So I have definitely been on a new recipe kick lately. I am trying to eat healthier and lose weight and to be honest…I’ve never tried to lose weight AND clip coupons at the same time. Losing weight for me has always resulted in higher grocery bills. Not because healthy food is more expensive, it’s really not. Mainly because to keep things interesting and to stay on track, I have to have a wider, more interesting selection of food available to me.
This generally results in higher grocery bills, which in the past I just chalked up to getting healthier. Well, this time around…I wanted to do it right.
I don’t want to raise our grocery budget to accommodate losing weight.
That makes it seem like weight loss and health are short term goals and eventually we’ll go back to where we were. We’re not going to do that. So in addition to making our new menu lifestyle changes, we also have to make a new budget lifestyle changes. This means changing the way I shop (a little) and changing the way I cook (a lot).
Everyone has those fall back recipes that they make when ideas escape them and they just want dinner to be as quick and painless as possible. Unfortunately for me, my go to recipes don’t exactly fit into my new lifestyle. So I need to find new go to recipes. The stakes are high for these test recipes though. Rather then JUST being healthy or JUST being frugal…they have to be both…and so much more.
- Kid Friendly
- Adult Friendly
- NOT Diet Food
This next recipe fills all of the above criteria and more. My picky picky son even ate most of this soup! If that’s not a testimonial for this yummy soup…I’m not sure what else is? So without further ado…
Fun & Frugal Bean & Pasta Soup
adapted from Taste Of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook
- 1 cup small pasta (we used macaroni, but if you can find alphabet pasta…I’d totally use that if your kids will be eating with you!)
- 2 celery ribs thinly sliced
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced thin
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tbspn olive oil
- 2 cups water
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes (undrained)
- 1 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tspn dried basil
- 1/2 tspn dried rosemary
- 1/4 tspn salt
- 1/8 tspn pepper
- 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans rinsed and drained
- 2 cups fresh spinach (I used one cup because I wanted the kids to eat it!)
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan (I actually left this out because I forgot…you totally don’t need it)
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile add olive oil to a deep pan or pot. Add celery, carrots, onion and garlic and sautee until nice and soft.
- Add water, chicken broth, tomatoes, basil, rosemary, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop spinach
- Add beans & spinach and let simmer about 5 minutes longer.
- Add pasta* just before serving. Top with parm if desired.
*If you aren’t going to eat this all in one sitting…it’s up to you if you add all the pasta to the soup right away or if you store it separately and add pasta as you heat it up. I poured all the pasta in because I don’t mind my pasta being mushy. You might not feel the same!
Nutrition Info: 1 1/2 cups= 218 calories/ 5 g fat/ 35 g carbs/ 7 g fiber /9 g protein 5 Points Plus on Weight Watchers
I wish I had gotten pics of the kids eating this. Lizzie ate it so fast that we thought maybe she spilled her soup. Noah LOVED the broth and the macaroni. He still shied away from the veggies, but I’m convinced some nutrition leached into the broth during cooking!
Ask the Readers: Are you enjoying all the recipes lately? Anything you’d like to see? Please let me know!