Paleo/Whole30 Zuppa Toscana

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Ours was quite relaxing- Saturday my husband and older son spent the day fishing with friends in Galveston so I spent the day with the other 3 playing outside, going to the library and just relaxing. Funny story, I picked up a $5 pizza for them and we took it to the park. It was so windy that the entire box was knocked off the table! Needless to say, we didn’t stay long. ūüėČ

I’m so very excited to be sharing this easy Paleo recipe for Zuppa toscana copycat soup. If you’ve been to Olive Garden and had their soup, salad, and breadsticks, you’ve most likely had zuppa toscana. It’s deliciously salty, creamy, meaty, and filling. Traditionally made with Italian sausage, red potatoes, cream and butter, I just made a few switches to deliver a dish that was very eagerly devoured¬†by the whole family.

Following a Paleo or Whole30 diet and missing your favorite restaurant foods This recipe for Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana will satisfy your craving!

I’ve been trying to make things that the kids will enjoy too so I’m not making 2 dinners each night, and this one is a winner. (I’ve already made it twice, in fact!)

One thing about Whole30 is that it’s pretty hard to eat out and stay on plan, so making this Zuppa Toscana at home was just what we needed to feel like we were dining out, but without the unhealthy additives. (and cost!) We used homemade Italian sausage (I’ll share the recipe soon). Be sure whatever you buy doesn’t have sugar in any form, MSG, or sulfites.

Following a Paleo or Whole30 diet and missing your favorite restaurant foods This recipe for Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana will satisfy your craving for something restaurant-style!

This is one recipe where I use the heck out of my food processor. I used it to slice the potatoes (about 20 seconds), mince the garlic (about 10 seconds) and shred the carrots (about 30 seconds.) This one is on sale right now for just $30 and is the #1 seller in food processors on Amazon! It’s definitely worth the money in my opinion! Find it here. (affiliate link)

Here’s the recipe for Paleo Zuppa Toscana! Hope you enjoy!

Paleo/Whole30 Zuppa Toscana
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: Italian
Following a Paleo or Whole30 diet and missing your favorite restaurant foods? This recipe for Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana will satisfy your craving!
  • 1 pound Italian sausage without casings
  • 2-3 slices Paleo bacon, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. ghee
  • 1.5 pounds red potatoes, sliced thinly
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • ½ cup grated carrots
  • 1 Tbs. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • greens: kale, arugula or chard work well
  1. Melt ghee in bottom of a large soup pot and add sausage and onion. Stir until meat is browned through and onions are soft.
  2. Add in bacon and garlic, stir for about 4 minutes or until bacon is almost done but not crispy.
  3. Add in remaining ingredients except coconut milk and greens.
  4. Simmer until potatoes are soft, about 20-25 minutes.
  5. Stir in coconut milk.
  6. Add a handful of greens to each bowl; ladle soup over greens and stir.
  7. Enjoy!

Following a Paleo or Whole30 diet and missing your favorite restaurant foods This recipe for Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana will satisfy your craving for something restaurant-style!

Making Pho- Delicious Paleo Pho Recipe

You guys, I think I’ve found my favorite Paleo recipe yet. (I know, I know, I keep saying that!) This Paleo Pho is just delicious and perfect the winter weather recipe that some of you may be experiencing. Here in Texas, the weather this week looks gorgeous- mid 60s to 70s during the day. Don’t hate, it will be 105 here soon! The warmer weather won’t stop me from making this making¬†pho again, though, it’s just too good!

paleo phoMy Whole 30 is officially over but I’ve started doing 90% Paleo/10% whatever.I.want. (Which this week, has consisted of Mexican food and SuperBowl food! ūüėČ )

I based this recipe off of Mel Joulwan’s version in the Paleo cookbook Well Fed¬†2. If you’re eating Paleo, you NEED this book. Yes you do.

Making pho the traditional way is very time consuming (boiling bones, etc) but the results are delicious. This is a much-scaled down version, using premade broth, but if you make your own broth more power (and flavor) to you! This is one is still super delicious.

As always, though, I can’t leave a good recipe alone and have to make it my own. Also, I did not have ribs. I will be trying this version soon. But when I came across compliant pork belly at Trader Joe’s, there was no turning back.

