Low Carb Tuscany Peasant Soup

What you’ll need:

1 pkg Italian sausage links, remove casing, chop

1 small onion, chopped

2 stalks of celery, washed and chopped

2 tblsp coconut oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 zucchini, peeled, slice lengthwise and slice into quarter to half inch slices

1 can tomato sauce, find one with the lowest carbs if possible

1 can beef broth

1/2 c heavy cream, optional

2 tblsp tomato paste

Granulate stevia to taste, cuts through the acid

Salt and pepper to taste

5 leaves of fresh basil, chopped

Fresh Parmesan, garnish

In small dutch oven over medium heat, sauté onion and celery in coconut oil. Cook till transparent. Add minced garlic, cook for 30 seconds and add sausage. Cook till sausage is mostly cooked through about 10 minutes. Stir in zucchini slices, add tomato sauce and beef broth. Bring to boil, reduce temp and simmer for 15 minutes. 

To thicken, add tomato paste, heavy cream. Now season with salt, pepper, and a little stevia. Five minutes before serving, add fresh basil. This will preserve the basil flavor. 

Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Nutritional Information(according to MyFirnessPal)

Calories: 208

Fat: 8.2g

Carbs: 13.4g

Fiber: 2.7

Net Carbs:  10.7g

I love the fresh basil flavor the most! This a great soup to have on a chilly night, and can be made into a topping for spaghetti squash. Just leave out the beef broth and you’ll have a nice thick low carb meaty Italian sauce. 

NOK TIPS:

This can be made dairy free by leaving the heavy cream out entirely. Which is why I mention it as optional. 

Any sausage can be used, not just Italian. I used a mild Italian sausage, but you can use hot, bratwurst, or kielbasa. Turkey or chicken sausage can also be substituted. 

Hop you all have a blessed week! 

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Italian Chicken and Kale

  

Italian Chicken and Kale

Serves 1

Prep Time: 6 minutes

Bake Time: 30 minutes

2 Tblsp oil (coconut, palm, olive, or peanut whichever you like)

2 chicken thighs, with bone and skin

Half packet of Good Seasons Italian Seasoning

Pinch of kosher salt

2 handfuls of kale

1/8 onion sliced thinly

Set oven temp to 350*F. 

Over medium high heat begin heating up your oven safe skillet. Season chicken with Italian seasoning on both sides and under the skin. 

Add oil to the pan and place the chicken skin side down first. Let it sear for 3 minutes to get a nice crust and color. Do the same to the other side. Move chicken to one side of the pan and add kale, onion, and a pinch of salt. Watch out, this will pop like crazy so keep a lid handy. Place covered pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until meat nearest to the bone is thoroughly done. 

  

I have it plated on a dessert plate, trying to trick myself into thinking it’s a lot of food, honestly it mostly worked! I feel pleasantly stuffed and will seriously be making this again! 

Nutritional Info:

Calories: 440kcal

Carbs: 9g

Fat: 31g

Protein: 30g

Sodium: 696mg

Sugars: 2g

Italian Sausage Sandwich

Afternoon everyone! It’s been some time ago that I started making hot sandwiches for Wednesday night dinners. Mostly because they’re easy to put together, take about 10 minutes to bake and are perfect to grab–n–go on our way to church. I wanted to do an Italian hot sandwich but for some reason our Walmart doesn’t carry the bulk Italian sausage(amongst other things). So we went with Italian links and went from there! Feel free to use any form of Italian sausage for this recipe, spicy, sweet, or mild.

 

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The key to this great sandwich is to use the best ingredients you can get your hands on!

Italian Sausage Sandwich

Yields 1 dozen sandwiches

6–8 links of Italian sausage, pan cooked or grilled

1 brick cream cheese, softened

2 Tblsp dried onion flakes

2 tsp dried minced garlic

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 Tblsp Italian seasoning (or 1 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, 1/2 tsp dried thyme)

1 pinch of red pepper flakes, optional

1 small onion, thinly sliced

5–6 mini sweet peppers, thinly sliced

1 Tblsp butter

salt and pepper, for veggies

12 buns, any will do

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking pan with release foil. Either on the stove top cook sausage till nicely browned or grill. Set aside and allow the meat to rest.
In a medium saute pan, add thinly sliced onions and sweet peppers to melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with lid and let the veggies cook till fork tender. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to use.
In a small bowl combine cream cheese with onion flakes, dried minced garlic, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes(if using). Spread this mixture on each bun half(top and bottom). Place bottom halves on the foil lined pan.  Slice each sausage link on the bias, or at a severe angle and not too terribly thick or thin. You should be able to get 5–6 slices out of each link.
Place three slices on each cream cheese bun half. Top with a onions and sweet peppers, and place the other bun half on top. Bake for 10 minutes or until buns are nicely crisp and serve with favorite sides of chips, fries, or tots and salad.

