Recipe: Veggie Tuscan Soup

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It’s not a filter, it’s steam!

This is my vegetarian version of the Zuppa Tuscana Recipe found here. This recipe is vegetarian, but not vegan.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 potatoes, cleaned, peeled, and chopped
  • 4 cups kale, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large stock pot, heat olive oil.
  2. Add onions, carrots, and celery, cook on medium/low until onions are soft and clear.
  3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add water, broth, bay leaves, and potatoes.
  5. Cook on medium low for 45 minutes to an hour, or until potatoes are soft.
  6. Add Milk, Kale and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low for about 10 minutes, until Kale is cooked, but not soggy.

Serve with breadsticks or cheese toast. This soup makes great leftovers and tastes even better the next day!

 

Weekly Meal Plan

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This week, I’ve got a bunch of event planning and scheduling to do, so I’m trying to plan out some easy/quick meals that use what we’ve got on-hand.

Breakfasts are usually the same for us: Protein shakes for grown ups, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. We have plenty of protein shake fixins’- I bought a lot of very ripe bananas recently, chopped them up and froze them in individual bags along with other fruit to make “shake/smoothie sacks”.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or a protein shake for me and the Mister, and The Big kid has a specially packed lunch of whatever he’s into at the time (which changes frequently). Bitty Bird eats whatever I’ll feed her.

I’m only posting our dinner plans, and links to recipes.

Monday: Pancakes and sausage with fruit (it’s our Group ABA night, so we don’t get home until late)

Tuesday:  Leftover Pizza with  a fresh green salad

Wednesday: Grilled Chicken and Roasted Veg

Thursday: Stir Fry- I picked up a bunch of new sauces recently, I’m pretty excited to try the mall!

Friday: Date Night!! WOO HOO!

Saturday: Tacos with the fixins, after all, it is Cinco de Mayo.

Sunday:  Probably Bean, Rice, and Cheese bowls. We’ll have leftovers from the night before!

I’d love to hear about what you’re having this week! What new recipes are you trying?

4/16/18 Weekly Meal Plan!

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This week, I’ve got a bunch of event planning and scheduling to do, so I’m trying to plan out some easy/quick meals that use what we’ve got on-hand.

Breakfasts are usually the same for us: Protein shakes for grown ups, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. We have plenty of protein shake fixins’- I bought a lot of very ripe bananas recently, chopped them up and froze them in individual bags along with other fruit to make “shake/smoothie sacks”.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or a protein shake for me and the Mister, and The Big kid has a specially packed lunch of whatever he’s into at the time (which changes frequently). Bitty Bird eats whatever I’ll feed her.

I’m only posting our dinner plans, and links to recipes.

Monday: Grilled cheese and soup (it’s our Group ABA night, so we don’t get home until late)

Tuesday: Chicken and Wild Rice (based on a recipe here, minor tweaks to the recipe have been made), steamed brocolli

Wednesday: Fritatta with whatever veggies I have in the fridge (probably onion, shallot, spinach, and brocolli), and cheese (of course!). Served with Fruit salad.

Thursday: We are having a friend over, so I’ll probably make Salsa Chicken, and I’ll add some black or cannelli beans. Served with green salad.

Friday: Date Night!! WOO HOO! We’re going to go see Infinity Wars. Not sure what we’ll have for dinner. The kids will probably have grilled cheese and fruit.

Saturday: I’ll bust out the crockpot and make BBQ chicken. We’ve got  some events that day, so I want a dinner that’s quick to serve. Probably brown rice, steamed vegg, and fruit salad.

Sunday: I’m thinking Pizza! Either we’ll make a batch of dough and do a DIY pizza night, or, we’ll order delivery. Either way, we’ll have leftover fruit salad to go with it.

What’s with my obsession with Fruit Salad? We eat a lot of fruit, and fruit salad is a quick, tasty food to prep, everyone likes it (which is saying a lot in this house). I can make one batch and it’s good for 2-3 meals, plus the occasional snack. For those who are curious, I’ll post my recipe later this week.

I’d love to hear about what you’re having this week! What new recipes are you trying?

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.

1/8/18: Meal Plan Monday!

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Ok, so I’m a day late. Yesterday I was deep into the Annual Toy Purge, and I didn’t stop going until I collapsed last night about 9:30!

I’m just posting dinners for our meal plan. The kiddos lately have been having protein pancakes (I like Kodiak Cakes mix- it’s yummy and very versatile) with butter and Peanut butter. Hubs likes Oatmeal (my recipe for an easy almost instant oatmeal mix can be found here) if he’s got time, otherwise he and I have protein shakes. We mix it up, and have different flavors and mix in all kinds of stuff into our shakes, so as not to get bored. Here area few of our favorite recipes.

Lunches for Lil’ Man are usually Peanut butter and crackers, fruit, milk, a protein muffin (aka a kid cupcake), and applesauce cup. He takes his lunch every day! Hubs usually has a protein shake or I pack him leftovers or a frozen entree.

Bitty Bird and I usually have leftovers from the night before, or soup, sandwiches, quesadillas. She eats almost anything!

Monday:

  • D: BBQ Pulled chicken, brown rice, and steamed veg

Tuesday:

  • D: Lentil Soup and Cheese toast

Weds:

  • D: Bacon, eggs, and fruit salad

Thursday:

  • D: Lasagna ( I have some in the freezer from the last huge batch I made)

Friday:

  • D:  Date Night (dinner out)

Saturday:

  • D:   Pancake bar (I set out all kinds of mix-ins and topping and we just go wild) and Fruit Salad

Sunday:

  • D:  Leftovers!

The menu may change, as  I pull stuff out of the pantry to rotate what we’ve got (I am trying to cut down on waste, and put the older stuff up front to get eaten first).  It’s cold and rainy here in San Diego right now, so we may end up having more soup and salads if I don’t feel like cooking or get busy doing other stuff.

Meal Plan Monday: The First One of the Year!

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WOO HOO! Time for a new year and a new week, and that means a new meal plan!

I’m just posting dinners for our meal plan. The kiddos lately have been having protein pancakes (I like Kodiak Cakes mix- it’s yummy and very versatile) with butter and Peanut butter. Hubs likes Oatmeal (my recipe for an easy almost instant oatmeal mix can be found here) if he’s got time, otherwise he and I have protein shakes. We mix it up, and have different flavors and mix in all kinds of stuff into our shakes, so as not to get bored. Here area few of our favorite recipes.

Lunches for Lil’ Man are usually Peanut butter and crackers, fruit, milk, a protein muffin (aka a kid cupcake), and applesauce cup. He takes his lunch every day! Hubs usually has a protein shake or I pack him leftovers or a frozen entree.

Bitty Bird and I usually have leftovers from the night before, or soup, sandwiches, quesadillas. She eats almost anything!

Monday:

  • D: Salsa Chicken with brown Rice and veggies

Tuesday:

  • D: Baked Ziti and steamed brocolli

Weds:

  • D: Frittata (with bacon and veggies)

Thursday:

  • D: Stir Fry (chicken and veggies)

Friday:

  • D:  Date Night (dinner out)

Saturday:

  • D:   breakfast for drinner

Sunday:

  • D:  Leftovers!

The menu may change, as  I pull stuff out of the pantry to rotate what we’ve got (I am trying to cut down on waste, and put the older stuff up front to get eaten first). Hubs is recuperating from the flu from hell and laryngitis, so we may end up having soup or stew one night. I stocked up on canned soups last week at Grocery Outlet, and I’ve also got a few containers of homemade soup/stew in the freezer.