Sweet Potato, Kale & Chorizo Soup

Sweet Potato, Kale and Chorizo Soup

Tis the season for all things sweet potato, pumpkin, and squash. What do all of these things have in common? Besides being in season in the Fall, they also all have a sweetness to them.

Unfortunately for me, I don’t love sweet. I hardly crave sweets (unless it involves chocolate!), and despise sweet dishes. Ok maybe despise is too strong of a word to use. Dislike would be better. But strongly dislike at that! If I’m going to eat a food that tastes sweet, there’s got to be a savory element to it.

Like my Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Bake. Or my Butternut Squash Soup (that has jalapeño). Or my Curried Butternut Squash Soup. Or my Wonton Tortellini with Butternut Squash and Brown Butter Sage Sauce. You get my point.

As I’m not a huge fan of overly sweet dishes, I’ve got to think of other ways to enjoy the local foods that are in season this Fall.

And thus, Sweet Potato, Kale & Chorizo Soup was born.

I can enjoy sweet potato fries, but only if they come with a seasoned sour cream-like dip that isn’t sweet. And sweet potatoes with a honey-mustard sauce (the mustard cuts the sweetness enough for me) are good. What I don’t love is sweet potatoes with maple syrup, cinnamon, or any of the other sweet toppings.

I bought these sweet potatoes from the farmers market the other week, and needed to figure out what to do with them before they went to waste.

After some browsing through the internet, I stubbled across this recipe from Emeril: New-Style Caldo Verde. Apparently Caldo Verde is a traditional Portuguese soup. I looked at the ingredients and BAM! (as Emeril would say), it looked like the perfect fit. I tweaked it a bit, substituting sweet potatoes for regular and omitting some of the herbs. Overall though, it was amaze balls (yes, I just used that word).

The fiancé, and I am quoting his words here, even stated that this “is the best thing you have ever made”. BAM!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. :)

sweet potato kale chorizo & soup

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

1 bunch kale, leaves removed and sliced thinely

8 cups chicken stock

1 lb. fresh chorizo, removed from casing

2 TBS. olive oil

2 sweet potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

salt and pepper, to taste

cilantro, for serving

cotija cheese, for serving

Directions:

Sauté onion and garlic in large pot over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add in red pepper, salt, and pepper and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Add in potatoes and lower to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes are cooked through and falling apart.

Meanwhile, brown chorizo in separate pan. Drain from fat.

Once potatoes are soft, add in chorizo and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until chorizo is cooked through.

Add in kale. Continue cooking until leaves have softened but are still crunchy and bright green.

Serve, topping with cilantro and cotija cheese.

 

Sweet Potato Kale and Chorizo Soup

Savory or Sweet? What’s your preference?

Any pumpkin, squash, or sweet potato recipes that are your favorite?

Until next time,

Happy Clean Eating!

Kate

Sweet Potato, Kale and Chorizo Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
A hearty and filling soup perfect for a cold night. Healthy and delicious.
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch Kale, leaves removed and sliced thinely
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lb. fresh chorizo, removed from casing
  • 2 TBS. olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cilantro, for serving
  • cotija cheese, for serving
Instructions
  1. Sauté onion and garlic in large pot over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in red pepper, salt, and pepper and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  4. Add in potatoes and lower to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes are cooked through and falling apart.
  5. Meanwhile, brown chorizo in separate pan. Drain from fat.
  6. Once potatoes are soft, add in chorizo and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until chorizo is cooked through.
  7. Add in kale. Continue cooking until leaves have softened but are still crunchy and bright green.
  8. Serve, topping with cilantro and cotija cheese.