1 tablespoon coconut oil
2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated (about 2 tablespoons)
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
4-6 cups beef broth
4-6 cups chicken broth
12 ounces fully cooked pork belly (Trader Joe’s)
6 cups greens or cabbage, coarsely chopped (I used arugula)
1 spaghetti squash, cooked and removed from shell
4 teaspoons ghee
4 hard-boiled eggs, cut in half lengthwise (optional)
8 green onions, thinly sliced
Fresh basil leaves (could be optional, but not really ūüėČ )
garnish: chopped fresh cilantro, fresh jalape√Īos, fresh lime juice

Melt coconut oil in a large soup pot.
Add in ginger and garlic; stir until fragrant.
Add beef broth and chicken broth.
(I also added one chopped fresh jalapeno at this point. If you don’t like spicy, don’t do this.)
Simmer for at least 30 minutes on very low heat.
Meanwhile, crisp up pork belly according to package directions, then slice into 1 inch x 2inch pieces
Add pork belly, spaghetti squash and greens to pot. Stir just until incorporated.
Serve with a teaspoon of ghee in each bowl then add eggs (if using), green onions, basil (please use fresh!) and other garnishes.

[easyrecipe n="1"]
crazy healthy paleo pho

Free watercolor print + Sweet Potato and Sausage Cups and my newest love

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MeAndMyTea #CollectiveBias

A delicious Paleo breakfast idea!

We’re rounding out January- the month of resolutions- and I am happy to say that¬†though I don’t make typical resolutions, the one I made¬†for January that I’ve kept so far! We committed to¬†a¬†Whole 30 diet starting January 2, and I have not cheated at all. And it’s been hard. My daughter’s birthday falls in there and that girl loves her sweets so we had a weekend full of treats and I

Sweet Potato and Sausage Breakfast Cups- the perfect Paleo and Whole 30 breakfast!

One thing I’ve really grown to love this month in the absence of tons of things is having a cup of hot tea each morning. My sister gave my daughters and me some beautiful tea cups a few years ago and I love drinking out of mine.¬†I get up early before anyone else in the house and make my cup of tea to enjoy before things get craaaazy for the day! I’ve really enjoyed Bigelow’s Lemon Ginger variety.¬†Ginger has such a unique flavor and I’ve never had a tea exactly like this.

bigelow lemon ginger tea

Then I make breakfast for everyone and sometimes I’ll enjoy another cup. I’ve especially enjoyed a second cup these last few days when it’s actually cold in Houston! One recipe we’ve enjoyed for breakfast this year is Sweet Potato and Sausage¬†Cups. I make them in a mini muffin pan and they’re the perfect Paleo breakfast for taking on the go if necessary.

sweet potato and sausage cups 2

Another of my newfound loves (as of this week!) is watercolor painting. I painted this teacup in honor of my newfound love of tea and wanted to share it with you! Just click on the image to be taken to the fullsize rendering!

teacup blue 8x10

Free watercolor print + Sweet Potato and Sausage Cups and my newest love
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage
  • two peppers, diced and seeded (I used jalapenos)
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 TBS ghee
  • 1.5 cups shredded sweet potatoes
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 TBS almond meal or tapioca starch
  • 5 eggs
  1. Brown sausage in a skillet with peppers and onion until cooked through and onions are translucent. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes.
  2. Whip eggs with a fork then pour into cooled sausage mixture.
  3. In a separate skillet, melt ghee and add sweet potatoes and salt. Cook until sweet potatoes begin to wilt, about 10 minutes. Stir in almond meal or tapioca starch.
  4. Scoop ½ TBS sweet potato mixture into a mini muffin pan, followed by 1 TBS. meat mixture.
  5. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until eggs are set.
  6. * you will have extra of the sausage/egg mixture. Feel free to cut the ingredients in half, or just scramble the leftovers for another morning!
  7. Enjoy with a cup of Bigelow tea!

sweet potato + sausage breakfast bites- Whole 30 and Paleo breakfast

What you need to Kick Whole30 in the Tail!

I’m trucking along with my group (almost 80 of us!) on our Whole30 diet. We share Whole30 tips, recipes, encouragement, and it’s just fun doing it together! We’re on Day 13 and I am honestly feeling great. One of the hardest things for me on the Whole30 diet is not weighing after the first day until it’s over and I may or may not have cheated on that part yesterday. ūüėČ

I wanted to share a few things that I’ve learned along the way that make aWhole30 diet successful. I’m on my 3rd or 4th (I honestly can’t remember) and I think it gets a little easier each time because I’ve learned what works for us and what we like. You don’t have to have¬†everything on this list but¬†maybe there will be a few things you hadn’t thought of that will make your journey just a little easier. (Also, be sure to read my tips on Surviving the Whole30 diet here)

what you need to kick your whole30 in the tail!

1.) A food processor

I mentioned this in my original post about the Whole30 diet in 014, but I cannot stress how much I use this thing. Making nut butters, shredding cauliflower, grating carrots, blending soups to smoothness, I seriously use it of Whole 30, sometimes 3-4 times a day. The KitchenAid ($99, find it here) is the only one I’ve had and it is amazing, but there are cheaper options out there. Here is one that’s super-highly rated on Amazon for just $30!

food processor

2.) Good spices

Since you’re not adding sugar or dairy to anything, having a good blend of spices at the ready is a good idea to keep flavor high and low. I buy fresh garlic and ginger already peeled because that saves precious minutes in the kitchen and it adds such powerful flavor. I also have a basil plant.

