Last week brought our first cold front here in Northern California, as well as my first pesky cold of the season. I used the opportunity to test a new winter soup recipe—Kale and White Bean With Golden Beets and Spicy Sausage—and it was a success! Full of healthy kale, beets, carrots, and beans, this soup will surely perk you up. Other meals this week include a delicious breakfast quesadilla loaded with scrambled eggs, goat cheese, spinach, and sausage, and a vegetarian fried rice that's the perfect solution to using leftovers from dinner earlier in the week. Enjoy!  

Grocery list
1/2 lb. spicy chicken sausage
2 medium-sized golden beets
2 large carrots
1 stalk celery
1 leek
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
2 cans (15 oz. each) white beans
1 large bunch green kale
1 cup short-grain brown rice
Coconut oil
Sesame oil
1 bag baby carrots
6 green onions
1 cup shelled (and steamed) edamame
Soy sauce
8 tortillas
1 dozen eggs
1 container goat-cheese crumbles
1 box veggie sausage
1 bag part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
Butter
1 large bag fresh baby spinach

Kale and White Bean Soup With Golden Beets and Spicy Sausage
Sip a bowl of this healthy soup to ward off pesky colds!

Serves 6

1/2 lb. spicy chicken sausage, casing removed and thickly sliced
2 medium-sized golden beets, peeled and diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
2 cans (15 oz. each) white beans, drained and rinsed
1 large bunch green kale, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. pepper

1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add thinly sliced leeks. Saute for 5 minutes, then add sausage.

2. Brown sausage, then add carrots, beets, and celery. Toss to combine and continue cooking for another 6 minutes. Add kale and beans and cook until kale just starts to wilt.

3. Add chicken broth, salt, red pepper flakes, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 25 minutes.

4. Serve with warm, crusty, sourdough bread on the side.

Next page: Vegetarian Fried Rice

Vegetarian Fried Rice
A great way to use up leftover brown rice from the night before!

Serves 4

1 cup short-grain brown rice
2 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. coconut oil
3 tsp. sesame oil
1 cup sliced baby carrots
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup shelled (and steamed) edamame
2 tbsp. tamari (soy sauce)
2 eggs

1. Bring water to a boil. Add rice and pinch of salt, then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. When done, take rice off heat, remove top, and fluff with a fork. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet (or, even better, a wok), heat sesame oil and coconut oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add sliced baby carrots and edamame. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes, or until carrots become a little tender. Crack egg into pan and fry with veggies.

3. Add rice, soy sauce, and green onions, and toss to combine. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until heated through. Drizzle in additional sesame oil and serve.

Breakfast Quesadillas
Who says you can only eat breakfast foods in the morning? These make a great relaxed weekend lunch or even a light dinner!

Serves 4

8 tortillas
8 eggs, lightly beaten with 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
4 pieces cooked veggie sausage (I love Morningstar Farm brand), roughly chopped
3/4 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp. butter, divided
2 cups fresh baby spinach

1. Scramble eggs over medium-high heat in a lightly buttered skillet. Remove from stove, scoop eggs into a small bowl, and set aside.

2. Heat remaining butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Place a tortilla at the bottom of the skillet, add a small scoop of the scrambled eggs, some sausage pieces, spinach, and a large sprinkle of both mozzarella and goat cheese. Place the other tortilla on top and cook until golden brown on both sides. Repeat with remaining ingredients and serve.