Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is off to a wonderful start for everyone.
I must say, this first week of January has been pretty good to me. I’m feeling more rested and relaxed than usual. And I may have even detected a small “spring in my step” the other day when I was out walking my dog. I guess I was anxious (and long overdue) for a bit of a reset.
In general, I always love this time of year. Christmas is safely behind us (remember that I’m a big Scrooge!). And everything seems sparkly and fresh. And while I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions (I find they cause me unnecessary stress and anxiety), I was prompted by a friend to set three words of intention for 2017, and I decided to give that a go. It’s a seemingly simple task, but it did force me to pause and think about what I would like to achieve going forward into the New Year.
So my three words for 2017 are: create, peace, present.
What are your intentions for 2017? If you have three words you’d like to set, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
So…let’s talk about this Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup. YOU GUYS it’s so freaking good. I made a giant pot last week and I didn’t share it with anyone. I greedily ate it all by myself. And I reveled in the fact that I didn’t have to cook for several nights. I was in heaven.
This soup is full to the brim with delicious seasonal vegetables, nourishing ingredients and all the feel good vibes you can handle. It’s a great way to kick off the New Year. And trust me, you won’t feel deprived one bit. I’m totally digging it. And I know you will be too.
To make this minestrone soup recipe all cozy for winter, I used butternut squash and fennel in place of the usual carrots and celery. Then I added in a couple big handfuls of dark, leafy kale and lots of fresh herbs to keep things bright. I stuck with the more traditional ditalini and white beans, but you could certainly use any small-ish pasta and/or beans that you like. It’s all good in my book.
This recipe calls for a large jar of tomato Passata, which is an uncooked tomato purée that has been strained of the seeds and skins. Look for tomato Passata in your grocery store, located next to the other jarred/canned tomato products. Canned tomato purée is cooked and usually not strained, so it’s not an exact substitute. But you could probably use it in a pinch, if necessary. The other option would be to purchase canned whole tomatoes, then run them through your food processor or blender and strain them to achieve a smooth consistency.
This soup recipe itself is dairy free. I do like to shred some Parmesan cheese on top to finish the dish for serving. However, if you’re going dairy free, just leave that part out. Easy peasy!
I’m sharing this Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup recipe today as part of our monthly 30 Minute Thursday series. That’s right! You can make this gorgeous, satisfying soup in only 30 minutes! Just be sure to use a big pot for increased surface area and faster cooking. And keep the vegetables small and uniform so they cook up quickly and evenly. And before you go, check out the links below to see the other #30MinuteThursday recipes created by some of my blogging buddies!
Fajita Gnocchi Skillet with Avocado Salsa from She Likes Food
Chicken Bacon Ranch Panini from Pumpkin N’ Spice
30-Minute Chicken with Greek Avgolemono Sauce from Flavor The Moments
One Pot BBQ Chicken Chili Mac from The Recipe Rebel
30-Minute Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo from My Kitchen Craze
Spiralized Veggie Thai Noodle Bowls from Sweet Peas and Saffron
Do you have a go-to comfort food?
I’ve been trying to decide on my favorite, but I’m having trouble narrowing it down to a single item. Sometimes I crave a buttery grilled cheese sandwich (made by my mom, of course). Other times I dream about warm chocolate chip cookies straight from the oven. And then there are those days when only a big glass of red wine will do the trick. Real talk.
Foods with noodles also tend to take top billing when I’m in need of a little comforting. I guess there is something strangely appealing about loosing yourself in the act of twirling and slurping up a big bowl of noodles. It’s almost hypnotic in a way.
This Vegetable Noodle Stir Fry with Orange has been my dinner of choice for the past few nights. It’s comforting, flavorful and so much healthier than typical take-out noodles. And I bet you can have it made and on the table in less time than it would take you to go pick something up or have something delivered. In fact, this recipe comes together SO QUICKLY that I highly recommend having all your ingredients prepped and nearby before you start cooking. You won’t have much of a chance to rummage through your cabinets or slice and dice vegetables once you get your skillet heated.
I’m sharing this Vegetable Noodle Stir Fry with Orange as part of our monthly 30 Minute Thursday series. Be sure to scroll down and check out the links below to see what my blogging friend made this month. And skip the take-out!
Recipe adapted from my Sichuan Green Bean Noodle Stir Fry
Baked Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups by Pumpkin ‘N Spice
30 Minute Tuscan White Bean and Kale Soup by Kristine’s Kitchen
One Pot Pizza Gnocchi Pasta by Savory Nothings
30-Minute Cheesy Mexican Rice Skillet by Flavor the Moments
Skinny Cajun Shrimp Alfredo Pasta by Bake. Eat. Repeat.
One Pot BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Rice by The Recipe Rebel
Kale Pesto Pasta with Tofu by She Likes Food
Garlic Butter Monte Cristo Pull-Apart Sliders by Whole and Heavenly Oven
Shrimp and Vodka Penne Pasta by My Kitchen Craze