Cheesy Kale and Ham Quinoa Cups

cheesy_kale_ham_quinoa_cups

It’s here, it’s here, the last day of the year! And oh how cooooold it has been. I haven’t really wanted to leave the house these past two days (surprise, surprise). Yesterday I finally made it out for a 8:30 yoga class (yes, 8:30 p.m.). And today, I am currently still at home in my scrubs (it’s almost 4:00), contemplating going to the gym and perhaps stopping at one of my favorite discount boutiques before we go out to dinner and ring in the new year with some friends tonight. Well see how far I get with that one… :)

So what have I been doing these past two days? Well let’s see. Cleaning, doing laundry, wedding planning, and yes, spending lots of time in the kitchen. Falling more in love with our new juicer, and whipping up some other deliciousness. Yesterday morning for breakfast I made these little loves: Cheesy Kale and Ham Quinoa Cups. We had extra ham to use up from Christmas, and you can only have so many leftover ham sandwiches (or ham and cheese omelets). :)

I sacrificed some kale that I was originally going to juice, added in the diced ham and some good cheddar cheese. Yum, yum, yum. These are great to make ahead, freeze, and then grab on your way out the door for a hearty (not to mention, healthy!) breakfast.

Enjoy!

Cheesy Kale and Ham Quinoa Cups

Adapted from iowagireats.com 

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked quinoa (about 3/4 cups uncooked)

3 eggs

1 1/2 cup kale, cut into thin strips

1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/3 cup onion, diced small

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix until well combined.

3) Spoon into prepared muffin pan.

4) Bake for 20-25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean and edges are browning.

5) Enjoy!

cheesy_kale_ham_quinoa_cups

Wishing you all a very happy (and safe!) New Year! See you next year, ya’ll.

Cheesy Kale and Ham Quinoa Cups
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Makes 12 muffins
 
Hearty, healthy and delicious. Can freeze to make a great grab-and-go breakfast option!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (about ¾ cups uncooked)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cup kale, cut into thin strips
  • 1½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ⅓ cup onion, diced small
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
  3. Spoon into prepared muffin pan.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean and edges are browning.
  5. Enjoy!

Easy Green Juice

green_juice

Hello there! Are you alive? Have you survived the holidays so far? The new year is just around the corner, and boy has 2013 been a great year.

A few of the highlights of 2013:

  • I accepted a head soccer coaching job at my alma mater (go Polars!)
  • I became a tenured teacher (yay for job security!)

And maybe the biggest of all…the bf is now my fiancé! :)

I always love the beginning of a new year, with the promises, hopes and dreams it brings (same reasons I love the beginning of a new school year). 2014 is going to be just as good, if not better, than 2013! I can just feel it. :)

I’m still on holiday break (for a few more days!) and we have been busy enjoying our loved ones and catching up with old friends, celebrating the holidays, and just plain ‘ol relaxing. It has been beyond wonderful.

For Christmas, we received this awesome Breville juicer:

juicer

By far my most favorite gift of the year.

So the last few days the fiancé and I (sounds so fancy!) have been playing around juicing different combinations of fruits and vegetables. I am so in loooooove! Seriously, I think I might be addicted.

The first day we tried it we kept the combination pretty mild (apple, carrot, cilantro, pineapple), and boy, was it delicious! That first sip is like liquid gold. Pure liquid gold….

apple_pinneaple_juice

It almost looks like a beer, doesn’t it?! A delicious, fresh, healthy beer :)

The second day we tried a similar combination of apple, carrot, ginger, and orange. Again, delicious.

Tonight I decided to kick it up a notch. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and some dark leafy greens…mmm mmm mmm.

Earlier today I was at Whole Foods, and love stocking up on what they have on sale. Which for today included both lacinato kale and curly green kale, organic apples and oranges. All perfect for juicing!

So tonight, I whipped myself up a batch of this. The most refreshing green juice I’ve ever tasted (ok, ok, so I’m partial to my own juice!). But in all honestly, this stuff is aaamaaazing. 

And ironically, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead is on TV tonight. Have you seen it? Me neither! (Or maybe you’re on top of the health documentaries, and you have!).

