Hearty Kale and Bean Tuscan Soup

 

Delicious Kale Tuscan Soup with veggies and sausage

Delicious Kale Tuscan Soup!

A hearty and delicious cool weather meal is this kale and white bean soup with added veggies, sausages, wine and lots of flavour.

This soup has become our “go to” soup this winter; it’s very robust, filling, and has lots of other good healthy veggies, besides the kale. We also like sausages in it, but if you’re vegetarian you can omit them, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken.

We eat it with whole grain toast dipped in good olive oil, and complete the meal with a green salad with a vinaigrette dressing. I always eat my salad last, in the European way, as my parents were from Germany. Rick now does the same- somehow it’s very satisfying and you don’t crave desserts (as much). (<*

*If you’re interested in the recipe’s nutritional content, I’ve added a list at the end of the recipe (from a site that analyzes recipes). It seems to be pretty accurate although I think the sodium count is lower than on the list; (it is not totally specific for ingredients such as the sausages).

Tuscan kale and bean soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 32 oz. containers broth (I use low sodium chicken broth, but vegetable works fine too)
  • 2-3 sausages sliced (your choice – I use various cooked chicken sausages or mild Italian)
  • 2-3 large carrots, sliced in 1/2 ” rounds
  • 1-2 zucchini chopped in 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 large bunch of kale, leaves stripped and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped into medium pieces
  • 1 sweet potato chopped fine
  • 2 cans white beans- (cannelloni, Northern, etc.)- tip: mash about 1/3 of the beans with a large fork before adding to the soup. This thickens it without additional thickener like flour which adds unnecessary carbs.
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine (your choice, I use whatever we have leftover)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • lemon zest to taste
  • 1 or 2 large Bay leaves
  • Salt free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. Preheat large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add olive oil.

2.  Add chopped onion, zucchini, Bay leaves and carrots. Brown and sauté on medium heat approx. 10 minutes, until somewhat tender. Add garlic and sauté 2 more minutes, making sure garlic doesn’t burn.

3. Add sausages, potatoes and beans, then kale and cook another 4-5 minutes until kale is a bit wilted. Add broth, wine and Spices except for lemon zest.

4. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn down heat to a slow simmer.

5. Simmer on low for approx. 30-40 minutes

6. Test for tenderness (carrots and potatoes especially)

7. Add lemon zest and adjust spices and seasonings to taste.

8. Serve with the always delish green salad, and whole grain toast if you like.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

*

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 6 (501g)
Per Serving % Daily Value*
Calories 209
Total Fat 4.8g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 322mg 13%
Potassium 475mg 14%
Total Carb 25.6g 9%
Dietary Fiber 6.1g 25%
Sugars 4.2g
Protein 12.8g
Vitamin A 96% · Vitamin C 94%
Calcium 9% · Iron 21%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet
Recipe analyzed by 

Great Greek Lamb Shanks (Slow Cooker)

greek lamb shanks in the slow cooker

greek lamb shanks in the slow cooker

Yes, another dish inspired by my recent (May 2015) trip to Greece. This one is so delicious and pretty easy to prepare – especially in a slow cooker. When you’re working it is a real treat to have such a prepared dish ready for you! I chopped and prepared everything the day before; refrigerated it in the slow cooker container and set it to slow cook the next day- I added an hour–it took 9 hours as it was cold from the fridge.

Of course, it’s low carb, with lean meat and lots of good veggies. You may know that cooking tomatoes actually increases the lycopene, which may be especially healthy for men; check it out with your doctor or a trusted nutritionist.

Now the recipe:

Great Greek Lamb Shanks

INGREDIENTS- serves 3-4 (with leftovers; depending on size of lamb shanks)

  • 4-6 lamb shanks, Frenched (a butcher will do this for you- it means making a cut in the bone)
  • 1/4-1/2  C flour
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 med onions thickly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped in 1″ rounds
  • 2 zucchini chopped into 1″ cubes
  • 1 can artichoke hearts (10 oz)
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives (more if you like)
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large can (28 oz) crushed Roma tomatoes
  • 1Tbsp fresh chopped or 1tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt free seasoning/pepper

TO DO:

1. Place lamb and flour in large plastic bag and shake to coat.

2. Heat oil in pan and add lamb shanks in batches and cook until browned on all sides. Remove lamb shanks from pan and place into slow cooker.

