food freedom

Soup Saturday: Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Kale Soup

This week, I made a soup that is not really new to me but one that I haven’t made since my first round of Whole 30. It is paleo-friendly, gluten free, and dairy free as well.

The flavours mix together well and it is very filling for a lighter soup.

The recipe can be found at Tastes Lovely. Variations I made to the recipe:

  • I used hot Italian turkey sausage instead of sweet Italian pork sausage. This was primarily due to cost. The turkey sausage was on sale and had to be used up right away. However, in the future when making this recipe, I will likely buy hot Italian over sweet Italian because I LOVED how the the sausage made the broth have a little bit of a bite to it. It definitely added extra flavour.
  • I used one very large sweet potato instead of 2 large ones. It yielded about 4 cups.

Tasting notes: It tasted really good immediately upon trying it but it tasted even better the next day for lunch. My mom was a big fan of this soup as well.

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Soup Sunday: Dill Pickle Soup

When browsing through soup recipes, one I would not have thought to make is Dill Pickle Soup. However, through the recommendation of a friend, I thought I would venture out of my comfort zone and give it a try.

I love dill pickle chips – they’re high up there on my list of preferred chip flavours. I also enjoy a good tasting dill pickle.

The soup was incredibly easy to make. The recipe comes from Genius Kitchen.

Variations I made to the recipe:

  • I used baby dill pickles as they were the only ones I could find in my house (only to find larger ones later). I used 5 baby dill pickles.
  • I used instant mashed potatoes to save time

Thoughts:

  • The soup was actually much better than I thought it might be. At first thought, it sounded good but it also came with unfamiliar territory
  • It was more potatoey than it was pickley which made it taste more like a dilly potato soup
  • I would likely make this again but like the jalapeno popper soup, it only made 4 servings.
  • Worth a try for anyone who likes dill pickle 🙂

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Soup Season

Anyone who knows me personally can tell you how much I love soup. While I could honestly eat soup any place, any time of the year, autumn is truly when it starts to feel like soup season.

As I am also trying to increase my food-making repertoire, I have decided to challenge myself to make a new soup a week until the end of (at least) December as part of my meal prep. Two weeks into this challenge and I have already been successful.

Last week’s soup: Creamy Tortellini Soup with Sausage by Gimme Some Oven0-1.jpg

This soup was incredibly easy to make and made lots of servings. Variations I made to the recipe:
– I used Italian turkey sausage instead of pork sausages
– I used 1.5 cups of milk and 3 large heaping tablespoons of sour cream to make it creamier rather than the 2 cups of milk

This week, I made Jalapeño Popper Chicken Soup by Closet Cooking.

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Although my picture of the soup isn’t the prettiest, it sure tasted great! Cheesy with a bit of a bite from the jalapeños and some delicious bacon as well! I did the chopping of ingredients in the morning and through it all together in a pot in the evening which resulted in less mess and a quick meal. The (only) downside to this soup is it only yields 4 servings so it isn’t quite enough for lunch for the week. I did not add corn to my soup as it states in the recipe.

I’d say these two are keeper recipes. I can’t wait to try something else next week!

Have a wonderful Monday!

Low Carb Bagels

Like several people I know, I have hopped on the keto train in attempts to keep myself in check like I did with Whole 30 but be free to eat cheese and yogurt and indulge in the occasional glass of red wine.

I am on Day 5 so far and honestly, it feels very similar to Whole 30. I was tired the first couple of days, had a little brain fog, but those feelings have faded. My eating habits prior to this decision weren’t too bad. I had continued to follow a mainly paleo lifestyle until going to Cuba. I did eat a few more bags of chips than I would have liked but such is life. I have heard really good things about the keto way of life and since it didn’t differ too much from the paleo lifestyle, I figured I’d give it a try.

What’s the Difference? 

Get Healthy U has this great info-graphic to break down the basic differences between the two.

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Why Did I Start?

I have had some underlying suspicions that I may have some sort of gluten sensitivity or intolerance. I removed eating gluten as part of the Whole 30 plan and I didn’t want to eat in such a restrictive way again. With Keto, I am free to eat cheese and cream cheese and yogurt and butter and all that dairy that I love but couldn’t have before. There are a lot of great recipes with stevia and other natural low-carb sugars that I can’t wait to try. For more information on what the ketogenic diet is, here’s a link for you: https://www.ruled.me/guide-keto-diet.

Am I Going to Cheat?

Probably in the future. I mean, everything is good in moderation and it might be a little unrealistic to cut out everything bad forever. I understand it is a way of life for many people, but I am still learning how it fits into my lifestyle. By being strict at the beginning, I hope to create good habits and remember all the lessons I learned from Whole 30 and make better choices at restaurants. After a few weeks, will I have a scoop of ice cream? Absolutely. It’s nearly summertime. If I’m at someone’s house and they’re serving non-keto friendly options, I will probably eat some of the non-compliant options anyways. Will I eat an entire loaf of garlic bread? No. Will I have a glass or 3 of sangria? More than likely. It’s all about making smart cheats and not “eating a whole bag of chips” kind of cheat.

Low-Carb Bagels

Now that I have rambled about my lifestyle changes, let’s talk bagels. I am trying to find easy and quick breakfast options since I usually am up and out the door in the morning. I made some flaxseed cinnamon bun muffins last week and they were delicious. This morning, I tried making low-carb bagels.

I used the recipe from WholesomeYum which can be found here: https://www.wholesomeyum.com/recipes/low-carb-bagels-with-almond-flour-keto-gluten-free-5-ingredients/ 

It was so easy to make and had only 5 ingredients: almond flour, baking powder, mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, and eggs. I added Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel spice to the top and it was perfect. My mom really liked the bagels too. I’m surprised in how quick and easy it was. Kneading the dough was difficult with it being super sticky but it combined well. (See pre-oven photo above).

