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 
beautiful fruit salad with oranges, raspberries, kiwi and blueberries

Video #2! Beautiful Fruit Salad with no-sugar Raspberry Sauce

Here’s the link to make beautiful, low carb fruit salad with raspberry sauce– follow the step-by-step video!Make this beautiful fruit salad!

Follow the video link to make beautiful fruit salad with a no-sugar, low carb raspberry sauce. I’ve made this with all kinds of fruit–and it’s always been a big hit at my dinner parties or when I’ve brought it to others. One thing that makes it look so beautiful is to make sure that you add a variety of colors, using fruits such as kiwi, for green, peaches/nectarines in summer for orange/yellow, oranges/tangerines for the same in winter, blueberries and raspberries, etc. The raspberry sauce is made with frozen berries, so the season doesn’t matter. It’s so good and a great dessert for those who want a delicious, sweet, yet low carb treat.

My brother Dan Mainzer, a professional photographer/videographer, (Mainzerphotography.com) was here in Santa Cruz last winter, and we collaborated on a series of three recipe videos. Hope you’ve seen the first one, how to roast Delicata Squash, now followed by How to Create a Fruit Salad with No-Sugar Raspberry Sauce, and coming soon, a Making a Scrumptious Cheesy Appetizer.

I hope you like them! Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Enjoy!

Susan

Arugula and Fresh Fig Salad with Goat Cheese

Arugula and Fresh Fig Salad topped with Crumbled Goat Cheese

Arugula and Fresh Fig Salad

 

If you’re looking for a fresh tasting salad to accompany rich holiday dishes, this is a good choice. The combination of tangy arugula with the sweetness of figs, cucumber freshness and a lemony dressing blends so well together. It’s a tasty, healthy treat rich in fiber and folates *–and very easy to prepare. Topping with crumbled goat cheese adds additional richness and a creamy mouth feel to finish it off deliciously!

Arugula Salad with Fresh Figs, Cucumber and Goat Cheese

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6)

  • 1 large bunch or 2 bags of washed arugula (washed and spun in a salad dryer); you can remove some of the stems if you like
  • 2-4 fresh figs, sliced thin (if fresh figs are not available, use tangerine pieces)
  • 1 small/medium cucumber, peeled and sliced thin (depending on how much you like)
  • 1/4–1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese; (Trader Joe’s sells it in a container)
  • Lemon Vinaigrette:
  • 1/3 cup olive or walnut oil (Walnut oil is a delicious choice)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt-free spice mix (there are several I use–including the 21 Spice Salute from TJ’s–yes, I’m a TJ’s fan)
  • Salt-free lemon pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. Wisk dressing ingredients–let sit for about 1/2 hour to blend–then wisk again just before adding to the salad.

2. Put washed/dried arugula in a large salad bowl and toss with vinaigrette. (Tip: add dressing to salad greens before adding “additions” so that the additions stay on top for serving)

3. Arrange sliced figs/tangerines and cucumber on top of salad.

4. Crumble goat cheese on top and sprinkle with lemon pepper to taste.

(http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/arugula.html)

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Rainbow Swiss Chard

Such pretty rainbow colors!

Such pretty rainbow colors!

The chard stems are cooked first

The chard stems are cooked first

The final cooked chard

The final cooked chard

RAINBOW CHARD

Chard (Swiss Chard) was a new vegetable to me. Rick had made it previously, so I wanted to try it. This is really his recipe.

We buy rainbow chard at the farmer’s market– so pretty, so easy and so delicious! I love the colors! If available, choose the rainbow variety, though the plain Jane is just as tasty. Also, of course, both are low carb, and full of good greens; see the link below for nutritional info. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=16

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 -2 bunches Rainbow (or just green) Swiss Chard
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 3-4 Tbsp good balsamic vinegar
  • Salt free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO: 1. Wash the chard (I use a large colander and wash each large leaf ) 2. Strip the leaves from the stems and cut off ends and discard any large, tough stems. 3. Chop stems into 1/2 or 1″ pieces, then chop leaves into I” pieces; separate stems from leaves. 4. Preheat a large sauté pan, add oil. Add vinegar. 5. Saute stems for approx. 10 min., then add leaves, and saute approx another 10 min. until vinegar is reduced. 6. Add spices and seasonings to taste. Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Low Carb Fruit Clafoutis Dessert

"Fruit dessert made with peaches in a glass pan- without sugar"

No-sugar fruit dessert made with peaches

Summer fruits beg to be eaten and one delicious way is a low carb, no-sugar version of the French fruit dessert, clafoutis.

