Monday, August 2, 2010

First Day of School

I have an amazing husband. When I got home from the vaca/wedding planning trip on Saturday, Bradley had the entire condo cleaned, all the laundry and dishes were clean and put away, my car was waxed and I had a vase full of flowers. I pretty much fell in love with him all over again! :) So waking up to pack Bradley's lunch on his first day of school (single tear) was the least I could do. I went to bed Sunday night thinking about what a wonderful wife I was, waking up early, packing a delicious and healthy lunch for my seminary-bound husband. Unfortunately, 7 a.m. found groggy, half asleep Francesca and not the perfect little housewife I was planning on being. Sigh...nevertheless, I pulled myself out of bed and made two peanut butter and honey sandwiches, packed a ziplock bag full of salt and vinegar chips, and threw a packet of cheese crackers into a plastic walmart bag. I made sure Bradley ate a hearty breakfast of golden grahams before I waved him out the door and seriously contemplated getting back in bed. There. I did my wifely duty. I felt quite proud of myself. I'm sure that I can turn this into a habit...

I forgot to take a "first day of school" pic, I'll get that tomorrow...second day of school pic is just as good! This is the "first day of studying after a year off" pic.

In order to fuel Bradley's little brain (I don't mean little as in small or dumb, but little as in cute, it's meant to be endearing) I decided to make something with spinach. Actually, that's not true. I decided to make minestrone soup, then found out it called for spinach, and congratulated myself on picking a supercharged brain food for dinner.

The best thing about this? You can bust out your crock pot! How I love any meal that calls for a crock pot.

Minestrone Soup

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained, rinsed (cannellini or navy)
  • 3 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped fresh or frozen (defrosted) spinach
  • 2 cups cooked small pasta like ditalini
  • extra Parmesan cheese to top
In a crock pot, combine broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, herbs, and salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours

Forty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add zucchini and spinach. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Add cooked pasta, cook 10 minutes more. Remove bay leaves, rosemary sprig, and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with extra parmesan cheese.

Buon Appetito!

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