Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Funny story. When we were first married, my husband decided to be cute and make me breakfast in bed. He made a huge deal about it all week. On Saturday morning, I heard him sneak out of bed, and then rummaging in the kitchen. The microwave dinged, and a few minutes later he brought a plate in. I pretend to be surprised and stretched, and looked down at a burrito. A burrito with beans and hot dog in it. For breakfast. I tried to stomach it, but I had to turn it down. He continues to make me laugh with the food he comes up with. He actually eats and enjoys his crazy creations.

Anyway, have I mentioned in the past that I love my crock pot? It's easily my favorite item in my kitchen. During the fall and winter I can make soup every day without slaving in the kitchen. During the summer I don't have to have my oven on ever. Any time of the year, I just throw random stuff inside it, turn it on, and it almost always turns out.

Tonight was another success. I love minestrone. Back in my non-gluten free days, I loved Olive Garden. The hardest decision I had to make was soup or salad. I love their minestrone! It's also easy to make, so that's always a plus. There are tons of variations, adding beans, different types of beans, carrots or no carrots. I prefer to add sausage so I don't have to bake chicken or some other meat. It's just a one pot dinner! Done and done!

The recipe calls for fire roasted diced tomatoes, but the kids and I don't like tomato chunks, so I substituted that for tomato paste and added a little more seasoning. Opted out of celery because of all the food my husband will eat, he won't eat celery (I know, bizarre right?)  And added sausage, of course. You can do green beans in the place of zucchini.

1 package sausage sliced (I used Aidell's apple chicken sausage)
2 cans of beans (I used a can of black and a can of kidney because that's what I had)
2 cans of chicken broth
2 carrots peeled and chopped
1 celery sliced
1 onion minced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
2 bay leaves
ground pepper to taste
2 cups small whole grain pasta (we used small shells)
1 medium zucchini
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place sausage, beans, chicken broth, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and seasoning in crockpot, cover, and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Add pasta and zucchini, cover, and cook an additional 30-60 minutes.

Remove bay leaves. Stir in Parmesan, or sprinkle on top of each serving as garnish, and serve.

1 cup is a serving and equals 1 red, 1 green, and 1 yellow.

Makes 6 servings.

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