I make it with Xylitol*, a low carb sweetener that my readers will recognize- it has no weird aftertaste and allows folks with carb restrictions to enjoy at least some sweet tasting desserts to their low carb diet.

Clafoutis! Just the name makes me smile- such a cute word for such a tasty dish! I made this version mainly with peaches, (and a nectarine), but I’ve made it with plums with just as delicious results; (if you read my previous recent blog posts, you’ll know we had a bumper crop of plums this year).

Clafoutis is originally from France, made with dark cherries that traditionally aren’t pitted. There’s a chemical, amygdalin, in the pits which gives a unique flavor. However, I’ve never made it that way. In any case, I’ve been a clafoutis fan this summer especially, and have made it almost every time we’ve had dinner guests. I can’t have it too often!

In winter or fall, it can be made with apples and/or pears. I look forward to trying it then too, but now I am reveling in the summer fruit version.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 4-6 fruits sliced, – peaches, plums, nectarines (depending on size), in any combination; peeled if you like, (I usually don’t peel them). The main thing is to cover the bottom of the pie plate.
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup milk (or milk substitute- I’ve used cashew milk, for instance)
  • 2/3 cup flour- I use King Arthur whole wheat white flour
  • 2 Tbsp. Almond meal
  • grated peel of one small lemon
  • 1 Tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp. Xylitol
  • butter for greasing pan

TO DO: preheat oven 375 degrees F

1. Butter a 10″ pie pan (I use a glass one) and sprinkle 1 Tbsp. of the Xylitol  over the bottom.

2. Arrange the fruit slices so that they cover the entire bottom of the pan. Sprinkle 2 more Tbsps. of Xylitol over the fruit.

3. Combine the remaining Xylitol, eggs, milk, flour, lemon zest, almond meal, vanilla and salt (remember, just a pinch- about 1/4 tsp.); blend in a blender or use an immersion blender.

4. Pour this liquid over the fruit in the pan.

5. Bake for 50-60 minutes until “toothpick” firm and the top is lightly brown. Remove from the oven and place on a rack.

6. Let stand at least 30 minutes before slicing. (if you have no restrictions, vanilla ice cream is great with this.)

That’s it! A real treat!

* https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylitol

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Yummy Plummy Jam

image.jpeg

Colorful, delicious plum jam!

image

Gorgeous plum color!

We had an abundance of plums this year! This was a year we had sufficient rain and that made a big difference–last year due to the CA drought we had barely any crop. Now the tree was laden with Santa Rosa plums; the boughs touched the ground as they were so heavy with fruit. Sounds wonderful and it was, but we had so many that even after giving away boxes of them to our neighbors, we had a lot left. So of course I made plum jam! It’s a big favorite with my family (I’ve made it many times over the years), but this year there’s the challenge of not using sugar. Turned out, Xylitol works great. This jam is as delicious as the sugary kind (we don’t like it too sweet anyway), with full tasting, gorgeous, purple, plummy goodness. Great for gifts if you can part with it!

Plum jam, (or any jam), is actually not too difficult to make, once you have all the other ingredients, big pots, jars, lids/caps, and of course, plums!  And it does help to do it first time with someone who’s made jam before; mainly to give you confidence. (<*

I use a few shortcuts in that I sterilize the jars in the dishwasher on the hottest setting and also boil the lids/caps instead of using a water bath for the filled jars. I use the canning method I describe below, and it comes out great.

* Also, the traditional SureJell method link is below.

(Leave a comment if you’d  like to buy a jar; I’m working on getting a license to sell them through my blog.)