The recipe makes 6 bagels and each bagel is 360 calories. Carb counts: Total Carbs: 8g | Net Carbs: 5g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g

An everything bagel at Tim Hortons, in comparison, is 280 calories but has 53g of Carbs.

I would definitely make this recipe again!

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Chicken Fajitas

One of my favourite things to do when I get to see my boyfriend is cook together. He has been so supportive with all of my goals, especially those for a healthier lifestyle. The past few times we’ve spent the weekend together we’ve made an active effort to cook at least one of our meals and have it be a healthier option.

This weekend, we made chicken fajitas from scratch since we wanted something easy and relatively quick to make.

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 onion
  • olive oil
  • 6-8 white mushrooms
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • half a head of romaine lettuce
  • flour tortillas
  • Shredded cheese
  • Hot sauce

What We Did

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cover a large sheet pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Using one of those slap-chop type things, we diced the onion, bell peppers, jalapeno pepper, and the mushrooms, setting aside the mushrooms and onions, and putting the peppers on the pan.
  3. Cut the chicken into strips and lay onto the pan.
  4. We made our own fajita seasoning. After Whole 30, I have loved making my own seasonings and dressings so we made this fajita seasoning:
    • 1 Tbsp chili powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp oregano
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne optional
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  5. Sprinkle the fajita seasoning onto the chicken and peppers and add the minced garlic all over the chicken and peppers.
  6. Put the pan in the oven for 15 minutes (until chicken is cooked through)
  7. In a large skillet, add some olive oil (~1 tbsp? I didn’t measure this out). Once the pan is heated, add the mushrooms and onions to the pan and cook until onions translucent and mushrooms cooked.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and add the contents to the skillet mixing everything together.
  9. Serve in tortillas with shredded lettuce, hot sauce, and shredded cheese, if desired.

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Whole 30 Day 28

How I’m Feeling 

Today. Was. Rough. I was up on and off all night feeling sick. I’m (hopefully) on the tail end of this stomach bug, so I stayed home to give my body some rest and be functionally closer to a bathroom. However, being home all day left me in a house full of food that I wanted to ate and either couldn’t eat because it made me feel sick or because it’s still Whole 30 and chocolate is still noncompliant. While I had seemingly broken the emotional connections to food in average situations (and even upon some anxiety-provoking ones), I (re-) discovered today that when I am sick, I want to eat like crap and that was an emotional connection I couldn’t break … but somehow did today. I didn’t order Chinese food (despite previous conditioning of me being sick = order Chinese food). I didn’t have some chocolate to feel better. I had chicken soup (without noodles) and really not a lot else.

Day 28, according to the Whole 30 Timeline, is a hard day in general. It’s so close to 30…but not quite. They call it “Day 28: 28 is as good as 30…right?” Ugh, it has felt like that. I have worked this hard to stay committed for 30 days and I am staying true to that commitment.

What I Ate

Blah – what a boring section to write today. Literally all I have eaten today is chicken soup without noodles, some vegetable dish my mom made for dinner, and one clementine.  If my stomach could handle more, I would have done more meal prep for today and the rest of the week. But in the meantime, I have leftover cauliflower rice and chicken and veggies in the fridge for lunch and dinners. Not to mention soup!

TWO. MORE. DAYS. 11357260_1667689656793748_1359635908_n.jpg

Whole 30 Day 27

How I’m Feeling

Well it may be day 27 if whole 30 but it’s also day 3 of the little stomach virus that could. Last night I slept for ten straight hours and haven’t had much of an appetite. Probably out of fear of having to run to the bathroom immediately after, but alas.

What I Ate

Well…not a lot. I had scrambled eggs for breakfast but had to give half of them to my boyfriend since I couldn’t stomach them all.

For lunch, I had a roasted chicken leg and homemade potato wedges (approximately 2).

For dinner I made homemade chicken soup without the noodles. Just drinking the broth has made me feel a bit better. But I also have some kombucha to try and get me through the night.

I’m going to try to go to bed early and get lots of rest to kick this stomach bug’s butt. Fingers crossed!

Whole 30 Day 26

How I’m Feeling

Health wise? Not so great. I have some sort of stomach bug that even Whole 30’s magical digestive powers can’t fix. For the last two days, every time I have tried to eat something, my stomach has felt so sick. Won’t include any gross details here.

What I Ate

Breakfast: lunch meat and fruit. Wasn’t feeling like stomaching much.

Lunch: chicken soup (without noodles)

Dinner: Steak, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, brussel sprouts, and roasted broccoli

Whole 30 Day 24

How I’m Feeling

Six days left and I’m feeling pretty good. I’m worried I’m starting to come down with something as I’ve had an upset stomach the last couple of days and not in the anxious kinda way. My appetite hasn’t been very big but my energy levels continue to be great and my concentration has been much better today. I crossed off three big things on my to do list and am still picking away at more.

What I Ate

Breakfast: egg muffins on the go

Lunch: white chicken chilli leftovers

Dinner: cut up veggies and salt & pepper chicken wings

Whole 30 Day 23

How I’m Feeling

Dare I say it? ONE WEEK LEFT! woohooo! Feeling great but also feeling excited about being done soon. I am so proud of the self control I have had. But I am excited to have a small sliver of birthday cake I have had to miss out on.

What I Ate

Breakfast: Lara bar on the go

Lunch: white chicken chilli

Dinner: pork chop with a baked sweet potato, butternut squash, and broccoli with a side salad and homemade dressing; it was so good I forgot to take a photo so here’s the pic of the salad bowl. The whole 30 approved homemade dressing was soooo good! 😍