Pumpkin Sausage Kale Soup

Mom was looking for a recipe to finish up a can of pumpkin puree that she’d just taken a spoonful out of. We look for recipes to enhance not only our diet, but that of my younger sister who is on a very restrictive diet for medical reasons. While surfing around the internet, Mom found Denise Wright’s recipe (you can find the original here). She made a few changes, and we ended up with a great soup that would make a fantastic lunch but is also light enough for a late-night bowl of something before bedtime after working a long, late shift (Yes, I know. Oddly specific.). Here’s our version:

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings off. (we used a turkey sausage)
​15 oz. can of pure pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups baby kale, chopped (or spinach)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2-3 cups coconut milk, for preferred consistency
pinch of cayenne
1 Tablespoon butter

1. In a soup pot, add olive oil and brown sausage, breaking it into bite-sized pieces.

2. Add peppers, sea salt and pepper and sauté for a few minutes.

3. Add pumpkin, coconut milk, and greens (kale or spinach) and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

4. Stir in butter and cayenne to taste.

5. Enjoy.

We found that the cayenne intensifies as the soup sits, so the nearly imperceptible amount when we first tasted it was much more intense when I came in late and nuked a bowl for dinner. It’s something to keep in mind when adding the cayenne. Also, Mom isn’t much for the Middle Eastern spices, but I love Middle Eastern food, and I think this recipe would be incredible with some cumin, turmeric and ginger.

Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles

I discovered Jimmy Dean Simple Scrambles on my first (failed) attempt at Paleo. I was living in a hotel room at the time, and my cooking appliances were limited to a microwave (permitted) and an electric kettle (not permitted, shhhhhh…). I used to do the whole “omelet in a mug” thing, but I didn’t have a good way to wash dishes. Fortunately, Jimmy Dean caught on to the omelet in a mug thing, too, and made it easier for me.

This one is my favorite, but they come with just bacon or just sausage as well. You empty the egg in to the cup (real beaten eggs here, not liquid eggs) and throw them into the microwave for the amount of time on the instructions. Take them out, stir in the…well…stir-ins, and nuke it some more. Then you have a nice scrambled egg breakfast to go and no dishes to wash up later.

I will admit there is a little more salt in these things than I like to have. One of my most favorite things about them, though, is that the eggs are real. No egg substitute. Good, real eggs. Now that I have a kitchen, I don’t eat these as often, but they are definitely an on-the-road favorite.

Did I mention that the eggs are real?