Crock Pot Sausage, Spinach and Bean Soup

January 2017 – Theme

Budget-Friendly Eats

How low can you go? Can you make a meal for less than $3 per serving? Whatever your budget, show us your healthy entree recipe to help keep food spending in check in 2017

I love this month’s theme the Recipe Redux has chosen to use! The New Year usually means New Year resolutions, and that usually has something to do with budgeting or saving more money than you did the previous year, right!? We all have goals that we try to reach and if you are trying to budget or cut back on the amount you spend every night for dinner this dish is a great start to save. It is so easy for money to add up and this can last you all week! Most of the ingredients for this soup is probably already in your pantry or fridge–this is a great way to make sure those ingredients don’t go to waste.

It has been raining more than usual in Monterey these past few weeks and I love it! Rainy weather means soup and cozy comfort foods. I have been on a soup kick lately and I am trying out new recipes with my crock pot. I just started to use my crock pot again because it is so convenient and easy. I wanted to make this soup on my stove and the day I planned on making it, our stove and oven stopped working (how convenient)….but I was still wanting to make soup so I used my crock pot instead. This soup can last a whole week and I like to freeze half of it so I always have soup on hand. Besides this soup being budget friendly, it is also a great hearty soup loaded with fiber, protein and plenty of vegetables!

Crock Pot Sausage, Spinach and Bean Soup

Crock Pot Sausage, Spinach and Bean Soup

This comforting soup is heart healthy, delicious and budget friendly!

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 (12.8-ounce) package of chicken sausage, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, diced

2 cups baby carrots; chopped

2 stalks celery; diced

2 (15-ounce) cans beans, drained and rinsed (I used white beans)

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

2 bay leaves

4 cups chicken broth

2 cup beef broth

Black pepper, a pinch

3 cups baby spinach

1/2 cup pastina (small pasta)

Parmesan cheese; to sprinkle on top (optional)

Crackers or bread for dunking (optional)

Instructions

  1. Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a crock pot. Add all ingredients except for spinach and pasta.
  2. Cover crock pot and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours. During the last 45 minutes of cook time, add pasta and spinach. Stir until combined. Once cooked, enjoy with bread or crackers all week long! Enjoy!
http://kathrynskitchenblog.com/2017/01/crock-pot-sausage-spinach-and-bean-soup/

 

 

recipe-redux-linky-logo

Ravioli and Sausage Bake

A few of my favorite things in life consists of Italian food..Raviolis is one of them.​ This is extremely easy to make and takes only a few minutes to prepare! I would say if you are in a hurry and want to make something hearty, Italian, and delicious, try this!

IMG_4854Pasta Salad close up

Ravioli and Sausage Bake

Ravioli and Sausage Bake

Creamy ricotta filled raviolis come together with sweet Italian Sausage in this luscious bake. I guarantee you can't just have one bite of this!

Ingredients

1 lb of raviolis (I used ricotta filled Raviolis)

1 pack of Johnsonville Ground Mild Italian Sausage or just simply remove the casings

2 cloves of garlic; minced

1/2 yellow onion; diced

2 tsp olive oil

3 cups of marinara sauce (homemade is always best)

1 cup of shredded mozarella cheese

1/4 cup of parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; season with salt. Boil raviolis according to directions on package.
  2. In the meantime, bring a large frying pan or skillet to medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, and onions. Let them sautee for about a minute, then add sausage. Continue to stir the sausage for about 5-7 minutes until it is completely cooked (not pink at all).
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain, and place back into pot. Add about half of the tomato sauce and stir until every single ravioi is covered in sauce. Now time to layer (almost like a lasagna)... In a baking dish, add a layer of sauce to the bottom, then a scoop of raviolis, then a large scoop of sausage, then a scoop of mozarrella cheese, parmesan cheese, and repeat until you are out of ingredients. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted. Enjoy!
http://kathrynskitchenblog.com/2015/04/ravioli-and-sausage-bake/

IMG_4853Pasta Salad close up
IMG_4855Pasta Salad close up

Spinach & Chicken Sausage Stuffed Eggplant

image
There is a good chance this may be my new favorite low-carb eggplant dish. I really don’t know what I was thinking when I made this dish except I wanted eggplant for dinner. Roasted eggplant is one of my favorite things to eat, I would even consider it a treat. It is totally easy to make you would never guess that because it is so delicious. You can get real creative on this one and stuff it with anything you wanted…spaghetti, pasta, quinoa, roasted veggies, ground beef..or whatever else you like. Use your imagination–the possibilities are endless!

Yield: 4

Ingredients:
2 eggplants, cleaned and dried
1 tsp salt
5 Tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken or italian sausages, sliced
1/2 cup diced onion
3 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and minced
2 cups fresh spinach; chopped
1/2 cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon capers, drained and smashed
1 handful of fresh basil; chopped
2 cups of fresh marinara sauce
1 cup mozarella cheese (I used fresh moz)
Sprinkle of parmesan cheese (for the topping)

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut off the edges of the eggplant with a sharp knife. Then scoop out the middle of the eggplants. Rub with salt and let stand to sweat. Dice the inside of the eggplant meat that you scooped out. Rub about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in and around the eggplant and place in oven for 20 minutes.

2. In the meantime..heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onions, garlic, and sausage. Use a wooden spatula to stir and cook for about 6-7 minutes. Then add 1 more Tablespoon of olive oil and add eggplant meat, spinach, capers, and basil. Cook for another 5 minutes or until sausage and eggplant is cooked completely. Stir in the breadcrumbs and take off heat.

3. Now for the stuffing part..stuff eggplant with cooked eggplant mixture and place in a baking dish. Ladle tomato sauce into the baking dish underneath the eggplant and a little bit on top of each eggplant.

4. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 375 degrees F.

5. Uncover and add sliced mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top each of each eggplant to cover. Bake for another 5 minutes and then broil for another 5 minutes. Serve once cheese is melted..enjoy!
image
image

Italian Mac and Cheese

image

Growing up we would always have some type of homemade pasta dish on Sundays as an Italian tradition. We had everything from Spaghetti and Meatballs to Raviolis…you name it we had it. It was my favorite meal of the week! This recipe just sounded so good on this rainy day and it was. I actually got this recipe from one of my favorite Food Network stars, Rachael Ray and added my own twist to it! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Yield: 10

Ingredients:
1 pound ziti rigate, penne rigate or cavatappi (ribbed, hollow corkscrews)
1 pound Italian sweet sausage; casings removed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk (I used low-fat)
2 1/2 cups, shredded Italian 4 cheese blend (Trader Joe’s has a great one!)
1 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Steps:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water and cook pasta until al dente (still chewy), about 10-11 minutes.

2. In a non-stick frying pan or skillet, brown the sausage for about 5-7 minutes or until it is no longer pink. Drain cooked sausage and set aside. In the same pan add olive oil, butter, garlic and sliced mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 4-5 minutes or until mushrooms look golden.
image
image

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add flour to mushrooms and stir, cooking 2 minutes. Whisk in stock, then stir in milk. When sauce comes to a boil stir in 4 cheese blend. When cheese has melted into sauce, add marinara sauce. When sauce comes to a bubble, remove from heat.
image

4. Combine cheese sauce with sausage and pasta, transfer to baking dish. Add one layer of pasta and then sprinkles more cheese in the middle. Add second layer and top with remaining cheese and parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy!
image
image

imageimage