Welcome back to my kitchen!
Are you like me? Do you love eating out? A meal with ambience, socialization, trendy settings is a treat isn’t it? I enjoy it—I like getting out of the house and seeing the heartbeat of communities alive. In Florida, our restaurants were just given the green light to reopen for in-dining room festivities last week. The Hubs and I jumped on the bandwagon and hit up two of my trusty favorites. That’s been the key—trust.
For my job and lifestyle, I travel frequently. At first, eating out was a chore for me. Not enjoyable at all. Restaurant eating can be a hit or a miss for a diabetic. I’ve learned the hard way—here are a few tips:
1. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and ask the wait staff particular questions about food prep. From use of oils to butter, to what is on your salad, I’ve become a master about asking questions and ensuring eating success.
2. Ask for substitutions. I frequently ask for substitutions and wait staff usually make it happen. Steaming green beans to broccoli, most restaurants will do what you need. You need to ask and inform.
3. Allergy. Food allergies are quite common in today’s eating environments. I’ve learned that saying “I can’t eat sugar” vs. “I’m allergic to sugar” has sometimes two different responses/actions. I now say, “I’m allergic to sugar” and find wait staff willing to find viable options. I think “I can’t eat sugar” is sometimes interpreted as “you are on a trendy diet.” In fact, I’ve had that asked directly to me. After explaining what I couldn’t eat, the waiter said, “I’ve heard a lot of diets which one is this?” The Hubs chuckled as I responded, “It’s called a diet of diabetes.” The same waiter later asked if I wanted dessert.
4. Find those friendly familiar restaurants. Like I said, earlier, The Hubs and I now frequent two restaurants as our trusty go-to places. They know my limitations, it’s not a visible frustration and my blood sugar doesn’t spike after eating meals, nor do I get sick.
Take it from me. There is no reason to shy away from restaurant eating. I did at first. It wasn’t easy. I’d stare at menus, eliminating almost every offering and feeling sorry for myself. Then, I snapped out of it!
One of my favorite two restaurants is Anita’s in Nokomis, Florida. The owner prides herself on home-cooked fresh meals, and the wait staff are friendly, knowledgeable and treat you like family. With our stay-at-home, The Hubs and I missed Anita’s sausage florentine soup. I’m not kidding, when I admit, before COVID, we’d eat at Anita’s twice a week—sometimes more. HA!
The Hubs and I were suffering from missing her soup. It was weeks for us without the comfort of Anita’s soup. So, I headed to my kitchen. I rolled up my sleeves and tried to find a copycat recipe of the soup.
You will enjoy this zesty, tasty and filling soup. I thought I hit it outta the park—then, last week, we ventured back to Anita’s for their re-grand opening. And, guess what soup was on the daily special board? Yes, Anita’s sausage florentine soup. I’ve never seen The Hubs eat so fast in my life! Before I could even pepper my cup of soup, he was scrapping his bowl.
It sure hit the spot!
We’re on a roll. Life is sweet.
All this made with LOVE,
Jayne (aka The No Sugar Baker!)
The No Sugar Baker’s Sausage Spinach Copycat Soup
2 lbs. Ground Italian Sausage
6 Slices of Bacon
½ C. Chopped Onion
1 T. Butter
3 t. Minced Garlic
1 C. Chopped Green and Red Peppers
1 C. Chopped Cauliflower
64 Oz. Chicken Broth
1 ½ C. Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Cs. Shredded Fresh Parmesan Cheese
2 Cs. Fresh Spinach
Salt and Pepper to Taste
On stovetop in soup kettle pot, cook the sausage and bacon. Crumble. Drain. Return the meat mixture, with the butter, onion and garlic to the pot. Sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the peppers, cauliflower and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and let boil for 7-8 minutes (until the cauliflower is soft). Reduce heat to a simmer, add in the cream and stir until smooth. Add in the parmesan cheese and combine. Add in the spinach and stir. Enjoy!! You can top your bowl of soup with additional parmesan cheese!