Minestrone comes from the “cucina povera” or “poor kitchen”. Created and elaborated from it’s own ingredients, a mix of leftover or fresh, slightly wilted or oven roasted vegetables or dried legumes possibly simmering with meat broths or bones, cheese crusts and dry bread crusts. Or like mine, without the elaboration of the last 4 listed but with a touch of dried herbs. Some omit the starches, the beans, potatoes and some add rice, barley or pasta. Minestrone can be what you want it to be, a soup, a “zuppa” (a stew-like consistency) or even a puree’. And deliciously decorated with grated cheeses, crispy bacon or like me, with my favorite olive oil and a grind of fresh pepper or like Joe, pureed and topped with crispy bacon and fresh bread (below).
But if you are like me, you use what you have including half of a roasted sweet pumpkin and rejoice from the grande finale of the composed “Minestrone”.
I sautéed 1 chopped onion and 3 cloves garlic in a couple tbsp. Evo in an 8 qt. pot.
- 2 roma Tomatoes, chopped
- 4 medium sizes Carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks of Celery, chopped
- 1 large red Potato, chopped
- 4 handfuls of fresh Spinach
- 4 Broccoli florets
- 4 Cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup sliced Mushrooms
- 1 *handful of the following: dried chick peas, dried peas, dried cannellini beans & lentils (soaked for 4 hrs)
*1 handful = 1/4 cup
I sautéed all the ingredients for a few mins then added 1/2 gallon of Spring Water.
I added 1/4 tsp of:
- maggiorana, thyme, oregano, dill weed,
- 2 bay leaves and 3 tsps sea salt.
I let boil then simmer for an hour + and then added:
- 1/2 roasted sweetie pie Pumpkin, cut in large pieces (approx. 2 cups)
I added another 4-6 cups Spring water as needed and let simmer until all the dried legumes were soft and to just the right consistancy.
Buon Appetito to Joe and I!
Stewed lentils, Lenticchie Stuffate in Italian, are amongst one of my favorite foods. And are soooo good for me! Lots of protein!
My recipe comes from my life in Italy:
Sautee’ the vegetables in the evo until onion is translucent. Add the rinsed Lentils to the pan and let sautee’ a couple minutes.
Put the sautéed lentils and veggies in the crock pot on high and add 3 cups vegetable broth, tomato sauce and thyme.
Cook for approx. 1 1/2 hrs. Add more broth if needed until lentils are soft, mixing occasionally.
2 Poached eggs, steamed Bok Choy and stewed lentils, for breakfast, lunch or dinner, YUM!
My Sweet Cup of Autumn recipe is adapted from by “Oh She Glows” Velvetty Butternut Cinnamon, date smoothie http://ohsheglows.com/2013/09/27/velvety-butternut-cinnamon-date-smoothie-for-two/comment-page-2/#comments
- 1-1/2+ c almond milk
- 1-1/4c roasted butternut squash
- 1/4 cup chopped medjool dates (I used packaged pitted and already chopped)
- 1 tbls chia seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- a sprinkle of ground cloves
Mix all ingredients together in blender or food processor.
- 3 tbls walnuts, pinenuts, pecans (or any preferred nuts), oats
- 1-2 tsp Rapadura/organic cane sugar
- a pinch of cinnamon
Chop the nuts and toast them in a small pan, sprinkle with rapadura and cinnamon.
When nuts are cooled top the Spiced Butternut Squash and serve with a spoon!
Since I was a child I always loved blueberries, especially in pancakes and muffins. Pancakes soaked and drowning in maple flavored corn syrup and muffins filled with some sort of terrible plastic based spread that didn’t even really taste like butter but I couldn’t get enough of. And then again, the blueberries, most likely canned, packed with artificial ingredients and loaded with sugar. This is all in the past for me, those “Old fashioned foods”. I now understand the continuous want for sugar and carbs and the lethargic effect it had on me, none the less the dormant feeling in my tongue and then the allergic reactions. After being in the ER twice and seeing an Allergist I found out that I am allergic to “additives” in packaged food products. The Allergist gave me a strict clean diet to follow for 6 months to detox myself. I am anemic, IGA deficient and have Thalassemia, which leads me to being more susceptible to the negative effects of unhealthy eating and that how I nourish myself is very important, both physically and mentally. That was the beginning…….
I am a “Clean Eater” I don’t eat refined sugars, gluten, red meat, white meat, fast food or junk food. I eat fish, eggs, nuts, fruits, vegetables and for now, only some dairy on special occasions or in special recipes. After cutting certain things out completely from my diet I feel so much better. I feel normal. I am free! I love to cook, I love planning my meals for the week, trying new recipes and making my own. This is how I live and eat, Judifood 🙂