That’s what my night is looking like. Making green juice, watching a juicing documentary, and dreaming about the juice I’m going to have for breakfast tomorrow. Oh, and procrastinating on doing laundry. Can’t forget about that one. :)

Warning #1: You need a juicer for this recipe. I know they can be a bit expensive, but I would say in the three days I have used mine, they are definitely worth it! You can also possibly find a good used one on sites such as Craigslist.

Warning #2: I wasn’t kidding about the addiction part. You can’t say I didn’t warn you…

Easy Green Juice

Ingredients

2 medium organic apples (I used pink lady, but any of your favorite variety will do!)

2 handfuls organic baby carrots (about 1/2 of a 1 lb. bag)

4 stalks organic celery

1 bunch organic kale (I used lacinato kale, but any kind works!)

1 lemon (peel removed)

1-inch knob of ginger (optional)

Directions:

1) Add all ingredients into juicer.

2) Pour over ice.

3) Enjoy!

green_juice

Beginner Green Juice
Serves: 1-2
 
A delicious green juice. Perfect for those new to juicing.
Ingredients
  • 2 medium organic apples (I used pink lady)
  • 2 handfuls organic baby carrots (about ½ of a 1 lb. bag)
  • 4 stalks organic celery
  • 1 bunch organic kale (I used lacinato kale, but any kind works!)
  • 1 lemon (peel removed)
  • 1-inch knob of ginger (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients into juicer.
  2. Pour over ice.
  3. Enjoy!

Quinoa Salad with Tahini Dressing

quinoa_carrot_kale_salad

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Ours was filled with another Ugly Sweater Party with some of my high school friends, drinks and dinners out with some of our other friends, and Sunday with our families. Doesn’t get much better than that. Besides, we also got to see the new Hunger Games! I would say the second was just as good (if not better!) as the first. I read the books long ago, so I just love seeing what they do with the movies. Now only another year or so until the next (oh the anticipation!)….

Yesterday I stayed home after lunch with some of my family, and got right to cooking and baking. I made this delicious quinoa salad, as well as some gluten-free pumpkin cookies (coming soon!).

This salad is super simple, and quite delicious. Roasted carrots, sautéed garlicky kale, chickpeas, quinoa, and a tahini dressing. Did I mention it’s also super healthy? :)

Quinoa Salad with Tahini Dressing

Slightly adapted from http://dishingupthedirt.com/carrots/garlicky-kale-with-roasted-carrots-and-tahini-sauce/. 

Ingredients

3-4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch matchsticks

1 bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed, and roughly chopped

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)

salt and pepper, to taste

olive oil

For the dressing:

1/4 cup tahini

1/8-1/4 cup water (depending on consistency desired)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp smoked paprika (or to taste)

1 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)

1/2 lemon, juiced

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1) Cook quinoa according to directions, set aside.

2) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss carrots in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake until starting to golden brown (about 10-20 minutes, depending on oven).

3) Heat 2 TBS olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté garlic until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.

4) Add in kale, cooking until vibrant green and soft (approx. 5-7 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste.

5) Toss in chickpeas and heat through.

6) Take off heat and add in quinoa.

7) Combine tahini, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, and red pepper in food processor. Slowly add in water to thin to desired consistency (can also use olive oil). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

8) Drizzle dressing over salad.

9) Enjoy!

quinoa_carrot_kale_salad

Carrot, Kale, and Chickpea Quinoa with Tahini Dressing
Serves: 4-6
 
A quinoa salad with roasted carrots, garlicky kale, and chickpeas. Healthy and delicious!
Ingredients
  • 3-4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch matchsticks
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed, and roughly chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  • For the dressing:
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ⅛-1/4 cup water (depending on consistency desired)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook quinoa according to directions, set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss carrots in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake until starting to golden brown (about 10-20 minutes, depending on oven).
  3. Heat 2 TBS olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté garlic until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add in kale, cooking until vibrant green and soft (approx. 5-7 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Toss in chickpeas and heat through.
  6. Take off heat and add in quinoa.
  7. Combine tahini, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, and red pepper in food processor. Slowly add in water to thin (can also use olive oil). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Drizzle dressing over salad.
  9. Enjoy!

