Quick & Easy Chunky Vegetable Tomato Basil Soup with Cannellini Beans

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This is my go-to healthy, hearty, quick & easy soup — it fits all my requirements: super simple, very little preparation, healthy and full of nutrients, and a delicious, filling meal for my family. A soup like this traditionally has potatoes — however, I substitute in cannellini beans, which is a great source of iron, folate, and protein. The only vegetables that need chopping in this soup are the onion and carrots — the rest of the veggies are frozen, which means that you can make a healthy, filling, totally scrumptious soup in about 45 minutes, with very little washing, peeling, and chopping. I also love this soup because you make it without a blender. This means fewer dishes to clean, which makes this busy Mama very happy!

Another thing that speeds up this dish — Dorot frozen chopped garlic and basil! You can buy them from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, and they make this dish even speedier. You just pop them out, a teaspoon at a time, and they add so much to the soup.

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Chop your onion and carrots and drain and rinse your cannellini beans — that’s all you need to prepare for this healthy and hearty soup!

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Quick and Easy Chunky Vegetable Tomato Basil Soup with Cannellini Beans [ Recipe by Neshikot.com ]

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
4 teaspoons chopped garlic
4 carrots, washed, peeled and chopped into 1/4″ slices
4 cups (32oz) low sodium vegetable broth
1 jar (25 oz) marinara sauce
1 bag mixed veggies with no salt/seasoning added (I use Whole Foods organic green beans, peas, carrots, and corn)
2 teaspoons chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box or can of pre-cooked Cannellini beans
Grated parmesan (optional)

Directions:
Wash, peel and chop carrots and onion.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the onions and sauté them for about 5 minutes. While they are cooking, continue stirring occasionally, and drain and rinse the cannellini beans well.

Add your garlic to the pot and sauté for another 2 minutes. Then, add in the chopped carrots, vegetable broth, tomato sauce, and beans. Simmer for about 20 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Add the bag of frozen veggies directly into the soup, as well as the basil and salt. Simmer for about 15 more minutes.

Allow soup to cool for a few minutes and serve! Top each bowl with a couple tablespoons of grated parmesan if desired. Or, leave it off for a delicious and hearty vegan soup.

Notes:
I use Dorot frozen garlic and basil cubes for this recipe, which speeds up the cooking process quite a bit for me.

You could add in lots of different vegetables to this dish! However, I think it works best if you make sure to use at least the onions, garlic, chopped carrots, and corn. The corn gives it a great sweet taste and balances out the heartiness of the soup. But, that’s just my personal opinion — if you find a great combination, please let me know in the comments!

I included this recipe in my “Toddler Approved” section because my son LOVES this soup — however, if you are going to serve this to your toddler, please make sure to chop the larger pieces of veggies into smaller pieces. The carrots and green beans especially may need finer chopping for the little ones.

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30 Minute Dinner: Garlic Spaghetti and Broccoli

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When I only have 30 minutes to come up with dinner, this is one of my favorite recipes. The sautéed garlic sauce will make your house smell amazing while you are cooking it, and the broccoli bumps up the healthy factor to this pasta dish. I purposely make this with 8oz of pasta and 16oz of broccoli — it’s one third pasta and two thirds vegetables, meaning that my family is getting in lots of broccoli’s power packed nutrients (fiber, vitamin C, and iron, to name a few). If you want to make it a healthier, switch up the spaghetti for whole wheat spaghetti or quinoa pasta!

Also, I use the term “30 Minute Dinner” conservatively — I am an incredibly slow cook. I cooked this in 30 minutes, but there’s a decent chance you could get it done in 20 — give it a try and let me know!

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30 Minute Dinner: Garlic Spaghetti and Broccoli [ Recipe by Neshikot.com ]

Ingredients:
8 oz spaghetti
1/4 cup garlic olive oil
4 teaspoons grated garlic (Dorot is a great option when you are in a hurry)
1 cup grated parmesan
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 package organic frozen broccoli (16 oz)

Directions:
Cook pasta according to instructions. While pasta is cooking, steam broccoli according to instructions.

When pasta is finished, drain and set aside. In the same pot, add the garlic olive oil and turn the heat back on to medium. Then add in the garlic and cook for a few minutes, until garlic starts to sizzle and look slightly golden, but don’t let it turn brown. Turn off heat, and pour the cooked pasta back into the pot, mixing the garlic and oil mixture in with the pasta.

Transfer pasta to a large bowl, and immediately mix in 3/4 of the parmesan and the lemon juice. Then, mix in the broccoli, and the rest of the parmesan. Toss well and serve!

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Quick and Easy Berry Baked Oatmeal

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This berry baked oatmeal is an incredibly fast, easy, inexpensive, and healthy way to feed a big group — whether you have friends coming over for brunch, or are looking for a way to feed breakfast for a big family. Because it uses frozen fruit, and most of the ingredients are things I always have stocked, it’s super easy to whip this up anytime I need. It’s so easy to customize, and to try different oatmeal add ons. You could add nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, and so much more.

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Quick and Easy Berry Baked Oatmeal [ Recipe by Neshikot.com ]

Ingredients:
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups milk (I have used skim and 1% and both have worked well)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 bag frozen mixed berries
1 bag frozen strawberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 13×9″ baking dish.

In a large bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and frozen fruit. Pour this mixture into baking dish.

In the same bowl, mix together the milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Pour liquid mixture into dry mixture in the baking dish, making sure that all of the oats are coated. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, rotating the pan once around the 20 minute mark.

Inspired by:
InspiredTaste and Epicurious

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