3. Heat remaining oil and cook onions and garlic stirring until onions are soft.

4. Combine tomatoes, wine, stock, lemon zest, artichokes and olives.

5. Pour liquid mixture over lamb. Add carrots and zucchini, onions and garlic.

6. Cover pot with lid.

7. Cook on high setting for 6 hours or low setting for 8 hours.

8. Stir in oregano, lemon juice, seasoning and pepper just prior to serving. Taste and adjust.

Serve with whole wheat couscous and a Greek salad- natch!

Enjoy! And yes, Oopa!

www.type2delicious.com

Greek Chicken a la Crete

chicken with olives artichokes mushrooms

chicken with olives artichokes mushrooms

 

Chicken is such a versatile meat; we enjoy it in many of its iterations from simple roast to this delicious Greek- inspired version chock full of flavor (and healthy veggies).

You can buy pre-cut chicken pieces or buy a whole chicken and cut it up yourself. I like doing it that way as it’s fresher and less expensive. Plus I skin my chickens before cooking as well.

Something I learned is not to rinse chicken in advance of cooking- it just spreads any bacteria. Cooking itself kills whatever is on the poultry. Do clean your knives  (or kitchen scissors, cleavers, etc.) and boards thoroughly with hot water and detergent.

Greek Chicken

INGREDIENTS (for 2-4; 2 with leftovers)

  • 1 chicken, cut into pieces (I like organic “smart” chicken)
  • 1/3 cup olives – green and Kalamata mixed
  • 1 package frozen or 1 large (13 oz.) can artichoke hearts
  • 3/4 lb cremini mushrooms, chopped or sliced
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 1tsp dried or 2 Tbsp. fresh minced Oregano or Thyme
  • Salt free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO: preheat oven to 375 degrees

1. Spread olive oil over chicken pieces in 9×13 baking dish (I use glass, but Corning Ware, ceramic or metal are all good- your choice)

2. Mix  garlic, artichokes, mushrooms and add to chicken.

3. Pour wine and lemon juice over chicken and vegetables.

4. Place olives around chicken/veggies. (artistically of course !  (<*

5. Sprinkle herbs, spices and seasonings on top to taste.

6. Cover with aluminum foil- bake for 25 minutes.

7. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes longer (stick a knife in joint of a chicken leg- if juice runs clear you’re done)

Serve with whole grains or brown rice and a Greek salad; (recipe to come soon–please follow!)

Oopa! Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

My Grandma’s Meatloaf

Growing up I took this kind of delicious food for granted. Not anymore! Now meatloaf is so popular- “comfort food” that it is.

This recipe is tried and true; and I have to say, I’ve rarely had a more tasty one.

I’ve added a few changes, but basically this is the recipe I had as a kid. It does have some carbs, but I use whole grain bread in it, and a few more veggies, but here it is.

My favorite thing is the next-day meatloaf sandwich, with lots of ketchup on it-so delicious!

Thanks, Grandma!

healthy-meatloaf-recipe

Grandma’s Meatloaf

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 lbs. lean ground beef/pork mixture or turkey (if I use turkey I use a mix of 3/4 thigh and 1/4 breast meat)
  • 1-2 slices whole grain bread
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 medium onion chopped fine
  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup spinach chopped
  • 1 can tomato sauce (I use unsalted)
  • 1tsp. Worcester sauce (if you like the taste)
  • Salt free seasoning/pepper to taste
  • Tomato paste or ketchup

TO DO:

1. In a large bowl mix ground meat, carrot, spinach and beaten egg.

2. In a separate bowl, break up bread and mix in tomato sauce; mash with a fork until thoroughly mixed.

3. Add bread mix to meat mix; add chopped onion and mix all together thoroughly. ( I recommend using your hands for this- nothing else seems to work as well- it’s actually quite satisfying!) Mix in Worchester sauce and spices.

4. Put meatloaf into a ceramic, glass or your other favorite casserole dish. (I use a spatula); Spead tomato paste or ketchup on top.

5. Cover and bake at 375 F for 40 minutes, remove cover and bake 15 minutes more, until top is brown and meatloaf is bubbly.

6. Serve with your favorite vegetables, brown rice and yes, green salad with a tangy dressing, like my “mustard/garlic vinaigrette.”

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Veggie Lentil Soup

veggie-lentil-soup-ingredients

Fresh, dried and canned ingredients

diabetes-friendly-veggie-lentil-soup-ingredients

Fresh, canned, (we were lucky to be given home-canned tomatoes), and dried ingredients

healthy-veggie-lentil-soup-broth

So good in the pot (added bay leaf)

 

diabetes-friendly-veggie-lentil-soup

Goodness is in the bowl!