Real Recipe: Sautéed Kale with White Beans

Sautéed Kale with White Beans

First day of my “detox” week. What does that mean exactly? Well, for approximately one week I am going to attempt to eat a diet free from animal products (dairy, eggs, meat), wheat, and added sugar. An no processed food (or very minimal!).

Last night, being I knew this, we had pasta with meatballs for dinner, and went out to Ben and Jerry’s for ice cream. Splurge! It was delicious :) (And yes, I’m already planning what I’m eating when this week is over…frozen deep dish pizza from Chicago – ha!).

Here’s how the first day went:

Breakfast – green “juice” and a banana

Snack: trail mix (nuts and raisins only)

Lunch: quinoa with avocado, black beans, and baby tomatoes

Snack: peach and baby carrots

Dinner: sautéed kale with white beans over jasmine rice

The green juice is really just this green powder mixed in water. It’s all-natural, full of nutrients from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It also has probiotics, digestive enzymes, fiber, and antioxidants. You know, basically everything your body needs but you’re probably not always giving it. I bought it at Whole Foods, and it’s also made by a local company, which makes me feel even better about buying the product. I’m still in the early few days of trying the product, so I’ll report more back once I test it out for longer! Here’s the website if you’d like to see for yourself: http://www.mygreenenergysite.net

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the “detox”. Most of the day I felt pretty great. A bit hungrier than usual, but nothing I can’t handle. Besides, I’ve decided a little hunger can be good if you know it’s a temporary state. I’m no longer in the place of my life where I am purposely eating less because I am struggling with an eating disorder. I’m ok being a tiny bit hungry and know I’m not going to binge on whatever item I am restricting myself from consuming. I’m just here for a week. And you truly are more grateful for all the food you eat when you eat. Period.

So before I made dinner tonight I picked up the bf some chicken noodle soup from Panera (he is fighting off a bad cold!). It was hard to resist ripping off a piece of that delicious sourdough baguette and dipping into the soup. However, I restrained myself :)

I for dinner made sautéed kale and white beans over jasmine rice. It actually turned out better than I thought it would! I wasn’t sure how the first vegan/wheat-free dinner would go, but it was a nice light, refreshing, and good textured dish. I wanted to make kale and white bean soup, but didn’t have all the ingredients. This turned out to be a good alternative!

I’m also going to attempt to make chickpea curry (the bf hates curry, but being he’s gone most nights this week, I’m taking full advantage!) and veggie burgers this week. Until then, here’s the recipe for the kale and beans. It’s adapted from one of Emeril’s recipes, so you know it’s good :)

Sautéed Kale and White Beans

Ingredients:

2 TBSP olive oil

1 bunch kale, trimmed and chopped crosswise into 1 inch strips

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 small red onion, sliced thinly

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 can white northern or cannelloni beans, drained

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat oil in large saucepan.

Add garlic, bay leaf, and red pepper. Saute for about 30 seconds, or until garlic is fragrant.

Add in kale and red onion. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon over and mix to combine.

Fold in beans, continuing to stir.

Put lid on and sauté on low until kale is wilted and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Serve alone or on top of favorite rice (I used Jasmine)

Enjoy!

photo-11

Recipe adapted from http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/emerils-sauteed-tuscan-kale-recipe.htm 

See you tomorrow for day 2 of detox week! :)

Sautéed Kale with White Beans
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
A healthy, light dish that can be served as a side or over rice for a main course.
Ingredients
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, trimmed and chopped crosswise into 1 inch strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 can white northern or cannelloni beans, drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large saucepan.
  2. Add garlic, bay leaf, and red pepper. Saute for about 30 seconds, or until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add in kale and red onion. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon over and mix to combine.
  4. Fold in beans, continuing to stir.
  5. Put lid on and sauté on low until kale is wilted and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve alone or on top of favorite rice.