These are a huge hit, the family always scarfs them up, any leftovers are put in the fridge and warmed back up in the toaster oven or just eaten cold(I prefer them cold the next day). Even if you can;t grill out the links, pan cooking them does an excellent job.

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Italian Pastrami Wraps(Low Carb/High Fiber) and other late night musings…

It’s just one of those nights when I can’t sleep, have had lots of those the last 10 years. I know, doesn’t sound healthy, so I decided to put up my post since I’m up!

Got a question, am I the only one who does this but when I watch a movie or read a book I like to Bing the historical or true facts about something. For instance, yesterday I watched the movie Harem for the first time. Yes it is an old 80’s movie, alright not THAT old, but 1986. Has Nancy Travis, Omar Sharif, Art Malik and Julian Sands in it. I was able to watch it up to a certain point yesterday before having to go out with my Dad and son for the evening. I recorded both parts to the DVR so I could see the ending, and after spending an hour in bed last night then remembering I hadn’t locked the back door or tidied up the kitchen…forgetful I know, I came downstairs and did all that then remembered I needed to finish watching that movie. With the laptop on and the movie going I decided to Bing the Ottoman Empire and figure out about when the movie was taking place. (Have I lost you yet? ADD brain bouncing around…I’m getting to my point I promise!)

During the moments when the Kadin was being her witchy self, Ava Gardner did a fabulous job of being a heinous woman by the way, I would read up on some of the Ottoman history. So am I the only one who does this? I just can’t enjoy something for what it is, a story of young American lady who is kidnapped and sold into the Sultan’s harem and eventually falls in love with the one who sold her in the first place. That actually sounds really bad if you think about it. Can we say Stockholm Syndrome?! All in all it’s a good movie a bit of a shocker that it only received a one star rating. Critics today can be so finicky! But I am someone who has to detour and read about the history or true facts, if any, and get lost in it. Must be how my brain is wired 🙂 It ceases to amaze me that you all keep coming back to read my posts lol with my skewed writing style…oh anyway!

I was truly pulling for Julian Sands character, but he was such a namby pamby, he has played some amazing characters over the years(minus The Warlock…blech, couldn’t stand him in that). But I found myself hoping that Art Malik’s character would admit his feelings for Nancy Travis’ character (Jessica an odd name for the time period) and that they would ride off into the sunset together. I did appreciate Nancy’s character, her strength in not giving up and not giving in. It’s that kind of heroine that I find I can relate to and that most women in general can as well. We all would like to imagine that if we were in her shoes we wouldn’t be any different. The story is so well written that I forgot that as I’m watching it I’m supposed to hate the guy who has sold her into the Sultan’s harem. His character is strong, masculine, and just everything you want in a hero. Just a well written story.

Alright, now you’re wondering when I’m going to get to this Italian Pastrami Wrap recipe, all in good time! Patience my young padawan 😉 Not being someone who is in the know, or on the up and up on such things, I wanted to know if there was a difference between a Sheik and a Sultan. When I think of a Sheik I picture two things, one a very tall swarthy man who is the essence of amazing. Robed in dark handwoven garments, smells of sandalwood and musk, a sword tied at his side, someone who rides a black stallion and whisks red headed American women off to his tent for the happily ever after.

See?

The other thing I picture a Sheik being is this short fat, pot bellied, sweaty man that doesn’t know what soap is or that it even exists, wreaks of wine, stale tobacco and dare I say it? No, I want you all to have some appetite left…ok, so you get it. Alright, but a Sultan is someone that I imagine is a wealthy ruler, you know like in Aladdin.

Maybe not that short or chubby, but definitely gray haired, and did I mention wealthy? Oh, yep, I did. Well, naturally I went back to my Bing search engine and decided to further educate myself 🙂 So here’s what ChaCha had to say:

In the Islamic world, the main difference between a Sultan and a King is that Sultan’s role was defined in the Quran, A Sheikh (or Shaikh) is a noble title in the Islamic world and it is also mentioned in the Quran (but definitely under the Sultan). Later it became a title meaning leader or a person with power, mostly used among Arab nomadic groups. Today there are many Shaikhs in the Islamic World. The equivalent of Sheikh in the western world would be a noble title like Duke, Count, Viscount.

