Spicy Pork Loin Soup & Cheesy Jalapeno Flat Bread


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Spring has finally arrived in our neck of the woods and it’s proving to be a really wet and gray one.

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Excuse the grainy pictures…last night’s pictures were brought to you with little natural light for photography by my iPhone.

I’ll admit we need the rain because we didn’t have a lot of snow over winter but those gray skies and buckets of rain leave me longing for sunlight and make me feel like hibernating.

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Spring usually brings lighter meals for us with a lot of grilling and salads but with this wet and chilly weather, a hot bowl of soup and delicious cheesy bread was just what we needed.

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Along with spring come the ticks. Make sure you’re protecting yourself and checking your pets thoroughly after walks and hikes before bringing them in the house.

We’ve already had one tick inside the house and two ticks crawling on Tony after hiking with the dogs. As soon as the rain lets up I’m going to be spraying the yard with the all natural spray we used last year in hopes of stopping the mass infestation that we dealt with the last season. We sprayed late as the ticks took us by surprise. I’ve never seen so many in one area and we had several in our house, it was very unsettling.

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If you’re bitten by a tick, be sure to go immediately to the doctor for antibiotic treatment. Most doctors are ill informed and will tell you that unless the tick has been attached to you for a certain period of time or unless you have the red ring rash, you don’t need to be treated. That is untrue and unproven.

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Most doctors will also ask that you or the tick be tested before treatment which is also a mistake. The CDC has already admitted that current testing is bunk and more often than not gives false negatives. It’s just simply better to be safe than sorry. If you’re worried about taking antibiotics, I don’t blame you. But keep this in mind, treating at the time of a bite will result in less medication and less antibiotic “damage” to your body and far, FAR, outweighs the consequences of living a lifetime dealing with chronic Lyme Disease.

Treatment in the early stages isn’t foolproof, but many people have found if they they are treated right away, they don’t have any future issues.

Keep in mind also that ticks don’t just carry Lyme Disease bacteria which in itself causes horrible issues. They can transmit many other devastating diseases and bacteria (called co infections) that when left untreated can cause a lifetime of very unpleasant symptoms and even death.

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That’s my public health warning for this season, please be safe and Happy Spring!

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Spicy Pork Loin Soup

1 Pound of  Pork Tenderloin (or chicken), cubed in bite size pieces

1 Medium Onion, chopped

3 Large Cloves of Garlic, chopped

1/2 of a Large Red Bell Pepper, chopped

1 Tablespoon of Cumin

2 teaspoons of Dried Oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons of Chipotle Chili Powder

1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt

1 15oz  can of Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed

64 Ounces of Chicken Broth

1 Cup of Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped 

In a dutch oven lightly brown the pork, onion, bell pepper, oregano, chipotle, and garlic. Add the garbanzo beans and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and simmer for about 1 hour. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Cheesy Jalapeno Flat Bread

*Makes 12

2 Boxes of Chebe All Purpose Bread Mix (it is grain and dairy free)

2 teaspoons of Garlic Powder, plus more for sprinkling

3 teaspoons of Dried Oregano, plus more for sprinkling 

1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt, plus more for sprinkling

6 Tablespoons of Avocado Oil

4 Eggs

1 Cup of Filtered Water

Arrowroot or other gluten free flower for flouring hands

2 Fresh Jalapeno, sliced into rounds

Daiya Cheddar Style Cheese

Sheep’s Milk Mozzarella

Sheep’s Milk Feta

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

Grate the Daiya cheese, mozzarella, and crumble the feta. The amount of cheese will depend on how many pieces of the flat bread you want cheesy. I did 6 out of the 12 and probably used about 3/4 cup of the daiya, 1 cup of mozzarella, and maybe 1/4 cup of feta.

Measure all ingredients except the jalapeno and cheeses into a large bowl and stir with a fork until thoroughly combined. Scoop 12 mounds of dough onto the baking sheets and then flour hands and pat each dough mound into a circle. Sprinkle each  with sea salt, garlic powder, and oregano. Bake for 35 minutes and remove from oven and turn on broiler.

Top with cheeses in this order: Daiya, mozzarella, and feta. Place slices of jalapeno on top. Broil for a few minutes until cheese is melted and mozzarella is beginning to bubble. 

Spicy Sausage and Bean Soup & Lazy Man’s Garlic Bread



I could live on soup.

In fact, as long as I had a nice variety, I literally would eat soup every day of my life for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have no idea why I feel this way about soup, but really, what’s not to like about it? Your options are endless. You can make a light soup or a hardy soup. You can make a puree or you can make one with all kinds of yummy texture and flavor. All I ask is that you don’t eat it out of a can.

Soup is easy to make yourself (not as easy as opening a can…but not much harder)  and the payoff is huge. Just the fact that you’ve created something delicious from scratch all on your own is a plus. The fact that you can control what’s in it…that’s the important part. No chemicals, creepy thickeners, hidden allergens, or crazy genetically modified who knows what for you. Just simple organic ingredients that are beneficial for the whole family.

Spicy Sausage & Bean Soup 

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Small Onion, chopped

1/2 Cup Celery, sliced thinly

2 Garlic Cloves, chopped

About 2 Cups of your favorite GF/DF sausage, sliced (I used Hot Italian Pork & Sweet Italian Chicken)

4 Large Tuscan Kale Leaves (rib removed) rolled, cut in half, and sliced thinly

1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme Leaves

1/2-1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (depends on how spicy you like it)

1 15 oz. Can Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained

1 15 oz. Can Black Beans, rinsed and drained

8 Cups Chicken Broth

1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

Kosher Salt & Pepper to taste

Add the olive oil to a dutch oven or large pot and heat. Saute the onion, celery, garlic, sliced sausage, kale, thyme, and red pepper until the sausage is cooked through and the onion and celery are becoming translucent. Add the beans, broth, and Old Bay Seasoning and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes. Add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.