A hearty and delicious cool weather meal is this lentil soup, with added veggies, wine and lots of flavour.

Lentils do have higher carbs but they are also are high in protein and fiber. Of course, you can moderate your amounts, depending on your own health situation. For more lentil nutrition info, go to the link marked * at the end of this post.

Some lentil soups are too watery, and some are too thick. This one has the right balance of broth and substance. You can also add other vegetables, and even bacon, but this is how I make it.

Veggie Lentil Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4-1 cup dried brown or green lentils, rinsed.
  • 2-3 cups broth (I use low sodium chicken broth, but vegetable works fine too)
  • 32 oz. can of crushed or chopped plum tomatoes (I use unsalted) or if you have home-canned lucky you
  • 4-5 carrots, in 1/2 ” rounds
  • 2-3 sticks of celery, chopped in 1/2″ pieces, with 2-3 tbsp. chopped green tops
  • 1 large onion, chopped into medium pieces
  • 3-4 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine (your choice, I use whatever we have leftover)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • lemon zest to taste
  • 1 large Bay leaf
  • Optional: 1-2 hot dogs or cooked chicken sausages, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • Salt free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. Preheat large saute pan.

2. Add olive oil, chopped onion, celery and carrots. Brown and sauté on medium high heat approx. 10 minutes, until somewhat tender. Add garlic and sauté 2 more minutes, making sure garlic doesn’t burn.

3. Add veggies to a large pot or Dutch oven. Add lentils, and rest of ingredients, except for lemon zest.

4. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn down heat to a slow simmer.

5. Simmer on low for approx. 30-40 minutes

6. Test for tenderness (carrots and lentils especially)

7. Add lemon zest and adjust spices and seasonings to taste.

8. You can also use a hand blender if you like a smoother texture (or remove some of the soup to a blender and add back into the pot)

9. Serve with the always delish green salad, and whole grain toast if you like. I also like a dollop of plain Greek yogurt to top off my bowl!

*http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/CarbsInGrains/a/Carbs-In-lentils.htm

www.type2delicious.com

Steamed Veggies / Casserole (Double Duty)

image

A delicious dish Rick introduced me too is a compilation of vegetables, brown rice and cheese, which we first serve as fresh steamed veggies and rice and then bake leftovers into a casserole. As usual, amounts and choices are arbitrary – these are what we like. For the casserole we actually kind of throw in whatever we have left over; including once a few sweet potato fries.
Dish 1:
STEAMED VEGGIES, BROWN RICE and CHEESE
INGREDIENTS:
  • Cauliflower 1 whole, broken into flowerets
  • Broccoli (1-2 bunches), peeled stalk and broken into flowerets and 1/2 ” stalk pieces
  • Red or yellow pepper (1-2); I confess that I’m not a green pepper fan, but go ahead and add if you are.
  • Zucchini and yellow squash, (4-5) chopped into 1/2 ” pieces
  • Carrots (3-4) chopped 1/2″ pieces
  • Mushrooms (1/2 lb.) Cremini are our go-to for this. Sliced.
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • Brown rice (I like Lundberg wild and brown rice mix)
  • Soy Jack cheese and goat cheese for grating (would be good with other cheese such as cow’s milk cheddar or Gouda, but Rick doesn’t eat dairy). We like Dayna, a brand of soy cheese and the Midnight Moon, our favorite goat grating cheese from Cypress Grove Creamery.*

TO DO:

  1. Cook the rice according to package directions, approx. 45-50 minutes
  2. In a large pot first steam the peppers, carrots and broccoli for approx. 10 -12 minutes, til they are tender but still firm
  3. Remove the first batch of vegetables into a large bowl
  4. Add the cauliflower, mushrooms and onions to the steamer. Steam for 10 minutes
  5. Add the zucchini and yellow squash and steam an additional 10 minutes
  6. Add the first group of steamed veggies back to the mix
  7. Serve veggies over rice in large bowls
  8. Grate the cheeses on each serving
  9. Optional; serve with your favorite Thai peanut sauce, Siracha, soy or Tamari sauce

www.cypressgrovechevre.com

Dish 2:
VEGGIE CASSEROLE
INGREDIENTS:
    • You guessed it- leftover veggies (plan to have them)
    • Leftover rice–(plan again)
    • 2 large eggs, beaten
    • Optional; add chopped chicken apple sausages
    • Herbs such as Herbs de Provence, Thyme or Marjoram; (I don’t recommend Rosemary or Basil, as their strong flavor will overwhelm this subtle tasting dish)
    • 1/2 lb soy Jack cheese, regular cheddar, Gouda, Swiss, etc.; (use your favorite or a mix for flavor variation) shredded
    • Cheese for grating

TO DO:

  1. Spray olive oil on a 9×13 casserole dish (I use Pyrex or Corning Ware)
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  3. Mix veggies and rice, in a large bowl
  4. Mix in the eggs
  5. Mix in the cheese
  6. Mix in optional sausages
  7. Spread evenly onto the casserole dish
  8. Grate cheese on top ( Parmesan, Midnight Moon, your choice)
  9. Bake for 40-45 minutes until hot and bubbly and brown on top

I serve both dishes with a green salad, usually with an olive oil/lemon vinaigrette; often including a small head of crushed garlic in the dressing; still subtle but tangy.

Steamed Veggies, Brown Rice and Cheese/Casserole (Double Duty)

diabetes-friendly-steamed-veggie-casserole

 


Type2Delicious #4 Steamed Veggies/Casserole (Double Duty)

A delicious dish Rick introduced me too is a compilation of vegetables, brown rice and cheese, which we first serve as fresh steamed veggies and rice and then bake leftovers into a casserole. As usual, amounts and choices are arbitrary – these are what we like. For the casserole we actually kind of throw in whatever we have left over; including once a few sweet potato fries.
Dish 1:
STEAMED VEGGIES, BROWN RICE and CHEESE
INGREDIENTS:
  • Cauliflower 1 whole, broken into flowerets
  • Broccoli (1-2 bunches), peeled stalk and broken into flowerets and 1/2 ” stalk pieces
  • Red or yellow pepper (1-2); I confess that I’m not a green pepper fan, but go ahead and add if you are.
  • Zucchini and yellow squash, (4-5) chopped into 1/2 ” pieces
  • Carrots (3-4) chopped 1/2″ pieces
  • Mushrooms (1/2 lb.) Cremini are our go-to for this. Sliced.
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • Brown rice (I like Lundberg wild and brown rice mix)
  • Soy Jack cheese and goat cheese for grating (would be good with other cheese such as cow’s milk cheddar or Gouda, but Rick doesn’t eat dairy). We like Dayna, a brand of soy cheese and the Midnight Moon, our favorite goat grating cheese from Cypress Grove Creamery.*

TO DO:

  • Cook the rice according to package directions, approx. 45-50 minutes
  • In a large pot first steam the peppers, carrots and broccoli for approx. 10 -12 minutes, til they are tender but still firm
  • Remove the first batch of vegetables into a large bowl
  • Add the cauliflower, mushrooms and onions to the steamer. Steam for 10 minutes
  • Add the zucchini and yellow squash and steam an additional 10 minutes
  • Add the first group of steamed veggies back to the mix
  • Serve veggies over rice in large bowls
  • Grate the cheeses on each serving
  • Optional; serve with your favorite Thai peanut sauce, Siracha, soy or Tamari sauce
Dish 2:
VEGGIE CASSEROLE
INGREDIENTS:
    • You guessed it- leftover veggies (plan to have them)
    • Leftover rice–(plan again)
    • 2 large eggs, beaten
    • Optional; add chopped chicken apple sausages
    • Herbs such as Herbs de Provence, Thyme or Marjoram; (I don’t recommend Rosemary or Basil, as their strong flavor will overwhelm this subtle tasting dish)
    • 1/2 lb soy Jack cheese, regular cheddar, Gouda, Swiss, etc.; (use your favorite or a mix for flavor variation) shredded
    • Cheese for grating

TO DO:

  • Spray olive oil on a 9×13 casserole dish (I use Pyrex or Corning Ware)
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Mix veggies and rice, in a large bowl
  • Mix in the eggs
  • Mix in the cheese
  • Mix in optional sausages
  • Spread evenly onto the casserole dish
  • Grate cheese on top ( Parmesan, Midnight Moon, your choice)
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes until hot and bubbly and brown on top

I serve both dishes with a green salad, usually with an olive oil/lemon vinaigrette; often including a small head of crushed garlic in the dressing; still subtle but tangy.