Fresh Plum Jam 

INGREDIENTS (makes 10-12 jars, depending on what size you use; I use 8 oz. jars mainly and a few 12 oz.)

  • 6 cups prepared fruit: 4 lbs. fresh plums; ripe ones are fine. (I make it with Santa Rosa; you could use Pluots, or other juicy plums.)
  • 1 box low sugar pectin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 31/2 cups Xylitol
  • 2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1-2 Tbsp. unsalted butter–to retard foaming and boil over
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon if desired

TO DO:

  • Pit plums. Do not peel. Finely chop or grind fruit or use an immersion blender in deep saucepan or dutch oven. Add water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 min.
  • Measure exactly 6 cups prepared fruit into 6- or 8-qt. saucepot. (You can use the same pot to first boil or transfer–up to you.)
  • Boil lids and rings (2-piece lids). Keep in boiling water until jam is ready.
  • Stir low sugar pectin into fruit in saucepot.  Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on medium high heat, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in Xylitol, lemon juice, (and cinnamon, if desired). Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
  • Lift out lids and rings from boiling water; (I actually do this one 2-piece lid at a time. I lift out the 2-piece lid with tongs for each jar, then fill that jar and so on.)
  • Ladle jam immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rim and threads.  Cover with two-piece lid. Screw bands tightly. Turn the hot filled jars upside down on a towel to cool (this heat seems to help to make sure the jam lids are tight.)
  • After jars cool, turn right side up and check seals by pressing middle of lids with finger. (If lids don’t click down, but spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

* The SureJell website has instructions for the traditional water bath method:

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/surejell-plum-jam-52036.aspx

 

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Grandma’s Fresh Applesauce with Cinnamon

<img alt=" Fresh no sugar applesauce with cinnamon"

Fresh Applesauce with Cinnamon!

IMG_1378

It’s fresh fruit season! Our apple tree is full of fruit and apples are dropping all over our yard. So naturally it’s applesauce time! I realize that usually apples are an autumn crop but somehow ours are ripe now.

My grandma made the best applesauce –kinda chunky yet tender and very flavorful. Her secret was use mainly white wine, lemon juice, cinnamon and a very little water, if any. And yes, sugar. It was always a special treat. And now there’s a way to make Gran’s applesauce without sugar or weird tasting substitutes.

One legitimate lament of diabetics and other carb conscious folks is the lack of sweets and desserts in the diet. One solution I’ve found is making desserts with fruit and using a sugar substitute called Xylitol to add sweet flavor with limited carbs; (the label states that it is “75% fewer carbs than sugar” with “40% fewer calories”). There are 4 gms of carbs per tsp. and 10 calories. (Note: I have no relationship with any Xylitol manufacturers or distributors.)

I use it sparingly in any case, but it definitely makes desserts such as this tasty cinnamon applesauce very satisfying without sacrificing flavor. It’s also easy to make (and smells divine while cooking). I’m sure it will become a staple in your household as it is in mine!

I also make a delicious fresh plum jam using Xylitol and no sugar; recipe to come.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6)

  • 2-3 lbs. fresh apples (best from a tree or farmer’s market)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I like to use any Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough area of New Zealand); you may add more if the apples are too dry.
  • 1/3 cup Xylitol
  • 1-2 tsp. ground cinnamon, and 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4-1/3 cup water as desired or needed
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (optional; you can add blueberries if you like–I like it “straight” best but sometimes add them for a variation, especially if there are an abundance at the local farmer’s market.)

TO DO

  1. Rinse, peel and chop the apples; you can leave some skin on; chop roughly into about 1″ pieces.
  2. Add apple pieces into a large cast iron or dutch oven, on the stovetop with medium high heat.
  3. Add white wine and Xylitol, and cinnamon stick.
  4. Stir constantly, until the apples are bubbling.
  5. Cover and turn down the heat to low, and cook for approximately 1/2 hr., stirring every so often, until the apples are tender. Add additional liquid in small amounts as needed (apples should be moist).
  6. Add lemon juice and ground cinnamon to taste.

 

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com