Living a Pinterest Life

Classic Minestrone — August 30, 2012

Classic Minestrone

Soup and grilled cheese for dinner is not really the ideal end of summer meal, but I was getting so anxious to make all my fall soups again I just couldn’t wait. I wasn’t too thrilled with this soup though. It wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t amazing. However, if you are looking for a healthy soup jam packed full of veggies this is the one for you. One bowl of this soup was just a little over 200 calories. Half the recipe made four servings. Happy Eating!

Classic Minestrone

Recipe thanks to Martha Stewart


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 head Savoy or green cabbage (1/2 pound), cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, plus torn leaves for serving (optional)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan, for serving


  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion, carrots, celery, red-pepper flakes, rosemary, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to turn golden, 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes; cook until some of the liquid evaporates, 1 minute. Add potato, cabbage, cannellini beans, and 7 cups water; bring to a boil. Stir in green beans.
  3. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; stir in garlic, if using, and basil. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan and, if using, torn basil. Drizzle with more oil, if desired.


For variations on this classic version, try swapping zucchini for green beans, kale for cabbage, and chickpeas for cannellini beans.

Basil Pesto Sauce — June 21, 2012

Basil Pesto Sauce

I got some fresh basil from a friend and was excited to make this pesto sauce. This recipe was simple and took barely any time to make. After making this though I’m hoping we get the food processor we registered for. The blender just didn’t do those little pine nuts justice. Half the recipe made two servings. I buttered some bread and sprinkled it with garlic salt and parmesan cheese and toasted it to serve with it. Happy Eating!

Basil Pesto Sauce


Basil Pesto Sauce


1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Romano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste


Place pine nuts, garlic, basil and oil in a food processor and pulse until finely blended.

Transfer pesto from food processor to bowl. Add all remaining ingredients.

Toss with your favorite pasta or chill and use in 2-3 days.  (I heated the pesto sauce right before tossing it with the pasta)

Utensils Used:

Southwestern Avocado and Black Bean Salad — June 3, 2012

Southwestern Avocado and Black Bean Salad

I love grill outs with my family. We had a rare meal where it was just my immediate family no fiance and no brother and law. It was wonderful being with just my sister, mom, and dad. This salad was refreshing and light, great for a hot summer day. I loved the cilantro taste in the dressing. Half the recipe was enough for four people with leftovers. Happy Eating!

Southwestern Avocado and Black Bean Salad

Southwestern Avocado and Black Bean Salad

Recipe thanks to Jamie Deen


1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 or 3 dashes hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce

2 avocados, peeled and diced

2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained

2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes

About 3/4 cup (3-ounces) grated pepper jack cheese

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a small bowl, whisk together the cilantro, oil, lime juice and hot sauce.

In a large serving bowl, add the lettuce, avocado, corn, beans, tomatoes, and cheese. Add the dressing and toss well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

Utensils Used:

Southwestern Vegetarian Chili Dinner — May 11, 2012

Southwestern Vegetarian Chili Dinner

My special K meal plan is going awesome! I already lost 3 pounds this week. The meals are delicious. This recipe yields a nice big bowl of soup. It’s spicy so if you don’t like spicy, use regular diced tomatoes instead of the ones with green chiles. I didn’t have cheddar cheese so I used Monterrey jack and I left out the sour cream. Happy Eating!

Southwestern Vegetarian Chili Dinner


Southwestern Vegetarian Chili Dinner
Recipe thanks to Special K


1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
10 ounce can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
1/2 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup tomato sauce, no-salt-added
1 tablespoon shredded, low-fat cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon fat-free sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
1 slice corn bread, prepared

In medium saucepan coated with cooking spray cook and stir onion and garlic over medium heat about 3 minutes or until tender.
Stir in chili powder. Cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add undrained tomatoes, beans and tomato sauce. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes or until desired consistency. Ladle into bowl. Top with cheese (if desired), sour cream and onions.
Utensils Used:

Cheesy Artichoke Pasta — April 3, 2012

Cheesy Artichoke Pasta

This was not the kind of recipe where I took my first bite and thought, “OMG this is amazing!” Actually I was not too impressed at first. But my bank account was screaming at me, “Who cares if you don’t like it you have to eat what you got!” As I ate it I thought about what I could do to like this next time. I made half the recipe, but my mistake was to put the whole can of artichokes in instead of only half. Next time I would also add chicken to it. I like meaty, saucy pastas so this was steering away from my comfort zone. If you are the kind of person that likes light pastas then you will like this. Let me know what you think! (Half the recipe made two servings)

Cheesy Artichoke Pasta

Recipe thanks to Iowa Girl Eats

•    1 Tablespoon butter
•    1 Tablespoon olive oil
•    salt & pepper
•    2 green onions, chopped
•    2 garlic cloves, minced
•    1 can whole artichoke hearts, drained & quartered
•    1/2 can petite diced tomatoes with juice
•    1/4 cup half & half
•    1/4 cup chicken broth
•    6oz dry long pasta, like fettuccini or spaghetti
•    1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
•    Cook pasta in salted, boiling water. Drain and return to the hot pot.
•    Meanwhile, melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add green onions, salt and pepper, then sauté until slightly softened, ~2 minutes. Add minced garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.
•    Add artichoke hearts and tomatoes into the skillet. Season with a bit more salt and pepper, then cook for 8 minutes. Add in half & half and chicken broth and cook until just heated through.
•    Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the cooked pasta then add in the tomato artichoke sauce. Stir to combine, and serve!

Utensils Used:

%d bloggers like this: