There’s wine in my soup

Those of you following us on Instagram may have seen this mouthwatering photo of our homemade Chianti Minestrone pop up on your feed for #winewednesday this week.

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We got a lot of interest about what’s cooking in our kitchen, and we were asked by a reader (and high school friend! what, what!) to post the recipe. So, without mincing words (see what I did there?) I’ll get straight to the point. Here’s how to make the magic happen.

Homemade Chianti Minestrone with Spicy Italian Sausage

Ingredients:

  • 1 28 oz. chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into half moons
  • 1 lb hot Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced into half moons
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup of fresh basil, chopped (reserve a few leaves for garnish)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 32 oz. vegetable broth
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup good Chianti (optional)
  • 1/2 water (as needed)
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese (for topping)

To Make:

  1. Coat the bottom of a large soup pot generously with olive oil. Add sausage, onion, and garlic and cook over medium-high heat until sausage is cooked through, and the garlic and onion are fragrant but not blackened. Crumble sausage as much as possible.
  2. Reduce to medium heat and add carrots, cook 3-5 minutes more or until slightly tender.
  3. Add zucchini and squash and saute until tender, another 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for another 30 minutes or so.
  5. Add pasta, beans, spinach, and herbs and return to a boil. Cook for 5-10 minutes and reduce heat to low simmer.
  6. Finish by adding 1/2 cup of good Chianti, and salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes I’ll add an extra 1/2c. of water or so too, depending on how much broth has reduced.

That’s it! You’re done. If you want to go crazy and make homemade bread too, this soup goes fantastically well with my homemade herbed bread, and you can find that recipe here. This makes a LOT of soup and typically feeds us for a couple of meals. I add a bit of water to thin the broth when I reheat it, but it keeps very well in the fridge for a number of days.

Bon Appetit and happy fall soup-ing! (And wining, if you’re so inclined.) Cheers!

fullsizeoutput_658Christiana is a Navy wife and mother of 3 children, attorney and former realtor, world traveler, home renovator and decorator, yogi, fitness enthusiast, and recipe & wine explorer.

Photo credit: Tara Liebeck Photography

 

 

Back-to-School Breakfasts

Back to school mornings got anyone else feeling like they are #herdingcats ?? You have TONS of time to make breakfast for everyone before the bus/carpool/work/drop-off, right?!?! 

Many times, school mornings are a “just trying to get pants on all parties before they exit the house” kind of mornings, so healthy, homemade breakfasts for the whole squad can sometimes feel out of reach. And we get that. BUT we also know that no one learns better hangry, so it feels awesome when we can pull together a nutritious breakfast for our little one’s learning minds.

plate morning breakfast jam

Christiana’s Pick: Make-Ahead Protein Waffles

We LOVE waffles in our family, but as a mom, I didn’t love that most prepared mixes and waffle recipes were full of sugar, hydrogenated oils, and not much nutritional value. Enter the make-ahead protein waffle. These are definitely not just for the kids! Full of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, these waffles keep our whole super-active family full and energized all morning. I almost always mix these up on a Sunday morning and double the recipe so I have batter to last me a few weekdays. If you make ahead, simply refrigerate the batter and add a teaspoon of warm water to the bowl and re-mix before cooking on the waffle iron. As a bonus: There also lots of great ways to top these. Our house favorites include farm-fresh berries and cream, bananas and nutella, or frozen blackberries with pure maple syrup.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups milk of your choice (I like to use organic whole milk and/or unsweetened almond milk. You may need slightly more or less depending on the amount of optional extras you add, listed below.)
  • 6 Tbsp coconut oil  (Easiest to mix batter when oil is warmed to a liquid)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup ground flax seed (Optional)
  • 1/4 cup chia seed (Optional)
  • 1/4 cup protein powder (Optional. We prefer flavorless or vanilla, particularly Bob’s Red Mill Pea Protein)

To Make: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix and let rest while waffle iron warms. Scoop 1/4 -1/2 cup batter per waffle based on desired size. Top and enjoy!! Refrigerate leftover batter for busy weekday mornings. Will keep covered and refrigerated for several days.

Related imageAnnie’s Pick: Protein Banana Muffins

These are easy to make a week in advance, they freeze and reheat super easily – plus you get rid of those old bananas, hoorah! They are SUPER fast because you cheat and use Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Protein Packed Flapjack and Waffle Mix. They are also healthy because they’re whole grain and pack great healthy protein in each one. They taste good enough for my picky eater to mow through them because they’re made with real butter. Don’t you dare start skimping on that or throwing in your “applesauce in place of fat” recipe substitute nonsense- if you need to review my post about healthy fats to convince you, go here. The recipe is from the back of the box with a little less sugar and added vanilla. Kodiak also makes a gluten-free mix if you’re a glu-tard like me 😀

  • 2 cups Power Cakes Mix
  • 1 cup organic whole milk or milk substitute of choice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soft unsalted butter
  • 2 ripe bananas, smashed up
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • optional: about 1 C chopped toasted nuts, coconut, chocolate chips…

To Make: Preheat oven to 350 and grease or line muffin cups (This will make 1 dozen but I usually double it). Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Use 1/3 C measuring cup to scoop into muffin tin. Bake 14-18 min for full-sized muffins or 10-14 for mini muffins. If you want to be a little “extra”, after they come out, melt some butter in one dish and mix up 2Tbs sugar and 1tsp cinnamon in another one. Dip muffins in butter then cinnamon sugar. You can also swap the banana for pumpkin and the cinnamon for pumpkin spice and up sugar to 1/2 cup for a festive fall version reminiscent of #PSL.

