Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Spinach Soup

-Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Spinach Soup-On my last post, I promised a Whole 30 update once we finished our reintroduction period. I’m late as always in fulfilling the promise, but the update is here nonetheless!

So, how did it go?

It was interesting to say the least. I discovered that gluten gives me a slight headache, but I can handle it in small doses. Dairy gives me digestive issues if I eat too much. Also, I’m just as addicted to sugar as I thought I was!

Bottom line…

Everything in moderation!

I’m struggling a bit with sticking to the moderation thing. Sweets are my weakness. (Seriously, please don’t ever ask me to watch a cupcake for you. I will only watch it disappear….okay, I might watch it for thirty seconds, but after that it’s mine!) Pizza is also hard to stop after just one slice. For this reason, I try to not make these items often. Out of sight, out of mind tends to work well for me. I do feel another whole 30 will be in order in the coming months. I’m sure holiday eating will be rough!

In the end, I’m super glad that I did the Whole 30. It really opened my eyes to how strong of a hold food can have on me, and also what effects it has on me. I’m actually looking forward to my next one, and don’t feel nearly as intimidated as I did the first time around.

Thanks Whole 30!

To help motivate you to start you own Whole 30, I’m going to share another of the many yummy recipes I discovered on my journey. This soup is loaded with sweet potatoes, sausage, spinach, mushrooms, and flavor! My kids loved it as much as my husband, and I. It’s now one of our go to lunch options. Leftovers are great too!

Sweet Potato, Sausage, and Spinach Soup

Yields 6 Servings

Adapted From Peace, Love, Low Carb

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 1/2 Tbsp. Garlic, Minced

1 Large Onion, Diced

8 Oz. Mushrooms, Sliced

1 Lb.Ground Sausage

1 Lb. Sweet Potatoes, Washed and Diced

6 Cups Chicken Stock

12 Oz. Baby Spinach Leaves

1 1/2 Teaspoons Himalayan Pink Salt (Or any non iodized salt), or to taste

1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

3/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, or to taste

In a large pot, add in olive oil, onions, and mushrooms, and saute for five minutes over medium heat until onions begin to soften. Add in ground sausage, and cook until almost done. Add in garlic, and continue sauteing until sausage is cooked through. Pour in chicken stock, and remaining ingredients except spinach. Cover, and c ook soup over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 40 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Stir in spinach until wilted. Serve and Enjoy!

Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Spinach Soup

 

Guacamole Salad

Guacamole Salad  I’ve spent the past month in the kitchen. I’m sure that’s hard to believe based off my lack of post, but it’s true. Why have I been in the kitchen so much? I’ve been cooking every day, three meals a day, for the past thirty days. My husband, and I decided to complete the Whole30! That’s 30 day’s of no grains, dairy, legumes, added sugar, or artificial ingredients. We did it!

I thought the Whole30 would be hard. It was! I also thought it would be life changing. It was that too! My whole outlook on food has changed, as well as my belief on how one’s diet effects every aspect of their life. The Whole30 really opened my eyes to what I was consuming consciously, and subconsciously. It’s amazing to me, how much is in our food that we overlook. Even the food that we think is healthy can be full of yucky preservatives, loads of added sugar, and mass amounts of corn and soy. I thought I was a moderately healthy eater before the Whole30, but I have to admit that I was much more ignorant in my food choices than I ever knew.

I will share with you more of my Whole30 journey in a future post, including an overview of how my 30 days went, and how the reintroduction period effected me, but since I’m still in the reintroduction stage, it’ll have to wait. In the mean time, I’m going to share with you a recipe my husband and I fell in love with during our thirty day journey…guacamole salad!

