companion blog to the e-book the 24/7 Low Carb Diner

Companion blog to the e-book
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Peppered Chicken

I found these pre-seasoned chicken breasts in the grocery store last weekend. They were under two dollars a pound, and from all natural, no antibiotic farm. They were pretty thick, so tonight I cut them into chunks before grilling so they would cook more evenly. After I tasted them, I decided they were peppery enough, but needed something to make them "pop." Love how they say that on TV all the time. I promise from food to wall paint, it all pops.

I chose to add some EVOO and some balsamic vinegar. Very good with the veggie medley of zucchini, red bell pepper and onion. Mmmmm. We had ours with a nice bleu cheese salad, and the carby boy ate some pasta I had frozen. A top of garlic spice blend and some Parmesan cheese is all we needed for a really nice weekday dinner. If you don't happen to have the peppered chicken in your grocery store, just use any pepper blend that has nice big chunks of that wonderful stuff.

Now I am off to work on the newsletter for the Diner. Be watching for it if you have a subscription. If not, check out the website where you can order it. This month I am featuring side dishes made with fresh spring veggies. I bet you will find something new to enjoy with your low carb lifestyle. Some recipes just might be unusual finds from the produce aisle that are often overlooked. Ever enjoyed an artichoke or Nopalitos?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Steak, no Ale

My husband loves steak. He will eat it any time the occasion or budget allows. We don't dine out often, so he doesn't get steak too often. Tonight is an exception. We are in the process of buying a new grill, so I made this inside. Surprisingly, they are quite good. I probably have Aldi's to thank for that. The steaks came from the freezer section. Yes, I know true steak lovers would balk at that, but the price was right. I also picked up a combo pack of seasoning rubs. Tonight's spice rub was Hickory flavored. Very good stuff. To prepare, I let the rub soak in for half an hour before cooking. Then I heated up my cast iron skillet until it smoked. I added the meat, searing both sides. Then I lowered the heat and cooked them through. (Or to your stage of desired doneness)

For a side, I made some steamed cabbage topped with butter and bacon bits. Not quite a baked potato, but John returned an empty plate! After all, who can resist real butter and bacon?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tuna Bento

What a wonderful spring day it has been here. I packed up a nice bento lunch to take to my school co-op today. I was in the mood for something light, so I grabbed a can of tuna from the cupboard.

Light Balsamic Tuna Salad

1 can tuna
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar-- more if you like it sharper
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
touch of sweetener
sprinkle of garlic powder
1/2 small zucchini

I mixed the vinaigrette, but bottled would work too. Dice the zucchini and stir it in with the tuna. Add the vinaigrette.

This was very simple, but tasty.

I also added a wasabi mustard hard boiled egg. That is interesting if you like the flavor of wasabi. Some frozen berries and some roasted almonds rounded out the lunch.
It would be nice if the berries were fresh, but summer is coming.

Now for dinner, the hubby is grilling out some sirloin. The salad is made and the kids will get some rice as a side. Life is good.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

E.Z. Chicken Alfredo

On cabbage of course. Steamed cabbage makes a fine substitute for the dreaded pasta. John raves and raves over this. This is not my usual version, which is extra decadent and full of fats. This is the weeknight version, meant for busy people.

The sauce is a jar of prepared Alfredo sauce. Mine has 4 carbs per serving. To that, I add some extra garlic. We love our garlic and don't seem to mind bad breath. I also add cream cheese. This amount is optional. I added about 4 ounces tonight, but I have been known to use a full 8 ounces with a little sherry to thin it out a bit. The way I do this is to brown the chicken breast in the skillet with a bit of butter and extra garlic--fresh, bottled or ground. When it is done, I dice the chicken and stir in the chunks of cream cheese until it is melted and coats the chicken. Then I add the sauce. Voila. If you are smart enough to be steaming finely shredded cabbage while the chicken was cooking, you are done. Just plate and serve to a very happy family.

To make this even quicker, use precooked Chicken Chunks and add the garlic to the sauce rather than the chicken. You could even cook it in the microwave that way if you needed to. I do like the little browned chunks in the sauce you get with skillets, though.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sausage Roll-ups

Hot Breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. We ran out of eggs today because the snow kept me from getting my grocery run in this past weekend. That is when it is especially comforting to use the Diner system. Even if something happens like that snow, I know I have plenty of food in the freezer to tide us over. With no fresh eggs, I was still able to make a delicious breakfast.

If you have Minute Sausage in the freezer, this is a snap. You could make it up from fresh too. Just brown the sausage. Stir in a brick of cream cheese and a can of green chilies. Mine aren't in the can, but are also in the freezer. I buy a food service size can and freeze them in small batches. Huge savings there.

For the roll up, I just spread a little of the sausage and cream cheese mixture on a Lavash bread and rolled it up. I am not eating any bread products right now, so I just spooned some on a plate for me. The carby boys had theirs over toast. Yummy stuff and very filling too.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Diner Style Coconut Pancakes

Good morning for a diner style breakfast at home. It is snowing outside, so we are huddled up enjoying a quiet day at home. With my oldest college boy home for spring break, I wanted to make a big breakfast. I know he doesn't bother to eat breakfast at school unless his girlfriend sneaks some food out of the cafeteria.

I made sausage and old fashioned pancakes with a low carb twist. Rather than using white flour, I used coconut flour. These can be a little trickier to prepare, but the taste is equal to or better than their high carb counterparts. They don't exactly taste like the coconut, but they are sweet. These are fluffy and satisfying. The health benefits of coconut flour are well known. Once you master coconut batters, you are on your way to tons of healthy treats that make you think you are eating carbs. Coconut flours can vary widely in their moisture content, so be prepared to make little adjustments every time you bake.

I decided to try today's batter in the Ninja blender, hoping that the blending process would whip the eggs up well, and the blades would keep the coconut oil from forming chunks. It worked really well on both tasks. The batter ends up looking more like a muffin batter, so I added a bit more water so I could spread the pancakes out a bit in the pan. I have to admit though, that the thicker batter was easier to turn when on the griddle. So you have a choice. Thinner batter is easier to spread into pancakes, thicker batter is easier to turn. The end result is nearly identical in both taste and texture.

Diner Style Coconut Pancakes

3 eggs
3 Tablespoons of coconut oil
2 Tablespoons cream
2 Tablespoons water
3 Tablespoons coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar equivalent sweetener
1 teaspoon baking powder

Place eggs and oil in a blender. Process until light and lemony colored. Add all remaining ingredients and process until smooth. If desired, stir in additional water until the batter is the consistency you desire. Leave it thicker than average pancake batter, however, as the batter will liquify more on the griddle. Spoon the batter onto a medium hot griddle, prepared with additional coconut oil. One oiling works for all the pancakes you make--no need to keep adding oil to the griddle. Use the back of a spoon to spread the batter into a roundish shape, but leave it fairly thick. Smaller pancakes are much easier to work with. Do not turn the pancake until you see that the edges are well set. Test the edge to see that the pancake is set on the bottom before turning. These pancakes to not form the bubbles on the top as much as wheat four pancakes. They will most probably be a bit darker in appearance as well. The pancakes should rise after they are turned, and will need less griddle time on the second side. Serve with sugar free syrup and butter or berries and whipped cream.

You may add berries or spices to the recipe as you like, but I would add them in by hand after the batter is on the griddle. I like to make my pancakes small; larger than silver dollars, but about the size of large biscuit. They are easier to turn. Three fit in my cast iron skillet. This recipe made 4 pancakes each for two people. It can be doubled. We chose to top them with sugarfree pancake syrup, which we use sparingly because of the sugar alcohols. Yes, it is there in the photo, you just can't see it. Back in the old days, Hubby used to put on so much syrup it would spill off the sides. Times have changed!

Since the weather again forced us to stay inside, this was a cozy, lazy Sunday brunch.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fire the Grill for March Madness

We were expecting my biggest boy and his girlfriend for dinner tonight. But, since the John Brown University Golden Eagles are playing in the semi finals of the NAIA, our students headed off to Kansas City to support their team. That's OK. We grilled out anyway. Remember that we found a superb deal at last week's meat sale? They had 8 ounce ground steak patties for a dollar a pound. Really. They are quite good too. So glad we don't have to limit the meat in our diet--half a pound of beef each!. When you do the research, you really do find out what a bunch of bull we have been taught concerning cholesterol, fats and meats in general. But there are plenty of sites which can explain all that. I just here to tell the "convinced" how to cook and leave the rest to the nutrition gurus.

For our steaks, we relied on some nice smoke flavoring from the woodchips John threw on the charcoal. That and a bit of barbecue sauce. Sugar free of course. For sides, I whipped up a nice Nana's Coleslaw with a Kick. That is the perfect compliment (in the e-book). Add a few of the sweetest grape tomatoes ever, and we had a restaurant quality meal. Too bad the kiddos missed it. I might have saved the meal for a day when the boy manages to come home, but we have complications. He is not leaving until his Golden Eagles win it all--or fail to win, but I won't even entertain that idea. Our weather is not cooperating for a nice spring break either. Our beautiful sunny skies and 70s we had today are going to turn into 8 inches of snow tomorrow. No fun at all...especially if you planned a cookout! Hope my other college kiddo is finding better weather in Dallas this week.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Saint Pat's Shake

It is a tradition at our house. For years, I made these green breakfast shakes and told my then little guys that they were made from broccoli. I warned them that they would get nothing else to eat all day if they didn't drink their milkshake. After much fear and trepidation--for a few years anyway--they tried them. Of course, they were always vanilla with a bit a green food coloring added, but hey, it was fun. I can remember my oldest bragging to a friend that he liked broccoli milkshakes.

Well, sadly everyone is grown up now. I just can't lose that tradition, though, so I made one for my sweet hubby this morning. His shakes are always protein shakes and sugar free, of course. Christian doesn't like them much, so he had to fend for himself. I just used my standard shake recipe, but in case you don't know it, here it is, St. Patty's style.

Saint Pat's Shake

Into a blender, add:

4 ice cubes
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1 ounce cream cheese
2 Tablespoons cream
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
DaVinci sweetener to taste (this morning I used English Toffee flavor)
5 drops green food coloring

Whirl it all up in the blender. Pour it into a shake glass and serve one.

So, tradition upheld. I tried to grow some cute little shamrocks in that tiny pot. I guess I should have started sooner. I definitely don't have a green thumb. Still deciding if I am going to attempt any squash or peppers again this year. Last year was so sad.

Our St. Patrick's Day dinner will not include corned beef this year. Not enough of us like it. Instead, I am making up several meatloaves. One for tonight and more for the freezer. We will be having oven roasted cabbage, though. Hopefully, that will make it feel like a holiday. Interestingly, my Humanities class is studying the Irish Potato Famine this week. I do plan on feeding Christian some potatoes tonight since it is almost always a potato famine around here. After that, he is outta luck!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chipotle Chicken and Caulirice

Mexican night at our house. I had some Chipotle Chicken in the freezer. That makes a really quick entree. Because that is so easy, I made a variety of sides. Christian, got his carbs as nachos. John had a quesadilla made with a Joseph's Lavash bread. No cheese for me tonight, so I had the Caulirice and a bit of salad.

The Caulirice was a bit different than usual. I steamed fresh cauliflower, then used my Pampered Chef Mix and Chop to dice it up finely. (that gadget is featured in this month's newsletter) That way, I could chop it right in the pan, and not mess up a food processor. Less to wash is always good...especially when I need to get dinner cleaned up before Lost starts. I then sauteed the cauliflower with a roma tomato and some chopped fresh cilantro. Real butter made the flavor incredible. Because the meat was highly spiced, I wanted the Caulirice to be more subtle than usual, when I often stir in salsa. It was really good with the buttery flavor coming through. Christian is an avowed Caulirice hater, so I didn't get a thumbs up from him. Oh well, it is hard to please everyone! John and I both liked it though. Even better with a dollop of sour cream.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pasta Sauce Minus Pasta

If you have been a Diner for long, you know that I am frugal. But, I am also a label reader. Both of those skills helped me find a great new pasta sauce. I like the no sugar added sauce here, but I used to have this old favorite. One that came in a can and was pretty darn cheap. The flavor was unlike most traditional sauces, rich with bell peppers and onions.Unfortunately, it had the peppers I love and the sugar I don't. That was the end of that sauce. Last weekend, in a weekend jaunt to Big Lots, I found this prize. Muir Glen Organic Italian Sausage with Peppers. Oh my. This is the flavor I had been missing. In fact, it is even better than the sugary brand! With the price of bell peppers lately, I could not have made this cheaper. Especially not if I had added Italian Sausage as well. Add to that the price of organic foods. Can you believe this sauce is just $1.30 for a 25 ounce jar? My kind of value. Even with the added peppers, this sauce is just two more carbs per serving than the no sugar sauce. 8 carbs is a pretty good carb bargain. Many jarred sauces are 17-20 carbs per serving.

