My family and I meal prep, we sit down every weekend and decide every dinner for the coming week. It may seem daunting, but it’s easy and saves us the hassle of not knowing what to cook, and making those mid-week grocery runs, buying everything we don’t need.
We’re pretty good at making meals at home 95% of the time; we may eat out once or twice a month, but we damn sure don’t cook every night. The key to our sanity is cooking meals that will feed the family for two nights. Tonight I made minestrone soup, which will easily feed our family of four two nights (disclosure: my kids are 1 and 3…).
This minestrone recipe is one we reach for about once a month. It’s light, fresh, easy to make, and packed with flavor. It’s a one pot meal, making clean-up minimal.
- 1 large yellow onion, large dice
- 4 medium carrots, large dice
- 3 stalks celery, large dice
- 2 medium zucchini, large dice
- 8oz pasta (my kids picked out pinwheels)
- 32oz chicken stock (unsalted or reduced sodium)
- 14oz can of diced tomato
- 15oz can kidney beans
- Small bunch of basil
- 3 handfuls kale, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a 4 qt or larger pot, add small amount of vegetable oil and set over medium high heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook additional 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomato, and beans. Simmer for 10 minutes. At this point add salt and pepper to your tasting. Depending on how much salt has been added to the stock already, varying amounts of salt will be needed. Just remember, you can always add salt, it’s hard to take out salt once you’ve added too much. Add your kale and pasta, and with lid on, simmer for additional 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Serve with shaved parm and basil.
Minestrone is a very easy dish to make and is easily adaptable for what you have or like to eat. You can change the pasta, change the greens, add different types of vegetables, use vegetable stock to make it a vegetarian dish, whatever you want. Don’t be too concerned with keeping it “traditional”, its more important to enjoy what you’re eating.
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