Yeah, I didn’t stop there. English Stack Exchange says this: “Sultan: the title given to Muslim rulers in some countries” and that a Sheik is “1 an Arab prince or leader; the head of an Arab family, town, etc. / 2 a leader in a Muslim community or organization.” I guess that falls in line with what I originally thought(even if it is a tad romanticized). 

Well, y’all have been good sports in putting up with my night owl musings 🙂 There are just some nights where my brain will not shut off no matter what and I don’t finally get any sleep until the wee hours of the morning. Literally, just before the sun comes up do I finally begin to nod off only to wake up around 8–8:30am to get my day started with G–Man. Some life, eh?

Italian Pastrami Wraps

Photos by: G–Man

Yields: 16 half wraps

8 low carb/high fiber tortillas

Pepperoni

Turkey Pastrami

8 slices of provolone cheese

Filling

1 brick cream cheese, softened

2 tsp Italian Seasoning

1/2 tsp Sweet Summer Savory

1 Tblsp Onion Flakes

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

a pinch Red Pepper Flakes,optional

1 tsp dried Parsley

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

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For the Filling: Combine softened cream cheese with the following 8 herbs and seasonings. Then on each tortilla spread this cream cheese mixture generously. You can spread it all the way out to the edges if you like.

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Place about 8 slices of pepperoni near the center.

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Layer with two slices of turkey pastrami over the pepperoni. Here there is only one in the photo, but be sure to place the second slice next to the first one, slightly overlapping in the middle.

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Break a slice of provolone in half and finally top it off over the pastrami.

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Begin to roll the tortilla away from you, making sure it is seam side down. Slice in half on a bias and voila!

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Doesn’t get any easier than that. Now, I made these in the morning and served them for dinner. Be sure to cover them well with plastic wrap before placing in the fridge to allow the flavors to blend and mellow. You can certainly make these a day ahead, or wrap them individually in plastic wrap to keep all week for quick lunches or dinners on the go. I dare anyone to only eat one, they are flavorful and addictive! I personally don’t need any sides to go with this but you can pair it with a lovely salad for a light dinner.

Buon Appetito!

Update: Onion Cheddar Muffins/Squares and Morning Surprise

Good morning gumdrops!! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend 🙂 We certainly had a nice relaxing weekend, boys got their new fall coats, cat naps all around, and Saturday night I made a scrumdilliumptious breakfast for Sunday morning that I plan to post about later!

Friday night we kicked off our weekend with a meatball bake with pasta, alfredo sauce, and a doubled recipe of Onion Cheddar Muffins/Squares. Only I did something a tad different…since we were having Italian for dinner I decided to make these amazing squares more Italian in flavor! This is for a doubled recipe, add the following:

1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp Sweet Summer Savory

1 TBLSP Garlic Powder

1/2 c Parmesan Cheese, plus extra for topping

1/4 recipe of melted homemade garlic butter

Before you add your wet ingredients with the dry, add in the Italian seasoning, sweet summer savory(this will enhance the Italian seasoning), garlic powder, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Give a quick stir to combine and add in your wet ingredients. Pour the dough out onto your prepared pan and gently spread out. Pour the melted garlic butter over the batter, top with more Parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese. Bake for 25 minutes for a nice top crust.

The end result…are you ready?!

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The family was beyond impressed! My Mom said a couple of times that it tasted like the cheddar bay biscuits from Red Lobster. I personally can’t remember how those taste since I’ve only been there once, but these squares are addictive! I bet you can’t eat just one.

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I’m toying with the idea to one day make these into biscuits…yes they are worth it! What about the leftovers? What leftovers?! I think we might have a few in a baggie on the butcher block but that’s it. They’re great to snack on during a game or dip in some marinara sauce. Make up a big pan to take to your next get together and watch them disappear!!

…so, this morning I woke up to a notification on my wordpress dashboard. After not posting anything Friday, Saturday or Sunday I figured it was someone else liking a post from Thursday. I was pleasantly surprised! Ok, floored! I’ve been maintaining this blog since May this year, still a diamond in the rough and I can’t believe that so many folks actually enjoy what I post and share. Y’all are wonderful and make this whole thing worth it every day!

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106 views in one day?! I hadn’t posted since Thursday…I’m happily stunned! Just wanted to share this because it’s all you guys and gals out there who are making this possible! Thank you all so much, you’ve brightened my Monday for sure!!

Have a blessed day!