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Photo Cred: realsimplegood.com

Kristy’s Pick: Sausage or Bacon n’ Egg “McMuffins”

These paleo goodies are a Wright fam favorite for protein on the go. They are a meal prepper’s breakfast dream and can be made in regular size or “mini” for the kids. We have adapted this recipe several different ways, but from realsimplegood.com, the basic method is the same. If you’re like my household where”mushroom” is a bad word and provokes riot level hunger strikes, this recipe above needs to be adapted to avoid the Fungi That Shall Not Be Named. However, we’ve found it is easily substituted and a fun way to avoid the tummy rumbles and have the kids get involved! Also, since we have chickens, eggs are a plenty in our house so we try and utilize them any way we can.

For the bacon muffins:

  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 lb bacon, diced and precooked
  •  green onion, diced
  •  handful of spinach, chopped
  •  salt and pepper, to taste

For the sausage muffins:

  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 lb breakfast sausage
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, chopped (optional – create your own flavor options here)
  • handful of kale or spinach, chopped (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

To Make: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat two medium skillets over medium heat. Add in the sausage to one skillet and the bacon to the other. Brown the sausage and bacon and remove from the heat and set said.  In two separate medium bowls, crack five eggs into each bowl. Whisk the eggs up. Add in your ingredients to each bowl. This is where I let the kiddos take the lead. You can let them add herbs, cheeses, or extra meats they like! Next, rub a muffin tin with a little oil or spray with coconut oil spray, spoon the egg mixture into the muffin tin, filling them to just below the top. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Hope this gives you all a few options beyond toast and squeezie yogurt (no judgement on those options though!) or…. paper products. Happy Back-To-School week Real M*thers!

Zucchini Mania

Anyone else getting overloaded with some zucchini this time of year??

Image result for zucchini hunting season

Here are 2 recipes to add to your arsenal of zucchini disposal – bonus, my kids love both!!

Lemon Zucchini Cake

This recipe and gorgeous photo above are from Mom On Time Out Blog with a couple very slight tweaks – a little less sugar, used divided, and I used unsweetened macadamia milk and butter instead of almond milk and olive oil. She has a ton of awesome zucchini recipes – definitely check her out!

Ingredients
  • 1 cup granulated sugar – divided
  • 6 Tbsp melted and slightly cooled butter
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened vanilla macadamia milk (I like Milkadamia)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 2 cups cake flour (can substitute AP flour following directions here)
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1½ cup shredded zucchini, sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the sugar and toss in a mesh strainer. After prepping rest of above, squeeze excess liquid out.
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
Glaze (optional)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Spray a loaf pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside. Prep zucchini. I like to cheat and use the food processor for shredding.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 3/4C sugar and butter. Whisk to combine.
  5. Add eggs and macadamia milk and whisk together.
  6. Add lemon juice and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  7. Add flour mixture and stir just until incorporated.
  8. Fold in zucchini and lemon zest.
  9. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. The top of the cake should look dry.
  10. Place the loaf on a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes. Use the parchment paper to carefully life the cake from the pan. Let cool completely on rack.
Glaze
  1. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Drizzle the glaze over the cake.
  3. Slice and serve.
  • Still have more??
  • Triple Chocolate Zucchini Muffincakes

    These are my stand-by “get kids excited about something with zucchini in them” food. I think, hand to God, these are more delicious than regular chocolate muffins without the green stuff. The chocolate is in cocoa powder, dark chocolate chips and then optional ganache frosting and the zucchini makes these more decadent than a muffin but also healthier than a cupcake…. so I call ’em muffincakes.

    Makes 12 regular and 12 mini muffincakes

    • 1 C All purpose flour + 1/2 C whole wheat flour (optional substitute gluten free flour – works great in these
    • 1/2 C cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp cinnamon (also optional)
    • 2 tsp coffee granules (if you don’t have, sub 2TBS strong coffee into wet ingredients)
    • 1/2 C melted butter or coconut oil
    • 2/3 C sugar (divided)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 2C grated zucchini – sprinkle with a handful of the sugar and toss in a mesh strainer. After prepping rest of above, squeeze excess liquid out.
    • 1 C dark chocolate chips ( I like Guittard)

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare muffin tins by spraying with coconut oil or lining with cups.
    2. In medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients (flour through coffee granules)
    3. In mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and then vanilla. Stir in zucchini.
    4. Mix dry into wet in a few portions until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips and pour batter into muffin tin.
    5. Bake at 350F. 10-12 min for minis and 15-17 min for regulars.

    Optional Ganache

    • 1 C dark chocolate chips
    • 1/2 C heavy cream or coconut cream

    Heat together on stovetop or in microwave at 20 second intervals until chocolate is soft and can be stirred to smooth, melted heaven. Spread on cooled muffincakes. Indulge.

    Messy kitchen + happy kiddos + healthy treats = a win in my book!

    xoxo Dr. Annie