Sunday, April 10, 2011

Minestrone..Low cal but NOT sodium :S

Mmmmmm...I love minestrone. This version was fabulous because it was a slow cooker version, which always makes me happy. I originally found the recipe on skinny taste, but altered it to better fit my family (i.e. cheaper, using what I had on hand, one bay leaf instead of two, more garlic, etc.) Next time I will definitely try to use lower sodium chicken/vegetable broth and if I can find lower sodium tomatoes, that would also help. It is tasty though. If you get everything ready beforehand, you can just throw it in the slow cooker before you leave for the day, and finish it up in an hour or so when you get back home. Yum.

1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1 cup chopped carrots
1 large stalk celery, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced (I used my Norpro Stainless Steel Vegetable Chopper. They make life so much easier.)
2 cans italian stewed tomatoes
1 can white beans
3 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp parsley
1 bay leaf
2 cups raw baby spinach leaves
1 large zucchinni, with skin, sliced
1/2 box (app. 2 cups) Barilla whole grain pasta - medium shells (or another pasta of your preference.)

Prepare all vegetables, but save the spinach and zucchini until the end (otherwise they'll get super mushy.) Place onion, carrots, celery, garlic, tomatoes, beans, broth, and spices in slow cooker. (The original recipe said to mush up the beans in a food processor first, but I skipped this step. I like whole beans in my minestrone.) Cook on low for 6-8 hours. I think the longer it cooks, the more flavorful. An hour or so before you serve it, remove the bay leaf and discard, then add the zucchini and spinach. Let it cook until the zucchini is soft but not mushy and the spinach is well wilted. Fifteen minutes to a half hour before you serve it, add cooked pasta, prepared al dente (or less time,) to the slow cooker. When everything is heated through, serve.

MFP info: 6 servings, each has: 250 calories 1 gram of fat 12 grams of protein 853 milligrams of sodium

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Served with my Italian Cheese Biscuits...if you want the recipe ask.

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Ingredients for Vegetable Lo Mein

Ingredients for Vegetable Lo Mein
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