Last week, I took a little break from my computer while vacationing with my family in Costa Rica. It was an absolutely amazing trip and the perfect opportunity to rest, relax, disconnect, and catch up on my reading and family time. Somehow with all that sleep and time in the sun, I still managed to come home with a cold. I'm sure a lot of you can relate to feeling under the weather right now - 'tis the season for getting sick! And when I'm sick, the last thing I want to do is spend time cooking dinner and cleaning up a bunch of dishes. Trying to decide what easy meal to make for dinner, I flipped through the latest issue of Cooking Light for inspiration and started drooling over their recipe for Chickpea and Sausage Minestrone. There's just nothing better than a hearty, healthy soup when you're sick, and an added bonus is that it's usually just a one-pot clean-up. I happened to have most of the ingredients on hand, but instead of sausage, I decided to use my favorite Trader Joe's Frozen Turkey Meatballs. These are great because they're low-cal, high protein, super tasty, and really easy to throw a soup while it's cooking.
This soup did not disappoint. It's got SO much flavor, a little spice, fresh herbs, and tons of veggies - exactly what I was craving. And what's better with soup than a crunchy, cheesy crostini to dip in the hot broth? I did my own take on the Cooking Light Ciabatta Parmesan Toasts to make them just a bit lighter and more flavorful, and they turned out so delicious. Best part - this whole meal was done in about 20 minutes.
This soup is definitely my new go-to. Whether I'm sick or not, it's just the perfect hearty, healthy comfort food. Feel free to use the Turkey Meatballs like I did, or substitute ground turkey or sausage, or go meatless for a healthy vegetarian dinner.
Ok let's do it, Turkey Meatball Minestrone, ready set go!
Happy Thanksgiving Eve! AND happy Thanksgivukkah! I'm so excited for tomorrow. Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday and the fact that it overlaps with Hanukkah is just unreal! I may have to make some sort of hybrid holiday recipe like sweet potato latkes or challah stuffing . . . oh the possibilities! Anywho, today we're going with a traditional Thanksgiving recipe - Butternut Squash and Apple Soup. The bonus of this recipe is that it's super creamy and luscious, without any added cream or butter. You will taste the soup and think that we've added heavy cream to achieve the thick silkiness, but this bowl of golden deliciousness is completely vegan, super tasty, and packed with healthy ingredients. It's seasoned with all of Fall's favorite spices - coriander, cumin, clove, nutmeg, and sage, then topped with toasted pecans for extra nuttiness and a sprinkle of cinnamon. SO good! It's that warm, comforting taste that we all crave when Thanksgiving hits.
You start the soup off by sautéing the onion, then adding the carrot, and celery. Then you'll toss in the apple, butternut squash, and all the spices. It's a beautiful combo of colors, right!?
Then all you need to do is add your water & broth, let it simmer for a while as it absorbs all the flavors, and blend it up! So easy. It's the perfect way to start off your Thanksgiving feast. And keeping this soup light and healthy means more room for turkey, or stuffing, or PIE! It's Thanksgiving, so you can let yourself go a bit crazier than usual. But beware, don't go toooooo wild . . . did you know the average American will consume 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day alone? YUCK!! My advice - Try to pick your favorite foods and pace yourselves . . . maybe a bite or two of each pie variety, rather than a whole slice of each. Maybe a post-feast walk? That's always a good way to recharge, rather than slipping into a food coma on the couch. Our tradition is for all the ladies in the family to go late-night shopping at my aunt's super cute boutique after the feast is over, while the men watch sports on the couch. Nothing like trying on cute clothes after you've stuffed yourself with food all night, right?! Eeek!
Back to the soup . . .
I came up with this soup on a chilly, gloomy day when I had a lot of random ingredients at home and was feeling inspired by my newly purchased curry powder, something I had never cooked with before. Let me just brag for a second . . . I was so proud of how it turned out. It was the perfect healthy comfort food and I just had to share it with you! There is such a creative mix of ingredients and I especially love the combination of curry, cumin and cinnamon - some standard spices used in Indian meals. Since making this soup, I've started using those 3 spices in multiple recipes and it gives everything such a delicious warmth and aroma. With all the different spiced flavors going on, the sweetness of the dried apricots perfectly completes this hearty stew!
Sometimes the simplest meals just can't be beat. How GOOD is a classic PB & J sandwich? Or scrambled eggs with toast? Well I'm adding a new simple favorite to the list, and it's my BFF Lauren's Turkey Meatball Soup. There are only a couple ingredients in this soup, and ever since she made this for me a couple years ago, it's become one of my go-to WeekNight Bites. This is a total comfort soup, so easy to throw together, and perfect for these cold & rainy days we've been having! If you've never had Trader Joe's frozen turkey meatballs, I suggest you go grab a bag or two stat! These are so tasty and easy to incorporate in tons of meals for extra protein. Definitely a staple in my freezer!
All you need in order to make this easy peasy soup are these items:
One of my favorite meals to make when I'm crunched for time is soup. You can throw TONS of healthy ingredients in one big pot, flavor it with the herbs and seasonings you love, and let it simmer on the stove while you take care of other important matters . . . such as a quick at-home workout. Last time I made this soup, I popped in my 25 minute Jillian Michaels "30 Day Shred" DVD while the soup simmered, and by the time I was done, my veggie-packed lentil minestrone was ready for devouring! Talk about good use of extra time!
July 28th, 2016
December 6, 2016
Lindsay is a Holistic Nutritionist who lives for a great meal, a beautiful farmers market, daily matcha lattes, and homemade chocolate chip cookies. Weeknight Bite is Lindsay's happy place where her nutrition practice, simple recipes, and wellness tips come together to inspire you to live a healthy, balanced life.