Guacamole salad is basically non mushed guacamole. You chop everything instead of pureeing. Why is this awesome? Well basically, you can eat a whole lot more! It’s hard to sit down to a big bowl of guac and have more than a few tablespoons (it is for me anyways). Don’t get me wrong, I love guacamole! It’s great on salads, tacos, with chips, etc., but it was always a topping or dip for me. Turning guacamole into a salad (or rather not turning your salad into guacamole) allows for a big helping of all that deliciousness that is not only hearty and filling, but also much more appetizing than a pile of green mush.  Not to mention, it’s just as versatile as it’s mushed counterpart, and goes with so many different meals…no chips needed (although you’re still welcome to include them)! This dish makes a perfect addition to a party spread, a Mexican fiesta, or just a meal at home. It’s definitely one we’re keeping on the menu even after our Whole30 is completely complete!

P.S. Look at that cute little one year old giving me a hand in showing off this yummy salad…she stole that tomato.Guacamole-Salad

Guacamole Salad

Adapted from Stupid Easy Paleo

Yields 4-6 Servings

Ingredients

3 Cucumbers, Seeded and Chopped

1 Large Red Bell Pepper, Chopped

1 Medium Yellow Onion, Diced

3 Medium Avocados, Peeled and Diced

1 Jalapeno Pepper, Seeded

1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, Halved

2 Cloves Garlic, Minced

Dressing

1/3 Cup Fresh Lime Juice

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt (Kosher will work too)

1/4 Tespoon Cayenne PepperGuacamole Salad.

To make the salad, simply add all ingredients together in a large bow. In a separate bowl, add in all the ingredients for the dressing, and then whisk to combine. Add the dressing to your salad bowl, and toss until the dressing and salad ingredients are evenly distributed. That’s it! Easy peasy! Now, just serve and enjoy!-Guacamole Salad-

New York Style Cheesecake with Homemade Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream

-New York Style Cheesecake with Homemade Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream-  Last week was a milestone of sorts. I turned 25! I’m not at all the person I thought I’d be at this stage in my life, but thankfully I can say I’m pretty happy with where I’ve ended up. My husband and I are fast approaching our 10 year anniversary (as a couple), I have three amazing daughters, and I’m well on my way to figuring out this whole grown up thing. Not too bad for 25!

This month also marks another exciting time. Dulce Delicious turns 2! In the past two years, my blog has grown a ton (my first month I only had 100 readers!), and I can’t thank all of you that have read, shared, tweeted, and pinned enough. Thank you!

To celebrate both birthdays, I made a cheesecake…of course! If you’re a frequent reader, it’s pretty obvious that I’m not a fan of a plain cheesecake. I like to add chocolate, coffee, and in this case caramel. Seriously, how can you go wrong with caramel? This cheesecake will knock your socks off! It’s pretty much so the epitome of amazing, and it’s perfectly fitting for a 25 year milestone, or even a two year milestone. Really, it’s pretty perfect for any occasion, and yes, Monday counts!

Happy Monday!

New York Style Cheesecake

Adapted From BrownEyedBaker

Yields 16 Slices

Ingredients

Crust

8 Whole Graham Crackers

1/2 Cup Butter, Softened

1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar

Cheesecake Filling

40 Ounces Cream Cheese,  Softened

1 1/4 Cups Granulated Sugar

1/3 Cup Sour Cream

2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice

1/8 Teaspoon Salt

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Bean Paste

2 Egg Yolks

6 Whole EggsNew York Style Cheesecake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper, and set aside. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients for the crust. Pulse until graham crackers are all crumbs, and the butter is evenly distributed. Pour crumb mixture into the bottom of the springform pan, and press crumbs evenly over the entire bottom of the pan to form crust. Bake for 5 minutes, remove, and set aside to cool.

To make the cheesecake, increase oven temp to 400 degrees. Place all of the cream cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for one minute. Scrape the sides, and then add in sugar, and beat for an additional minute. Next scrape the sides, and add in vanilla bean paste, lemon, and salt and beat for an additional 30 seconds. Scraping the sides again, add in eggs, and beat until fully incorporated. Pour mixture into springform pan, and bake on the center rack of your oven for 15 minutes. Leaving the cheesecake in the oven, decrease the oven temperature to 215 degrees. Continue baking for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the center of the cheesecake is just a little jiggly. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for one hours on your countertop. After that hour, place cheesecake in the fridge to finish cooling for at least three hours.