Dried spices I recommend: sea salt, black pepper, cayenne, crushed red pepper, nutmeg, corriander, cumin, Chinese 5 spice powder.

3.) Nuts

I probably over-do the nuts on Whole 30, but they’re just so delicious! I’ll sautee a few cashews or almonds in olive oil, salt, coriander for a delicious snack. I also make my on almond butter from roasted salted almond and it’s just delicious. (Recipe: put 1.5 cups almonds in a food processor and blend on low for 10 minutes or until desired consistency. Hard, right?)

4.) Good oils

Drop the canola for this diet and invest in good-quality oils like avocado and olive oil. Trader Joe’s and Aldi both offer oils at good prices. You can find avocado oil here on Amazon. (It’s been the hardest for me to find in the store, and I live in a huge metroplex.)

5.) Coconut aminos

The price of these are not pretty but if you’re used to Asian food I would say they are a must. You’ll use them in the place of soy sauce. (No soy allowed on Whole 30). You use minimal amounts, though, so it’s not like you’re burning through a bottle a week or anything. I didn’t buy them until this go around and I’ve been very happy that I did. You can also find it on Amazon here. I haven’t even looked for it in stores. ūüėČ

6.) Ghee

OMGhee!!! So sorry for the terrible pun but this stuff is amazing. It’s clarified butter that is strained and the whey (dairy) removed and only the fat remaining. It is even more delicious than regular butter if that’s possible. You can make your on (here’s a how-to) or buy it speciality grocery stores or on Amazon here.

7.) An iron skillet

There’s nothing like an iron skillet to sear meats to perfect crispness. I also cook my fried eggs in here (using my aforementioned ghee or avocado oil) and saut√© kale several times a day. It’s pretty much the only skillet I use these days. As a Pioneer Woman aficionado, she has a very decently-priced version at Wal-Mart.¬†You can find it online here.

8.) Le Croix or other sparkling water

Especially if you’ve been a soda addict (like I reluctantly admit I as becoming) you’ll grow to love Le Croix. It’s sparkling water with just a hint of natural flavoring. Don’t expect it to be sweet- it’s not- but it does give me that bubbly feeling that soda does. There are also store brands that are cheaper- if you live in Texas HEB has a good one.

9.) Good olives/pickles

Sometimes you just need something salty and good and for us, olives fit the bill. Just be sure that they don’t contain non-compliant preservatives (find the list of preservatives you CAN have here). They’re also great for adding to chicken and beef dishes.

10.) Lemons/limes

This may sound strange, but I use these A LOT during the Whole30 Diet. Whether it is in recipes, making Paleo mayonnaise, to squeeze in water or liven up some toasted nuts, I find that keeping these around makes it just a *little* bit easier!

I would love to hear your tips! What keeps you sustained during the Whole30 diet? Let me know in the comments!

Be sure to check out all my Whole30 tips and recipes here!

Best Paleo Breakfast Homemade Sausage Recipe

If you’re like me, you love good sausage, especially at breakfast. But if you’ve looked for a tasty, affordable option for sausage while following a Paleo diet, you’ve probably come up high and dry. We decided the other day to come up with our on Paleo homemade sausage recipe and I must say, my husband did an amazing job!

We did a 60/40 venison/pork ratio (perk of being married to and mother of hunters!) but you can use all pork if you’d like. Making homemade sausage is really quite easy- you just combine the ground meat of your choice with spices to make amazing tasting yumminess!

Paleo breakfast sausage recipe- yes, you can do this!

One thing I’ve become aware of following Whole30 is the HUGE amount of preservatives and sugar in food. I have to read EVERY label of EVERY food I buy, so I’m seeing how much these things pervade the “food” in the U.S.

Sausage is no exception to that rule-¬†if it tastes good and is affordable, it certainly isn’t Paleo. We bought the pork for this recipe for about $1.89 a pound- not bad for fresh homemade sausage!

Homemade sausage with eggs for a paleo breakfast

We had it for breakfast the other morning with eggs and fruit- it was yummy and very filling!

Here’s the recipe; let me know if you try it!

Best Paleo Breakfast Sausage Recipe
Recipe type: Paleo Breakfast Sausage Recipe
  • 1 pound ground meat (60 venison/40 pork or all pork)
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. red pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. rosemary
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  1. Blend meat and spices well with your hands. That's it! Enjoy your Paleo/Whole30 sausage with no guilt!


Having trouble finding Paleo breakfast sausage that doesn't break the bank? Making homemade is much easier than you think, and much healthier!