Of course, there is not enough meat in there for the traditional "meataholics" who live at my house, but the sauce is very thick and full flavored. I added a pound of lean ground beef and a few leftover chunks of zucchini.

Speaking of zucchini, I used that wonder veg for our noodles tonight. I pulled out the handy dandy julienne slicer and made some zucchini "pasta." I just sliced a large zucchini, added a couple tablespoons of good olive oil, a shake or two of garlic, and then steamed everything in the microwave. These zucchini strips are good to add to replace noodles in soups too.

The carby boy got some cheap pasta, also from Big Lots. As usual, I made enough of that to store away some leftovers for another meal. Don't just think of your low carb foods when you cook ahead. Cook ahead for the carbies in your life too and you won't be so tempted when cooking.

I just added a side salad and we were ready to eat.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ground Sirloin and Mushroom Gravy

Our meat dock sale featured ground sirloin patties this month. Hubby picked up a package, so I cooked some up today. These are huge patties--8 ounces. That's a man sized meal. My 16 year old couldn't even finish his. The meat was nice and lean. I simply let the patties bake in the oven while I prepared a low carb mushroom gravy. yum.

Low Carb Mushroom Gravy

8 ounces mushrooms
2 Tablespoons beef drippings
1 cup beef broth
2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 Tablespoon cooking sherry
2 Tablespoons sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice and saute the mushrooms in the fat. Combine the broth, onions and xanthan gum. Blend it in a bullet blender until well combined. Pour this mixture over the cooked mushrooms. Stir in cooking sherry and sour cream until heated through. Season to taste and serve over meat.

That was a meal that felt like on old fashioned Sunday dinner, Diner style.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Traffic and Chinese

The world is a mess! But sometimes, that works out alright. We were stuck in a huge mess of traffic tonight. I swear that every tax dollar, every federal incentive dollar has gone into tearing up our streets. Every street it seems. While it took us an hour and a half to go about 5 miles on the highway, my hubby was stuck in the same mess. So much for getting dinner on the table in a timely fashion.

Once John drug his weary bones through the door, he mentioned that he almost called to say to meet him for Chinese food on one of the few clear streets. Being the sensitive hubby he is, and knowing I have been seriously dieting as of late, he refrained from bringing me into such temptation. While I love Chinese food, it is notorious for hiding unrecognizable carbs. So, I changed up our dinner plans a bit for the occasion. Instead of the Hobo Dinners I had planned, I opted for Chinese.

This was possible because my spice cabinet, like the world, is a mess right now. I really thought I had extra soy sauce, but did not. That in turn foiled my plans to make the Chinese soup we were supposed to have for lunch today. But, it did still allow for a quick stir fry to make my guy happy. It is good for my diet too since I am adding back in fats right now, so it all works out afterall.

I simply have used the leftover Chinese Chicken from our Triple Play meal. I added broccoli and celery and a good helping of roasted sesame seed oil. That stuff has amazing flavor! I think I would like old shoe leather if it was drenched in roasted sesame oil. Plus, thanks to my diet efforts as of late, I have found a new love for cooked celery. It is really tasty grilled or sauteed as in this recipe, and adds a great little crunch. I have also discovered that I love chicken and celery soup. Pretty good considering I really do not care for raw celery sticks-- even with peanut butter.

Because the chicken is already marinated and full of flavor, this stir fry did not need a sauce. Since those are tricky to make without starches, that makes this all the easier. Now on to some relaxation after all those traffic headaches!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Embarrassingly Easy BBQ Beef

So easy I blush. Surely this is too simple to blog about, but it is what we had for dinner tonight, so....this is it. Embarrassing, I know.