Homemade Caramel Sauce

Adapted From The Pioneer Woman

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

1/2 Cup Butter

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

While cheesecake is cooling, place all caramel ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium low hear, and cook for 8minutes, stirring very frequently. When done, it should be thick, but not super thick. Allow to cool a bit, and then place into refrigerator to finish cooling.New York Stlye Cheesecake with Homemade Caramel Sauce

Whipped Cream

1 Cup Heavy Cream

4 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste

To make whipped cream, combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium high speed until thickened, and the consistency of whipped cream. Refrigerate until ready to assemble cheesecake.New York Style Cheesecake with Homemade Caramel and Whipped Cream

To assemble cheesecake: Once the cheesecake and caramel are both cooled completely, pour caramel over cheesecake, and spread evenly over the top of cheesecake with a spatula. Next, place whipped cream on top of cheesecake and spread evenly over the top. Serve and enjoy!

 

NY Style Cheesecake with Homemade Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream

 

 

Homemade Coconut Oil Flour Tortillas

Homemade Coconut Oil Flour Tortillas-My family is trying hard to buy as much locally as we can, and to make a lot more of our food homemade. It’s been an ongoing process for the past couple of years, but this year, we’ve been much more serious about it. During this process, we’ve discovered some great blogs like The Prairie Homestead (where I found this tortilla recipe), and some great local shops like Local Roots. If you happen to live in, or are visiting the Wooster or Ashland Ohio area, I’d  recommend checking it out. It is full of produce, meats, dairy, baked goods, and more that is all locally produced, and naturally raised. It is most definitely my favorite store!

Anyways, back to the tortilla’s!

Tortilla’s are traditionally made with lard. I personally never have lard on hand, as I don’t own any pigs, don’t know any pig farmers, and don’t want the ultra processed hydrogenated lard that is sold in stores, so for us using coconut oil is a great healthy alternative. Plus, I always have it on hand!

Despite my excitement over discovering this coconut oil tortilla recipe, I was a little skeptical of my ability to make a tortilla. For whatever reason, having never made tortillas myself, it seemed like it would be quite a tricky endeavor. I was wrong. Homemade tortilla’s are almost effortless with a tortilla press, and even without, it is totally worth the little work it takes. These are way better than the store bought version, and I for one will never go back!

Don’t believe me? Try this recipe yourself, and find out! _Coconut Oil Flour Tortillas_

Coconut Oil Flour Tortillas

Adapted from The Prairie Homestead

Yields 12 6in Tortillas.

Ingredients      

2 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour (You can use half whole wheat if you’d like.)

1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt (Or other fine salt)

4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

3/4 Cup Warm Milk

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt and coconut oil. Pulse a few times until oil is evenly distributed. Add in warm milk and process until dough is formed. Cover the bowl, and allow dough to rest for 20 minutes.Coconut Oil Flour Tortillas

-Coconut Oil Flour Tortillas-Once rested, preheat a skillet to medium heat. Divide dough into 12 balls, and using a 6in tortilla press place one ball of dough in the center, and press down until dough reaches edges. Pull off tortilla carefully and place in the center of you preheated skillet. Cook on each side for 20-30 seconds or until you see a couple golden brown spots on each side. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked. Serve and enjoy!

.Coconut Oil Flour Tortillas.Notes:

If you do not have a food processor or tortilla press, you can do this all by hand. To do so, combine the first three ingredients in a large bowl, and using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your hands, cut the oil into the flour until evenly distributed (there should be little balls of oil throughout all the flour). Add in the milk, and knead until dough is formed. Let rest as stated above, and then divide the dough into 12 balls. Roll out each ball as thin as you can onto a lightly floured surface. Cook as directed above. Easy Peasy!

Homemade (Coconut Oil) Flour Tortillas

P.S. These aren’t just good for Taco’s. They make great quesadillas and wraps, or try something sweet like peanut butter and banana. I love them plain too!

P.S.S. If you are going the taco route, be sure to try my homemade taco seasoning out!