(Crockpot) Light Zuppa Toscana

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I have been surprisingly social all weekend.  I went to a football game on Friday (we won!) (Go Wolfpack!) and then my roommates and I spent the rest of the night with Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen and Cards Against Humanity.  If you have never played Cards Against Humanity, let’s just introduce you to their slogan : A party game for horrible people.

And that it is.

Just take a look at their website.  Or check out this and this.

I also spent my Saturday night bar hopping with one of my best friends/pseudo cousin.  Except that I had to drive home so my bar hopping experience was mostly just me getting leaned on by a bunch of drunk people.

Good times right?

The whole drinking and Cards Against Humanity thing ties together because:

1. Most of the time, if you’re playing Cards Against Humanity, you are simultaneously drinking.

And 2. When I told my roommate, “The only two games I know how to play are beer pong and Cards Against Humanity.  What does that say about me?”, his response was, “You’re an evil alcoholic.”

So there’s that.

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And now about Zuppa Toscana.  It is that delicious soup at Olive Garden with sausage, potatoes, and kale.  The broth is lightly creamy and a little spicy.

It is also 220 calories for a bowl of it at Olive Garden.  That doesn’t seem tooooo bad, until you consider that it has 15 g of fat and 990 mg of sodium in it.  And when you consider that you’re going to have another bowl of it.  And a glass (or two) of wine.  And probably some type of pasta.  And that salad, which also doesn’t seem too bad until you see that there are 150 calories, 10 g of fat, and 760 mg of sodium in it. Also, don’t forget that you’re going to eat like, 4 of those bread sticks (140 calories, 2.5 g fat, 460 mg sodium)

Holy shit, what is in this stuff?

Anyways, I definitely recreated the recipe and lightened it up quite a bit.  I calculated it all up and it was about 350 calories per serving.  The recipe serves 4, so you get quite a big serving of soup for less than 400 calories.  Also, you just throw it in a crockpot.  So easy guys.

Ahem.

*thunderous applause*

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*The recipe was originally from Fix it and Forget it, but has been changed dramatically*

Ingredients:

6 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 c. whole milk or half and half

2 carrots, grated

3 russet potatoes, sliced

4 cups kale, chopped slightly

1 lb. turkey Italian sausage

Dash salt and pepper

Sprinkle of garlic powder

Sprinkle onion powder

1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

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Grate 2 carrots into your crockpot.

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Pour in chicken broth.

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And the whole milk/half and half.

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Slice up your potatoes.

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Add them to your broth.

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Brown the sausage.

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Add it to your broth.

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Sprinkle your spices!

Cook for 3-4 hours on high, stirring every once in a while.

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1 hour, I REPEAT, 1 HOUR before serving, stir in kale.  If you do it any earlier, it will be grossly soggy.  Do you want soggy kale?  Do you?!

No.  You really don’t.

Serve with a light homemade salad and some whole wheat rolls.  Sprinkle it with a little parm.

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Yum yum yum.  This is definitely going to be my fall favorite.

Bonus: It’s gluten free naturally!

It doesn’t taste exactly like the Olive Garden version, but it’s pretty damn close for a light version.  Sometime (when you feel really naughty) go ahead and use regular chicken broth, cream, and pork Italian sausage.  Or just go to Olive Garden and really go all out.  I’m normally not a fan of chains, but I still love Olive Garden every once in a while.

But just make this, okay?

XO Sara

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Healthy Baked Potato Chips with Low Fat Garlic Parmesan Aioli

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I had to take this picture with my iPhone during dinner because I couldn’t keep these chips away from my family long enough to get a decent shot.

They’re that good.  My mom, who is trying to stick to mostly meats, fruits, and veggies couldn’t resist them.  She can’t resist any potatoes for that matter.  We call her the potato hoe.  Is that dysfunctional?  Don’t answer that.

Also, I don’t think anything is better than garlic aioli.  Seriously, it’s good on fries, burgers, sandwiches.  So much stuff.  If it wasn’t frowned upon, I would eat it by itself.

Okay maybe not.  But still, I really like it.

To change it up, I added some parmesan and also made it low fat so that I could indulge without consuming mega calories.  As for the potatoes, I just got tired of roasted potatoes covered with garlic.  So I decided on chips.

The result was amazing.

Ingredients:

Potatoes:

2 lb. red potatoes

2 Tbs. olive oil

Salt and Pepper, to taste

1-2 tsp. garlic powder (according to your taste)

1/2-1 1/2 tsp. onion powder (according to taste)

1/4 tsp. smoked paprika (or regular if you can’t find smoked in your local grocery store)

Preheat oven to 400* F.

Slice potatoes with a mandolin or on your food processor attachment.  Soak potatoes in ice cold water for 15-20 minutes.

See why here!

Drain the potatoes, dry them, and place them on a greased baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.  Mix with your hands to make sure the potatoes are completely covered in oil and seasoning.

Lay them in a single layer on your baking sheet.  Bake them for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy.

Low Fat Garlic Parmesan Aioli

1/4 c. low fat mayo (I recommend Hellmann’s.  You could try with Greek yogurt too but I haven’t!)

3 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. ceyenne pepper

1/3 c. Parmesan, grated

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tbs. olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the low fat mayo, lemon juice, ceyenne, parm, and garlic.  While whisking, add the olive oil.  You may add some milk or some more oil to get the right consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with the baked chips.

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You should be jealous!

Alternatives

  • Vegetarian: Use Greek Yogurt instead of mayo.
  • Gluten Free: You’re good (;
  • Vegan: Add Veganaise or homemade vegan mayo.
  • Paleo: Use zucchini instead of potatoes and Greek Yogurt instead of mayo.

Let me know what you think.

Stay Serendipitous!

XOXO Sara

Healthy Pasta Salad

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Hello friends 🙂

About a week ago, I made this pasta salad recipe and it was super delicious.  Plus, it’s healthy so it’s perfect for a weekday lunch.  In fact, I had it every day last week!

School has been absolutely crazy lately with prom, Grad Nite, and college all coming up!  Luckily, I’ll have a long summer and nice week in Hawaii for my birthday before college life begins.

However, among all the craziness in my life my wonderful boyfriend came  over and surprised me by taking me to lunch yesterday.  That’s a way to have a week made!

Plus we’ve been dating for 2 1/2 years, since yesterday, so that was awesome as well.  2 1/2 years goes quick!

So among your crazy, busy life make this pasta salad for lunches or a dinner side and then you won’t have to worry about  grabbing a fast food bag instead!

Ingredients:

1/2 box of whole wheat penne (or pasta of choice), boiled according to package directions

1 orange pepper, diced

1 cucumber, sliced

1/4 c. Parmesan, shredded

1/4 c. part skim Cheddar cheese, cubed

1/4 c. part skim Colby Jack cheese, cubed

1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

1/4 c. low fat salami, sliced

Dressing:

1/2 c. olive oil

1/4 c. red wine vinegar

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. dried parsley

Salt and Pepper, to taste

1/2 tsp. spicy mustard

1/4 tsp. sugar

While the pasta is boiling, mix together the ingredients for the salad dressing.  When the pasta is drained and slightly cooled, mix the rest of the salad ingredients together and toss with dressing.  Refrigerate until chilled.  Serve.

*More vegetables could always be added to this salad!  Olives, onion, tomato, etc.

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Stay Serendipitous!

XOXO Sara