Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

Since everyone is still on their new year resolution diets I figured the first official recipe post of 2013 should at least be something healthy, right? I LOVE making a big batch of minestrone and having plenty to bring in for lunch for the week or freeze for a later occasion. This version has been healthified and lightened up by using veggie pasta over regular pasta. I think the original recipe might’ve come from Martha Stewart, but I’ve been making it for years now. Feel free to experiment, use the veggies you have on hand, fresh or frozen. You really can’t screw this soup up!

Minestrone Soup

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 4 cups low-sodium, low-fat chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarians)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen chopped zucchini, green pepper, yellow squash mix (I used frozen, leftover from my farmshare)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon crush red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 15-ounce can low-sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup Eden Organic small vegetable shells
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (omit for vegans)

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the celery and carrot and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth and water. Stir in the green beans and vegetable medley, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the kidney beans, pasta and baby spinach. Cook until the pasta and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt. Ladle into bowls and top with parmesan cheese.

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Roasted Red Pepper and Gorgonzola Dip

Roasted Red Pepper and Gorgonzola Dip

Roasted Red Pepper and Gorgonzola Dip

Roasted Red Pepper and Gorgonzola Dip

Roasted Red Pepper and Gorgonzola Dip

Our farm share recently provided us with a TON of peppers that they wanted to pick before the first frost. I ended up cutting and freezing most of them, but I decided to try roasting a few, too. This was my first attempt and it was pretty easy to do, but rather time consuming from start to finish. The best part for me was picking off the skins after the peppers had cooled down. My husband loves to get on me about always picking at things, like my cuticles or grosser things that we don’t need to get into right now. So it only makes sense that I’d find picking off pepper skins enjoyable. Can you say weirdo?!

Roasted Red Pepper and Gorgonzola Dip

  • 3 red carmen peppers, halved with stems and seeds removed
  • 2 ounces of gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • handful of fresh oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place peppers, cut side down, on a foil-lined broiler pan. Set broiler setting to high and place peppers under heat for 5 minutes. Remove from broiler when the skins are bubbly and charred. While hot, carefully place peppers in a ziplock bag, seal and set aside for 20 minutes. When cool, remove as much of the skins as you can from the peppers. They should easily ‘pinch’ off, but if they don’t that’s ok. Chop the peppers into smaller pieces and place in the bowl of a food processer with remaining ingredients. Pulse until almost smooth. This can be served hot or cold. If serving warm, place mixture in an oven safe dish and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until bubbly.

Southwestern Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a great, healthy alternative to pasta if you’re trying to limit your carbs. Why you’d ever want to do that I have no idea, but if you are, this dish is so good you won’t even miss them! If you’re running short on time, cook the squash a day or two before and heat up when ready to serve. If you’re going for a vegetarian and low carb meal (that’s just crazy talk!) you can omit the ham and use vegetable broth instead. Although I think the ham adds a really nice smokiness to the dish and makes it a bit more of a hearty meal for the winter.

Southwestern Spaghetti Squash
adapted from here

  • 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halfed
  • 1/4 cup frozen vegetable medley of corn, carrots and green beans
  • 1/2 cup diced ham
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Penzey’s Adobo seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • juice of 1/2 fresh lime
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise (this will take some serious muscle) and discard the seeds. Coat the flesh in olive oil, salt and pepper. On a baking sheet lined with foil, roast squash flesh side down for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium high heat, add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. When the squash has cooled, use a fork to scrape up the flesh. Top the ‘spaghetti’ with the bean mixture and serve warm.

Chickpea Curry with Vegetables

The inspiration here comes from the Indian dish, chana masala, which is a spiced chickpea curry. Chana masala is typically in a tomato-based sauce, but since I didn’t have any tomatoes I had to improvise a little by using Greek yogurt and vegetable broth. I also had a bunch vegetables in the fridge and this seemed like the perfect way to use them up.
Chickpea Curry with Vegetables
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 crown of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, and add onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, curry powder, cinnamon, brown sugar, chickpeas, carrots, and peppers. Cook for about 8 minutes over medium heat, until things begin to brown a little and carrots are tender. Reduce heat to medium low and add vegetable broth, yogurt, broccoli, zucchini, salt and pepper. Cook until broccoli and zucchini are tender. Serve over brown rice. If you like it spicy, add Sriracha.

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