With all this wanting to eat healthier, smarter, and still be satisfied, I have taken a bit of time to find out what I really crave and what really satisfies me.
One dish that I have made in the past is a pumpkin and sausage pasta dish. I love it. YUM YUM. But it is made with heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, and poured over pasta. I was wanting to recreate the flavors and be a bit healthier.
I used some ingredients I already had on hand, and turned the flavors into a soup. Almost all of the ingredients in the soup were local, the squash came from Mom's garden last fall, the chicken stock came from Mom's chicken, the fresh sage was from a pot on the porch, the sausage was from Mom's pig. The olive oil, the garlic, and the dried herbs and seasonings were the only ingredient not local. The add-ins that were used were not local, but could easily be local.
Sausage and Squash Soup
1 lb. pork sausage
3-4 cups cooked winter squash (I used blue hubbard)
1 quart chicken stock
1-2 cups water
3 sprigs fresh sage chopped
1 tsp dried sage and Italian herb mix
1 tsp garlic powder (minced garlic does work better)
1 TBS olive oil
1/4 cup half and half
salt and pepper
Brown the sausage in the olive oil, with the dried herbs and seasonings. Once brown, mix in the fresh sage and the cooked squash. Heat through. Stir in the chicken stock, adding water to thin to desired consistency. Add half and half and turn off the heat.
Season with salt and pepper.
I served this poured over baby spinach and sprinkled with jack cheese. I also enjoyed leftovers with nothing added.
It was so similar to the pasta dish, but a lot healthier. While I will still make it with the pasta once in a while, this was a wonderful way to enjoy the flavors in a healthier way.