save the extra coupons for future purchases.

We’ve been eating a lot at home lately, so we’ve pretty much emptied the freezer. I re-arranged some stuff, so I’ve got tons of room for an onslaught of entrees!

Here is my plan:

Buy 27 Smart Ones Entrees @ .99/each= $26.73

Redeem $5/$25 Coupon on Vons Club

Use 3 Buy 7, get 2 free Peelie coupons

Total OOP= $15.79

And as a double dip, I’ll submit my receipt to Fetch Rewards where I’ll earn points for my purchase.

 

 

 

Why I Love…. My Smartphone

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I am not what is referred to as an early adopter of technology. I held onto my flip phone until about 2 1/2 years ago. Seriously. My Flip Phone didn’t even have a camera.

Now that I have  smartphone, I don’t know what the hell was wrong with me. My phone does everything! My purse is a lot lighter now that I no longer carry a planner, memo pad, and a few dozen pens with me. I also carry a lot fewer coupons too.

That is mostly because of all of the amazing apps out there. Check it out:

This is just the first page of the Money Saving screens. I have one other that’s mostly grocery store apps (Ralphs, Food4Less,), and also apps like Shopkick.

What I love is that a lot of these apps can be used together, and with paper coupons in some cases.

I recently posted about Dosh. I love that I was able to take advantage of a 10% cash back offer from Denny’s through Dosh, after I had used a $5 off coupon in the restaurant. Then I uploaded the receipt to Receipt Hog to earn points (that I redeem for cash sent to my paypal account), and there was a Cash Dash offer of 2% back.

My full list of Smartphone apps can be found here. 

In addition I use my talk to text multiple times a day. I also have “Hey Siri” enabled, so she can send texts, take notes (frequently ideas for posts or articles), and answer stupid questions while my hands are occupied. I do a lot of work while I’m driving. Siri is like the secretary I’ve always wanted.

I’d like to think that I am more productive with my phone- and my hands free phone holder.