Portuguese Bean Soup

I do not like cold weather. I do not like being cold. I do not like my hands feeling like blocks of ice. I do not like Old Man Winter.

It snowed the other day and not all the leaves here have turned and fallen off the trees/bushes. It was an odd sight to see snow blanketing red and green leaves on the trees. A much different sight from snow on pine needles. I could not tell what season it was. The temperature told me one thing while my eyes were just confused.

The only upside to cold weather is being in the mood for foods that really warm me from the inside, which I need in order to stay warm. Layers of clothes do not help much when my hands are still exposed. Wearing gloves while working around the house is not feasible. I even tried getting a pair of cheap gloves and cutting the fingertips off. Just my fingertips being exposed kept my hands and the rest of me cold.

Portuguese Bean Soup is a comfort food from back home. I had some Portuguese sausage in the freezer and I was trying to figure out what to make to use it up. Soup! Duh!

I realize Portuguese sausage may not be available in your area. I was thrilled to find it in Jungle Jim’s, but they do not always have it in stock. You can use chorizo or andouille in its place. I also use dried beans and I do not soak them. Boil them for about an hour before using them in the soup and they will be done by the time the soup is done. If you want to use canned beans, you can.

This filled up my dutch oven and I had lots of leftovers.

Portuguese Bean Soup

20-24 ounces Portuguese Sausage (or chorizo or andouille), sliced (or halved/quartered and sliced)

1 onion, chopped

1 head cabbage, chopped

1 cup dried kidney beans, boiled for 1 and drained

28 ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes

water

chili flakes

salt

Heat a large dutch oven or soup pot on medium. Add sausage and onion. Cook until both are sweating. Add cabbage, kidney beans, canned tomatoes, and salt and chili flakes to taste. Stir well then add water just until ingredients are covered. Lower the heat then cover and simmer for at least an hour.

Hot Ginger Apricot Sauce

Hot Ginger Apricot SauceI attempted the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. A tension headache started in the middle of Day 1 and continued into Day 2 until I caved and had some coffee. I figured in the grand scheme, if I was going off the rails to help kill a headache, better with caffeine than ibuprofen. The headache was gone within minutes. If only my former migraines were so kind. I had this headache about a month before. It lasted for days. Even the chiropractor and acupuncture didn’t have a lasting effect on it, just a few hours of relief. It wasn’t until I broke down and had a Cherry Coke that it went away nearly a week after it started.

So this headache niggled. It went away that night but it taunted me all week. “I’m still here,” it snickered. Saturday it decided to throw a party while getting my hair done. We were supposed to be driving down for our niece’s first birthday party and having a headache was not an option. I picked up some coffee on my way home only to find the party was canceled, but my headache was leaving. Or so I thought. It’s still playing games with me.

I decided that there seems to be something going on putting stress on my body that is causing these headaches. Trying to do a special diet not required was only adding to the stress on my body. I would prefer not to have another adrenal crash, thankyouverymuch. No more Autoimmune Paleo protocol for now. I am trying to limit the foods that are eliminated on the AIP, except for coffee. Okay, maybe one cup a day is limiting for some people, but that’s normal for me. Too much and I get too jittery. I can’t be jittery. Too much to do that keeps getting put off because I lack the energy.

Today was supposed to be a post on my travels. Yes, I have several more posts to do. My pictures had another idea. So, I’m pulling something out I did after the Spicy Plum Sauce. I was so in love with the Spicy Plum Sauce I wanted to see what else I could do before going on the AIP because chili flakes are not allowed. This time I used my favorite, ginger, and apricots that were in my weekly produce delivery. If you made the Spicy Plum Sauce, it is similar, just some different ingredients. You can use this as a dipping sauce for Raw Summer Rolls, homemade chicken fingers, or a topping for pork chops or tenderloin. I loved it as a dipping sauce and a topping for pork.

I call it Hot Ginger Apricot Sauce not because you have to use it while it is temperature hit, but because it is a tad spicy between the chili flakes and the amount of ginger I use.

Hot Ginger Apricot Sauce

6 apricots, stone removed, rough chopped

1/4 yellow onion, sliced

1/4 cup raw local honey or other sweetener (or omit)

2 tablespoons ginger root, minced

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for twenty minutes on low. Remove from heat. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth in the saucepan. If you do not have an immersion blender, use a regular blender or food processor. Set aside and let cool if using as a dipping sauce. Store leftovers in an airtight container/mason jar in the refrigerator.

This post is linked to Whole Food Fridays at Allergy-Free Alaska and Wellness Weekend at Ricki Heller.

Mango Mint Fruit Bars

Mango Mint Fruit BarI wanted to call these popsicles. But I think of popsicles as juice and these are more like fruit bars. Whole fruit blended then frozen. Just two ingredients making the hardest part of this recipe the cutting up of the mango.

I love the combination of mango and mint. It feels and tastes fresh in my Mango Mint Salsa. When you blend and freeze them together, it’s just pure awesome on a popsicle stick. It makes the crazy hot Summer days after cool Fall-like days more bearable.

The recipe made three bars in my Zoku so adjust accordingly for your popsicle molds/maker and mouths to feed.

Mango Mint Fruit Bars – makes 3 bars

1 mango, rough chopped

1-3 sprigs mint, leaves pulled off the stems

Place mango and mint in a blender and blend until the mango is mostly pureed. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.