Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Minestrone Soup & Speedy Wheat Biscuits

I don't know if I've ever talked about my job on this blog, but after some of the recipes on here you'll probably never believe it when I tell you what I do...I'm a Wellness Specialist for an Independent Wellness Company that does Employee Wellness Programs for various businesses and corporations. I absolutely love it!!! But I also absolutely love to eat, and I sometimes feel a little bit like a hypocrite when I eat/cook junk food. Don't worry though, that doesn't bother me enough to stop. Anyway, a little while ago at work I was asked to do a Lunch & Learn with one of my coworkers about healthy cooking substitutions. We talked a lot about all of that wonderful stuff, and then we made some healthy recipes (or should I say, healthier than most) for them to sample. This delicious minestrone soup, these fabulous biscuits, and a breakfast cookie I've made before all made it on to the menu. They were all a big hit, too! Can I just say thank heavens for the Food Network?! It is always there when I need them, via TV, internet, or magazine (yes I just subscribed, and am loving it!). So yeah, I hope you enjoy these healthier recipes just as much as our audience did!
Minestrone Soup
From Robin Miller of the Food Network
3 c. low sodium chicken broth
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes (I used Italian style)
1 can white beans (Great Northern), drained and rinsed
2 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 c. onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 c. fresh spinach, chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried sage
2 bay leaves
2 c. cooked ditalini pasta
In a slow cooker, combine broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, sage, bay leaves, & 1/2 tsp salt & pepper. Cook on LOW 6-8 hours, or HIGH 3-4 hours. 30 minutes before soup is done, add pasta, zucchini, & spinach. Cover & cook 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves & season to taste.

Wheat Biscuits
From the Food Network

1 c. wheat flour
1 c. white flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
1 cup buttermilk, cold
Whisk dry ingredients. Cut in butter until resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk, stirring until moistened. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface & knead lightly 4-5 times. Pat dough out to 1 inch thickness. Cut with biscuit cutter (I used a small cup) & place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees 12-14 minutes.

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