Lazy Man’s Garlic Bread

*Super easy and a perfect way to use up leftover hamburger buns.

2 Udi’s Gluten Free Hamburger Buns

Earth Balance Soy Free Butter Spread

Garlic Powder

Dried Oregano

Open the buns and spread with butter. Sprinkle generously with garlic powder and dried oregano. Place under the broiler until golden.



Beans, Greens, & Bacon


“Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger,

eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite.”

– Auguste Escoffier

Beans, Greens, & Bacon Soup

1 Package Uncured Organic Hickory Smoked Bacon, chopped

4-6 (depending on size) Organic Carrots, sliced on the diagonal

1 Medium Organic Onion, chopped

2 Tablespoon Organic Thyme, chopped

2 Tablespoons Organic Rosemary, minced

5 Cloves of Organic Garlic, chopped

1 1/2 Cups Organic Purple Kale (packed), chopped

1 Cup Organic Green Kale (packed), chopped

2 Cans of White Beans, rinsed and drained

3 – 32 oz. Boxes of Organic, Free Range, Chicken Broth

Olive Oil

Sea Salt & Pepper To Taste

Heat a dutch oven on medium low and fry the bacon slowly until crisp. Remove the bacon bits to a paper towel to drain. Reserve about 2 teaspoons of the bacon fat in the pan.

Saute the onions until they are translucent and begin to caramelize. Add the carrots and garlic and saute for 5 minutes.

Add the thyme, rosemary, bacon, and both types of kale. Saute until the kale begins to wilt.

Add the beans and broth and bring to a boil. Simmer until carrots are tender.

Season with sea salt & pepper to taste.

“Grandma’s” Potato Soup


I had to call this Grandma’s Potato Soup because she made the absolute best potato soup there is, hands down. Hers of course involved a lot of whole milk or cream and butter…so I had to tweak my recipe a bit. But all in all, the inspiration comes from her. I can hear what you’re saying…”Potato soup, it’s 90 degrees outside.” Yes it is, but it’s only 72 in here. Perfect weather for a bowl of homemade potato soup.

While I was chopping everything up for this soup lots of really great memories came flooding back. Don’t you love that when it happens? I am so thankful that I have so many great childhood memories of my Grandparents to choose from. I can hear the fans humming in my Grandma’s house on those hot summer days, smell her garden, remember at least 35 amazing Thanksgiving dinners, sit right on the front porch with my Grandpa on those lazy, hot summer days while he sipped a glass of beer with a sprinkle of salt. A glass for him and a tiny dish of beer for their dog, Punkin. The smell of the hand cleaner my Grandpa used after he’d been working in the garage all day. The feel of my Grandma’s 100% heavy cotton sheets when we would jump back into bed in the mornings after she would wake up at the crack of dawn to make my Grandpa breakfast before he was off to work for the day. The smell of their attic that I thought had amazing treasures. I can taste the strips of pie dough with cinnamon, sugar, and butter that my Grandma always had leftover from making holiday pies.  The smell of the tiny little Christmas tree she bought for me to have in my bedroom one year when we were staying with them. The beautiful crystal formations that would form on their old windows upstairs and my Grandma’s stories of “Jack Frost”.  Sigh…I could go on and on. All I have to do is close my eyes and think about it and I’m right there. What a blessing that is!

On top of all of those wonderful memories they provided me with, she always had yummy, soothing things to eat. How is that possible? No matter when I stopped by, even unannounced, she would fix me a plate or bowl of something delicious. It must be a little Grandma miracle or something because it was the same thing when we went to one of my friend’s Italian grandmother’s house unannounced. Manicotti and lasagna always available? A miracle, I’m telling you!

My heart aches when I hear people say they weren’t close to their Grandparents. I cannot even imagine my life without mine. I hope someday I have the opportunity to be even half the blessing my Grandparents were to me, to my own grandchildren. If you’re able…have you hugged your Grandparents today?

“Grandma’s” Potato Soup

8 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, cubed

5 Medium Stalks of Celery, cut down the middle and sliced

1 Medium to Large Walla Walla Sweet Onion, diced

1 Whole Package of All Natural Bacon, diced (easier done when partially frozen)

3 Cloves of Garlic, diced

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Dairy Free Butter

A Pinch of Dried Parsley

2 32oz Containers of GF Chicken Broth

2 Cups Almond Milk (or your choice, I like almond milk because it’s thick like whole milk)

Sea Salt & Pepper To Taste

Slice the celery and dice the onion, garlic, and bacon. Cube the potatoes.

In a medium-large Dutch oven, saute the bacon until it is golden and somewhat crisp. Be patient, it’s a lot of bacon and it will take a while. You want it to ever so lightly caramelize the bottom of the pan for a lot of flavor later. If you cook it to quickly, it will burn.

Remove the cooked bacon with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel and set aside.

Remove all of the little bits from the pan leaving about a tablespoon and a half of bacon grease.

Next, saute the onions and celery until the onion is translucent. Then add the garlic and saute for a few more minutes.

Add the butter and drained bacon and stir.

Add the potatoes and stir.

Cover the potatoes with both boxes of chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a low boil until potatoes are tender.

Once the potatoes are tender enough to eat, add the two cups of almond milk and the pinch of dried parsley. Bring to a boil again and season with sea salt and pepper.

Serve and enjoy!