So, we really like soup during the winter. One of my husbands favorites is to go to Olive Garden and have the “Soup, Salad, and breadsticks” for lunches or dinners. The problem is, you can’t do it too often because of 1-calories, 2-cost… you gotta tip too! So, I’ve been looking up recipes for some of the dishes… and soups were my first stop! Soups seem to be pretty easy for me to try and recreate. And… so far, are turning out AWESOME!
This is my take on the Copy-Cat Zuppa Toscana. The only change I could recommend, is to possibly use kale instead of spinach, especially if you are going to freeze and reheat, it will hold up MUCH better than baby spinach!
- 2 slices cooked nitrite/nitrate free bacon, diced
- 1/2 lb. all natural (no nitrites/nitrates!) Italian Sausage
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 3 cups low sodium organic chicken broth
- 2 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
- dash of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp rubbed sage
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups baby spinach (roughly chopped w/out stems)
- 1 cup half&half
- shaved parmesan as a garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. (I cook my bacon in the microwave… if you don’t, cook it in this skillet first)
- Add Italian sausage to the skillet and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Bring to a LOW simmer and add the spices (cayenne, oregano, sage, salt and pepper to taste)
- Stir in sausage and spinach until spinach begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in half&half until heated through, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve immediately, garnished with bacon and parmesan.
ENJOY!!! It’s a good one! This one had the saltiness and spice of the bacon and sausage combined with the creaminess of the half&half and the crunch of that baby spinach… mmmm!!!! If you put kale in as a substitute, that would add such a good texture as well! AMAZING! Saving this one for sure!
And now, for the quote of the day:
So I had absolutely no clue what I was going to make… I looked at my planned meals, and I had not thawed ANY of the meat that I was going to make… WOOPS! So, then I noticed that I had prosciutto left over from a couple of weeks ago that I hadn’t used… and some extra frozen chicken tenderloins,…. voila! DINNER! I also had a bag of Trader Joes zucchini fries and some lettuce… higher in fat, but making the portions smaller definitely helps with overall calories. This dinner, my portions, was right around 550 calories. I used chicken tenderloins though… a lot of people would opt for an entire chicken breast… which would require more prosciutto wrapped around it… smaller = lower calories!
Ok, so here’s my process:
- 8 chicken tenderloins
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour, or more
- 8 pieces of prosciutto (or 4 if you cut them in half)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 onion chopped
- 1/4 cup homemade basil pesto (NO NUTS or parmesan in the pesto… reduces calories!)
- 1/4 cup half and half (or a little less…. I didn’t use much)
Serves 4 people
- I actually partially thawed my Trader Joes chicken tenderloins. That isn’t something I do often because they cook so perfectly from frozen… but this time I did so that the flour and prosciutto would stick to them. Put the flour and salt and pepper into a bowl, and then dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture.
- Wrap each piece of chicken with a piece of prosciutto.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium and add the diced onions. When it is hot, add the wrapped chicken. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes or so, until browned. Then, in your skillet (IF YOU HAVE A OVEN SAFE SKILLET!!!) put the chicken directly into the oven @ 400 degrees for 8 minutes to finish cooking.
- I served this with Trader Joes zucchini fries that are baked at 400 degrees also, so the temp worked and both cooked at the same time.
- In a small bowl (or glass jar) whisk together the pesto and cream.
- When the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the pan and place onto a serving plate or dish. Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the pesto mixture into the pan to pick up the onions and all of the drippings and stir until it slightly thickens. Pour over the chicken and serve!. Serve with a light lettuce salad!
It was absolutely delicious and spilling over with flavor! To me, completely satisfying and filling. The guys at my table may have preferred another couple pieces of chicken… but then again who wouldn’t when it’s wrapped in bacon, right?
And now, for the quote of the day: