Written on January 10, 2013 at 8:30 am , by Kristin Porter
Happy New Year everybody! I hope your holiday season was full of delight, and that you’re excited about the upcoming year.
Now that the Christmas decorations have been put away, and the cookie jar has been emptied out, my husband and I are looking forward to getting back into our normal routine, including a diet un-rich in Puppy Chow, Sugar Cookies, and Peanut Butter Blossoms. Somehow these rich, sugary treats become standard fare for us every holiday season!
One way I’ve gotten us back on track is by menu planning on Sunday mornings for the upcoming week. First I pick out at least four recipes to make for dinner, and brainstorm ideas for lunch, and then I make one trip to the grocery store to shop for all the ingredients. I can’t tell you how much time and money this saves me versus stopping by the grocery store every evening, or turning to take out when I can’t think of anything to make for dinner or lunch.
One dish I always have on my menu plan is a hearty, healthy soup like Minestrone. Chock-full of yummy veggies and satisfying flavors, I love making a big batch to enjoy on Sunday night, then packing leftovers for healthy, filling lunches all week long. It’s a perfect meal for this time of year when we’re all looking to eat a bit lighter, but don’t want to walk around starving all day!
I am particularly obsessed with the Minestrone recipe here on BHG.com. I am not joking when I tell you it only takes 15 minutes to make! Bonus points for the ingredient list containing fridge and pantry staples like chicken broth, canned beans and tomatoes, dry pasta, and fresh spinach.
This Minestrone recipe is a great base for adding any and all veggies to. I tossed in frozen corn and peas to pack in even more nutrients, but zucchini, carrots, celery, and onion would make this great tasting soup, even better.
To add staying power, consider adding cooked ground turkey breast, lean ground beef, or spicy Italian sausage. Minestrone by nature is a great “kitchen sink” soup – so throw everything in that you’ve got!
(Changes made to the original recipe: used crushed tomatoes instead of diced, replaced water with chicken broth, used Great Northern Beans instead of cannellini, and added 1 cup frozen corn and 1/2 cup frozen peas. I also added a small piece of parmesan cheese rind for extra flavor!)