Crock pot meals tend to be a bit on the simple side. True comfort food. This qualifies on both. All I did today was add a package of beef medallions--that's what the guys at the meat sale call them. They are more like odd sized chunks of, say, stew meat. Great for slow cooking. At $1.50 a pound, we find several ways to eat them. Today, I just poured some of the KC Masterpiece Classic Blend sauce over the top. I do realize there has been a lot of talk about this sauce being discontinued, but the grocery store down the street from me still stocks it. I don't get it, but I am not complaining. I have stocked up just in case my little corner of the planet has the last remaining store of this wonderful stuff. Why is all the diet/diabetic stuff disappearing lately? It's not like America is suddenly skinny.

Today, I cooked this on high for 4 hours. The meat was tender enough to cut with a fork. Since the sauce tends to get a bit lost with the meat juices, I poured a bit more on top after I served it. Good Stuff. The leftovers are great to shred and serve in lettuce rolls with onion and pickle.

I was in the mood for brussel sprouts tonight, so we all had a different side dish. That's not so bad when the entree is so easy. I sure don't make a habit of that though!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Skillet Tricks and Tacos

I have my grandma's old cast iron skillet. I use it often, but sometimes eggs stick. I could never figure out why, when old cast iron is supposed to be nearly as good as a non stick finish. Yes, I had seasoned. Nope, no soaps. So what was the problem? I snooped around online today and found my solution. Armed with new knowledge, I made an egg and cheese base for Mexican Minute Beef for the hubby. It worked great.

I found the secret is not only to keep the skillet oiled, but also to do a couple of little tricks before cooking. Start with a nice, smooth surface. Scrape it with a metal spatula if needed. I read that just a touch of bacon fat is superior to build up the layers of grease needed to keep foods from sticking. I didn't have any of that, so I just used oil. I will try bacon fat next time. The next step is to heat the skillet well before adding food. I waited until a little smoke was evident. Then, if you plan on using salt and pepper, sprinkle those into the empty skillet. They help the non stick quality. I poured in 2 beaten eggs mixed with 1/3 cup of cheese. Wow. It worked--no sticking. I was able to pick up the whole mixture with the spatula! Amazing considering the cheese was all melty too.

Once that was plated, I added seasoned meat and a bit more cheese. Salsa would be good too. I made a tomato, onion and cilantro salad. The boy got regular crispy taco shells for his dinner. He stays away from eggs.

Because I have the Mexican Minute Beef already crumbled and cooked, this meal goes together in no time!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Feed the Freezer...

...and later, it will feed you!

Today I cooked up lots of Freezer Favorites. My hubby brought me 12 pounds of chicken breast. First off, I set almost 4 pounds in my marinade for Triple Play Chinese Chicken. The guys ate some for dinner tonight. Later this week I will make it into a soup and even later, a wonderful salad with bok choy. Both are delish! I featured both of these about a year ago. Look here and here for more info. That is a photo from last year, but trust me it is nicer than a picture of freezer bags. I think I will have enough left over to put some Chinese Chicken Cubes in the freezer for longer term storage, but I need to see how hungry they are this week.

I also saved some birdy breasts to make some Blackened Chicken. The spice mix recipe is in the January newsletter. That is feeding the freezer this week. I cooked it, (love the sizzle in a hot skillet) and then sliced it for really good salads on the go. I love mine with a splash of hot wing sauce and some blue cheese dressing. If you move the slices around a bit while they are freezing, you will be able to grab a few slices at a time for single salads.

After the chicken was done, I decided on the spur of the moment to use the marinade for some beef medallions I was thawing for a barbecue crock pot dish later in the week. So I let those marinate about an hour and then baked them. These too are going into the freezer. I can pull out a meal's worth and defrost really quickly. These work well added to stir fry dishes, or simply reheated with some cauliflower rice or my personal fave--snow peas. I usually keep some rice cooked in individual servings for my carby boy. I should have done that today, but forgot. That skinny boy can eat these as sandwiches too.

Lastly, I made a triple batch of Mediterranean Chicken. All of that went into the freezer too. I found a great deal at Big Lots with a one carb Italian dressing for the marinade. Just a dollar. Doesn't get much easier or cheaper than that. This is one of the Dump recipes that I don't bake before freezing. Easier on prep day, you just remember to thaw the day before.

