Today I can say, without an ounce of hyperbole, that my hair looks AMAZE-BALLS awesome.
It took me an hour and a half and an entire can of Elnett, but gee whiz do I love it. And when you have a good hair day you should always ask a relative to help you commemorate it with photographs that you can later post all over the internet machine.
Today, besides my luxurious hair, I wanted to share one of my favorite healthy recipes.
Months ago when I first started on my weight loss journey, I dove in headfirst with the South Beach Diet. This is a diet that I had used very successfully for short periods in the past. When I decided to start dieting this time, I really wanted to focus on living a healthier lifestyle that I would be able to maintain for years. I knew a big faltering point for me in the past was getting stuck in a rut of eating the same things day in and day out. So I made a conscious effort to try cooking lots of new things so that I would slowly add more healthy recipes to my cooking repertoire. One of my greatest resources during this period was Kalyn's Kitchen. I really encourage anyone who is interested in a sustainable, low carb lifestyle to visit her website. It is loaded with amazing, versatile recipes and great information about the South Beach Diet.
Now, I don't strictly follow the South Beach Diet these days, but it really is a lifestyle I have come to believe in... following the diet taught me to be aware of the carbohydrates I was eating and to eat in a much more conscientious way by focusing on vegetables and lean proteins, but not sacrificing flavor.
This recipe, for Cannellini Bean and Turkey Sausage Stew with Tomato and Basil, was one of the first I tried from Kalyn's Kitchen, and I still really enjoy making it frequently. My version sticks pretty closely to the original with a few teeny-tiny changes, mostly to the amount of liquid used because I prefer mine to be more the consistency of a thick soup than a stew.
Cannellini Bean and Turkey Sausage Stew with Tomato and Basil (adapted from recipe at Kalyn's Kitchen)
Approximately 4 to 6 servings
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 links of chicken or turkey sausage (I always use Johnsonville Turkey and Cheddar smoked sausage because it is all that is available at my local grocery store, but I know there are some great Italian-style chicken and turkey sausages available out there. Oh... and try to find some that contains cheese of some sort, it really adds to the flavor.)
2 to 3 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 T. minced garlic
1 (14.5 oz) can petite-diced tomatoes (unsalted or low sodium preferably)
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
2 to 3 cups low sodium chicken stock (depending on the consistency you prefer... start with two and add more if necessary)
1 teaspoon basil or 1/4 cup of fresh chopped basil (if using fresh add at the very end of the cooking process)
1 T. balsamic vinegar
Start by rinsing your cannellini beans in a collandar until they stop foaming and then set them aside.
Slice the sausage links lengthwise and then crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large pot. Add the sausage and brown. If your sausage has cheese the cheese will start to melt and turn brown on the bottom of the pan. This is a flavor goldmine. Once the sausage is browned, transfer to a bowl. Add another teaspoon of oil and saute the onion for a few minutes. Add the garlic and saute another minute or so. Add the can of tomatoes, oregano, marjoram, basil (if using dried), and the chicken stock. Toss the browned sausage back into the mix. Let this simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes add the cannellini beans and allow to simmer for another 15 minutes. Add more stock at this point if you feel it is too dry.
Now add the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer and meld for another 5 minutes.
Add a Big Salad and dinner is served.
The balsamic vinegar seemed kinda random to me when I first read this recipe, but it totally it adds an awesome umami element to this recipe.
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