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For the Freezer, Recipes, Veggies and Fruit, Weeknight Favorites

Homemade Easy Minestrone Soup in 30 Minutes or Less

Hello busy ladies and gentlemen, It’s been awhile since I posted on the blog, my life it a tad crazy right now, a lot of travel and work.  Being busy reminds me that I really cant afford to be disorganized, there’s so much going on, that keeping on task and on top of my lists is doubly important.

The last few days some veggies in my fridge were looking a tiny bit peaked….they’d been languishing a few days and I definitely needed to get them used up.  I looked at a few recipes and concocted an easy minestrone soup recipe that was truly amazing!  The best part, there’s enough for a lot of leftovers, or a second meal!  I made mine with chicken stock, because that’s what I had on hand, but you could make yours with vegetable stock and have a vegetarian version very easily.

30-Minute Easy Minestrone Recipe

Doesn’t it look yummy?  This is day 2 soup, rewarmed for my lunch today, and it was just as good as it was yesterday.  I think the key is not overcooking the zucchini and using SMALL zucchini that aren’t really strong in flavor.  I used yellow wax beans because that’s what I had, you can use frozen or canned green beans very easily, and really any vegetables or beans you have lying around.  This really is a “clean out the fridge” recipe.  You can freeze the vegetable soup part and reheat and serve over noodles any night you’re short on time.

Minestrone in 30 Minutes or Less
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Minestrone in 30 Minutes or Less


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 1/2 large onion, minced
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped same size as celery
  • 1, 32 oz container chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 29 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can green beans (or about 1 C frozen)
  • 2 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup seashell or orichette pasta
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • for topping


  1. In a large pot heat olive oil and saute garlic and onion for 3-4 minutes. Add in minced celery and carrots, saute for about 5 more minutes. Salt a bit to bring the liquid out in the vegetables.
  2. Once the onions are translucent, add chicken broth, water and tomato sauce and bring to a boil, stirring every few minutes until it's boiling well. Reduce heat to a simmer and add beans, green beans, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the carrots are done.
  3. To ensure your pasta isn't gooey, I cook it separately until al dente and add a 1/4 cup or so cooked pasta to the bottom of the bowl before I ladle the vegetable soup over the top.
  4. top with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and serve with grilled cheese! Yum!


Recipes, Veggies and Fruit, Weeknight Favorites

Easy & Quick Grilled Summer Side Dish

Grilled Summer Vegetables

I love grilled vegetables in the summer.  I also love when my kids eat grilled vegetables in the summer.  One of my favorite things to throw together is grilled zucchini and mushrooms.  They are dead simple, really healthy, and easy to get the kids to gnosh on.

I had one of those reusable grill baskets and I hated it.  I could never get it clean.  I found some thin grill toppers at Walmart and SCORED!  I love them and can wash them a few times if they dont get gunky.

Look at how tasty these veggies are – makes you want to lick your screen doesn’t it?

Grilled Summer Vegetables

You can substitute or add multiple vegetables in this – green or red peppers are great, asparagus or green beans are great, and summer squash can be added or substituted entirely.

Easy & Quick Grilled Summer Side Dish
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Easy & Quick Grilled Summer Side Dish


  • 3 medium zucchini (i dont recommend the giants for this - they're a little "woody")
  • 1 C sliced baby bella mushrooms (or whatever you have)
  • 3-4 T Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tbsp your favorite garlic & herb seasoning (I use Wildtree - if your seasoning has salt, adjust how much salt you add above)


  1. Cut the zucchini into 1 1/2 inch chunks and add to a bowl
  2. Slice or quarter your mushrooms (depending on size) and add to the bowl
  3. Top with oil, salt & seasoning
  4. Mix well with your hands - best kitchen tools out there
  5. Grill on a grid (pictured above) or in a grill pan turning a few times until toasty.
  6. I usually put these on when my protein has about 15-20 minutes left.

On a side note – didn’t my pics turn out great?  Loving my new camera!

[slideshow gallery_id=”5″]

Inside Projects, Veggies and Fruit

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Pineapple?

How to Clean a Fresh Pineapple

Me – well I used to be.

Spiky and intimidating, I was always under the impression that a fresh pineapple was more trouble than it was worth.  Canned pineapple was out, because for some reason it made my mouth itch…ick.

One day I had some fresh pineapple cut up from the grocery as an experiment.  I thought for sure I’d have issues with that also, but I didnt – and man was it good.  I learned something that day – an already cut up pineapple from the deli lasts ONE day…..and you just dont know when they cut it up.

How to Clean a Fresh Pineapple


So the next trip to the grocery, I stood in front of the fresh pineapple display and Continue Reading

Light and Healthier, Recipes, Veggies and Fruit

Carciofi Ripieni – Stuffed Artichokes Recipe

I love Food Network – its an addiction, almost as strong as my addition to recipe & food magazines.  Yes, I know I can find all of the recipes online, but holding that color photo of yummy food in my hand and curling up on the couch with my notepad and endless possibilities is so comforting.  Heck,I could be addicted to something more expensive, like Prada or Hermes….

Maddie and I were in the grocery today and they had some nice artichokes.  Maddie said “Lets make artichokes like Mario Batali.”  Challenge Accepted.

2 things – 1) I wasnt turning the oven on today – it was hot and 2) I had no fresh parsley….its okay – we improvised with the grill and some dried herbs – they were amazing!

Here’s the Recipe:

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Day-2, Entertaining, Light and Healthier, Recipes, Veggies and Fruit

Spicy Mexican Cabbage Slaw Recipe

This is another fabulous Tish recipe.  I need to get her bio on this site because her stuff is AMAZING!  She has a Zucchini Carpaccio recipe that will bring down the HOUSE!

I store mine in mason jars – THIS IS NOT a canning recipe.

There is a local restaurant that makes something similar to this – but this is way better and you control the spice and the ingredients – can’t ask for anything more!

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