Chicken Sausage and Kale Stew

Chicken Sausage  and Kale Stew

My husband, Doug, is an amazing cook and surprises me with his multiple talents every single day. Last night he made this Chicken Sausage Kale Stew, which he has been making for several years for his parents. This soup is one of his dad’s favorites. As soon as there’s a nip in the air and the weather gets cold, his dad is asking for this stew for dinner. Doug adapted this recipe from Men’s Health Magazine, changing a few things such as grilling the sausage (although you can also brown it in the pan), substituting smoked sausage instead of andouille and adding 2 cans of cannellini beans instead of one. This soup is comforting, hearty and so flavorful. Serve with some crackers or rolls, and dinner is done. This has become our favorite winter stew too!

9 Worthy Winter Soups

It’s the perfect time for winter soups starting with one of my favorite recipes for Lentil Soup. All of these recipes have have something special about them from the use of kale to quinoa to a five ingredient chili. Soups are so healthy and hearty and are the ideal comfort food for January. Let me know which is your favorite!

Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup via Tartlette

Beefy Corn and Black Bean Chili via My Recipes

Kale Soup via Just One Cookbook

Curried Zucchini Soup via Martha Stewart

Organic Broccoli Soup via Deliciously Organized

Chipotle Vegetarian Chili via Ingredients, Inc.

Vegetable Quinoa Soup via Two Peas and Their Pod

Sausage, Kale and Black Eyed Pea Soup via Bev Cooks

Tortilla Soup with Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey

If you have any leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, I have a great recipe idea. This Tortilla Soup recipe is my newest favorite, and it’s a perfect way to use up your turkey leftovers. I served it tonight, and I couldn’t stop eating it. If you don’t have any turkey leftovers, feel free to use cooked chicken (or a rotisserie chicken is perfect if you’re in a hurry). You can also make this a vegetarian recipe by substituting vegetable broth for chicken broth, omitting the turkey and using an entire can of black beans. My 3 kids loved this soup, and they told me it is the best tortilla soup they have ever tried. I took this as a sincere compliment and good endorsement! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday! It was so nice to be with my family and catch up on some rest. I ran a 10K “Turkey Run” on Thursday, and I placed 5th in my age division. I’ll take it! Here is to a great week ahead!

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Did you know butternut squash is technically a fruit? It’s a member of the gourd family along with pumpkin, cucumber and melon as they all have seeds. Its orange color adds to its power of nutrients known as carotenoids shown to protect against heart disease. Butternut Squash also has significant amounts of potassium and vitamin B6 and folate. It’s low in fat and is a good source of fiber. I love using it in soups and this Curried Butternut Squash Soup is so easy, flavorful and heart-warming. Serve with a salad and crusty bread, and that’s all you need.

Super Easy and Healthy Warm Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup is so hearty, flavorful and healthy that I wonder why I don’t make it more often. Two out of three of my kids even asked for seconds when I served this for dinner the other night, and I was thrilled. Lentils are filled with protein and fiber as well as iron, minerals and B vitamins. Lentils come in three main varieties: brown, green and red. Most grocery stores carry brown lentils, usually dried. Green and red lentils may be found at specialty food markets. Unlike other legumes, lentils cook quickly without pre-soaking. Just make sure to rinse away any dirt, dust or debris before adding them to recipes.

Under 30 Minutes to Low-Fat Beef Chili

It has been so cool outside in Birmingham the past few days, so I made one of my kid’s favorites-Basic Low-Fat Chili recipes. With 260 calories and 4.4 grams of fat per serving, you can feel good about eating this heart-warming, simple chili, which my kids love.


My 10 Chili-Making Tips:

1. If your chili is too thick, use broth to dilute it.

2. If the chili is too thin, add tomato paste.

3. Use the best beef you can buy, and add it first.

4. Use fresh vegetables.

5. Cook the chili a day before you plan to eat it.

5. Use dried spices that are fresh.

6. Make a double batch for future meals.

7. Serve leftover chili in tacos, spaghetti, burritos or as a filling in omelets or quesadillas.

8. A touch of unsweetened cocoa powder or coffee give chili an earthy flavor.

9. Freeze leftover chili in an airtight container in individual servings for easy, quick heat-up.

10. Serve as a “Chili Bar” with accompaniments such as sour cream, Greek yogurt, shredded cheeses, onions, crushed blue corn tortilla chips, chopped cilantro and chopped tomatoes.

Note: If you don’t have time to make this recipe. Here’s an awesome shortcut. Purchase the Publix Brand Chili Seasoning Mix and combine with beef, tomato sauce and red kidney beans (as directed on the package), and it tastes like homemade.

Heartwarming Comfort Food: Matzoh Ball Soup

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I have been sick for the past few days which is rare for me. My sweet friend, Heidi, offered to make me some Matzoh Ball Soup. Of course, I turned her down, but made every effort to make it on my own (with tons of help from my daughter, thank you Leigh). It’s three days later, and it still tastes great. It’s perfect for the cold weather we’re having and warms the soul. If you’re short on time, use the Manischewitz Matzo Ball and Soup Mix and add the vegetables above. It’s really great too.