Since I have been restricting calories, I have not been eating my share of the weekly breakfast casserole. That means I didn't need to bake one today. We still had leftovers from last week. If you find one casserole is just too much, go ahead and do like I did. Slice it into individual servings and wrap well in plastic wrap. Then put the individual pieces into a gallon size freezer bag labeled with the recipe name and the date. Even husbands who don't cook can rewarm these for a hot breakfast.

See what time savers can be accomplished on a Sunday afternoon? (also made some Tilapia soup and experimented with a new recipe for hot wing chicken.) Going to get some yogurt started this evening too. All in a day's fun.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Triple Play Roast Beef

When my college boys aren't around, a crock pot roast goes much farther. This one I was able to turn into a Triple Play meal. The first meal we had as a simple crock pot roast. Instead of potatoes, I peeled up a rutabaga. In went some onion and celery too. Those both add so much flavor.

So my two remaining boys were happy. This is truly a manly meal. For lunch the next day, however, I changed it up a bit. MMM. Smokey Beef Spread. This is actually a recipe I have used with leftover brisket, but roast will do. Since I still have my mom's Ninja machine, I used it to chop up the roast. I think I overdid it a bit and absolutely pulverized the poor thing. This spread really looks nothing like the brisket version. That I have always diced by hand and it remained chunky. I think I prefer the look of the chunkier spread, but the ease of the Ninja version. Maybe, you could use a food processor and try not to overmix. I seem to always get too much of a good thing.

The recipe for the spread is in the e-book. It is basically a mayo and cream cheese dressing mixed with chopped pickles and liquid smoke. Fantastic flavor. This time, since I was running a bit low on roast beef, I added two hard boiled eggs. Fortunately, I did not add those to the Ninja!

To serve the spread, I gave John one half a lavash bread and made it a roll up. The rest went on celery sticks.

The third meal will be a vegetable soup, using the broth from the roast, some leftover veggies baked with it, and some veggies added fresh. Just use what you have in the fridge; nearly anything goes. Mushrooms and celery are great choices.

Monday, March 1, 2010

3 Ingredient Dump--Sticky Chicky

This dump meal has been available to the devotees of Once a Month Cooking for ages. John has decided he really likes it. Christian looked at me crazy the first time he saw me mixing up peanut butter and ketchup. Sounds gross, but ends up pretty darn good. Just substitute the Heinz no sugar ketchup, and the recipe is low carb. Since the newsletter featured 3 ingredient recipes, I had to try this one out for you. This is one of several dump recipes in the newsletter. Can't get easier.

The easiest thing in the world to prep. Just mix the sauce right in a gallon freezer bag. Add the chicken tenders and mix it all up, then freeze.

Sticky Chicky Dump

1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, frozen or fresh
3 tablespoons no sugar ketchup
3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Mix dump ingredients in a gallon size freezer bag. Add chicken and move the bag around until all surfaces are coated with sauce. Freeze, or let marinate for 2 or more hours. Bake thawed chicken for 20-30 minutes or until no longer pink in the thickest parts.

I think the frozen tenders I had purchased on sale had been injected with a solution. After they cooked just a few minutes, the pan was filled with a watery substance. I chose to pour this off so the sauce would stay thick. I don't think fresh, natural tenders would produce that much fluid. Live and learn.

I put all the leftovers in a small divided container and popped it in the freezer. Now John will have his own t.v. dinner some day to take for lunch. If you do the same, don't forget to add that to the freezer inventory sheet or it may get lost. Who knows what may lurk in the back of freezers?

Italian Chicken Sausage Soup

Remember the other day when I gave you the recipe for Chicken Sausage Meatballs? I told you I was planning a soup, and here it is. I had made enough chicken sausage for several meals, so this chicken came from the freezer today. It was not made into balls, I just froze it as a chunk. I defrosted in a microwave, then added to the pot to brown.

Italian Chicken Sausage Soup for One

3-4 ounces of chicken sausage
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
2 cups fresh spinach
pinch of lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of pepper
salt to taste

Lightly brown the chicken sausage in the soup pot. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes.

The chicken sausage is really flavorful and adds so much to the soup. Overall, this is very light on calories too. I just love all those soup commercials that claim how healthy and light their soups are. I am sure with all the additives, this home made soup is far healthier...and fresher tasting too!