Monday, April 30, 2012

Quick Minestrone Soup - Vegan and Wheat Free

 It's Meatless Monday! Today I actually got a call from a project director of Meatless Monday. She wanted to interview me about how going meatless has changed and enriched our lives. I know, as the mom of a child with multiple food allergies, it seems almost stupid to commit to restricting our diets even more one night a week. But for us, realizing that not every meal had to follow the meat/veggies/carb model really opened my eyes. I started looking at and adapting vegan and vegetarian recipes and a whole new world was suddenly made visible to me. I discovered polenta, all the ways chickpeas can be used, and that you can create whole meals that satisfy everyone for half the price of a recipe including meat. Allergies suck, but even though we've removed whole food groups from our diet, we eat more varied and nutritionally complete foods than the typical american diet, and for that I am (almost) thankful for multiple food allergies.

  Anyway, I would like to make minestrone from scratch soon, the kind you simmer on the stove for 5-6 hours. But in the meantime, here is a super fast and tasty version to make on busy nights :)

Quick and Easy Minestrone Soup

28oz vegetable stock 
1 can italian seasoned stewed tomatoes, drained
1 can black beans (or kidney beans), drained and rinsed
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, such as italian style or country mix
2 tsp italian seasoning, crushed
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp sea salt
a few cracks of fresh ground black pepper
3 Tbl marinara sauce (optional)
14 oz corn-quinoa pasta elbows or other shapes

In a medium/large stock pot over high high heat, add vegetable stock, tomatoes, beans and chickpeas, and bring to a boil, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add the rest of the ingredients except pasta. Return to a boil, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add pasta and cover, simmering for 6-9 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Remove from heat, adjust seasonings to taste, and serve with nutritional yeast flakes sprinkled on top and yummy garlic toast to dip in it!

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