But if it is another one of those "I'm so busy how can I think about dinner?" kinda days, then this pressure cooker could save your life. Well maybe not your life, but at least your diet. Shortcut number two: I keep a selection of Sprouts sausages in the freezer. Sometimes I am so lazy I don't even re-wrap them from the lump they come in from the butcher department. I just stick them in there, paper wrapping and all. The problem is, the sausages are harder to thaw in a big lump. Bad for a conventional method of cooking, but no problem at all in the pressure cooker. They will steam cook or boil, you choose, in about 9 minutes cooking time. You do have the additional time of bringing the pot up to pressure, but still, not much time. If you are cooking them stovetop, better plan on half an hour and check them to break the big lump at the midway mark. See why I love my electric pressure cooker? When time is up and I have released the pressure the fast way, they have separated and are cooked through. Woohoo.
For this soup, I just used my kitchen shears to "slice" them up. So fast. The slices are tender and delicious. Like I said, they remind me of the meatballs in Italian Wedding Soup. Lots easier to make though. No comparison on ease of prep! Plus, the time the sausages are cooking is not wasted. That is when I chop the fresh vegetables to add in. Efficient, no? Once the sausages are sliced, add in the fresh veggies of choice and back to cook under pressure. A mere 5 minutes on high pressure and you are done. Tender veggies that retain a little character, but blend so well with the chicken flavor.
In my last time saver, I use a can of petite diced tomatoes (S&W Premium) that already have the garlic and Italian seasonings added. Watch for sugar added on some brands. This comes in at 3 net carbs per half cup serving. If you can't find one, just add in your own garlic, basil and oregano to taste. Now ready for the recipe?
Chicken Parmesan Soup
3 Chicken Parmesan Sausage Links (>2 carbs each)
14 oz can diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning
3 cans water (42 oz)
6 oz sliced portabella mushrooms
4 cups finely diced cabbage (could sub fresh spinach)
3 ribs celery, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup shaved fresh Parmesan Cheese
Place the sausage into the pressure cooker along with the tomatoes and water. Bring up to high pressure and cook for 9 minutes if sausage is frozen, 5 if thawed. Chop vegetables while the sausages are cooking. Release pressure using the quick release method.
Remove sausages and slice into bite sized pieces. Return to pot. Add chopped vegetables and salt. Return to high pressure and cook 5 minutes. Let the pressure drop naturally for 5 minutes, then use quick release. Ladle soup into bowls and top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
For a conventional cooking method, thaw sausages. Combine all ingredients except cheese and simmer in a dutch oven on the stove top for an hour or more. Remove cooked sausages and slice. Return to pot. Ladle and top with cheese.
Serves 6: 136 calories 5 net carbs (9) 15 g protein
This is super low calorie. Good if you have been indulging a little too often this holiday season. If not, it gives you lots of room for some fattier low carb treats, like a nice hot cocoa or a fat bomb or two.
For me, the leftover servings are going into mason jars for lunches this week. That makes this a Multiply Meal for us. I know I am going to appreciate this hot meal later this week at school.
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