lasagna soup

Lasagna Soup - easy, comforting meal the whole family will love!| anutritionisteats.com

Thank you SO much for completing the survey, it was so helpful. If I could, I’d show my appreciation through an amazing cheese platter. :)

Lately I’ve been worried/frustrated that my blog hasn’t grown to where it “should” be by now and I started to wonder if I needed a more precise focus. I tossed around ideas, but ultimately, I don’t have a precise eating focus or style so why should my recipes? I’m not vegan, I’m not paleo, I don’t count calories……

I love food. I love real food, I love simple food. I love complex recipes and I love meals that require three-ingredients from the Trader Joe’s freezer section. I don’t eat perfect. And I don’t think anyone should.

Lasagna Soup - easy, comforting meal the whole family will love!| anutritionisteats.com

So now that I’ve got that off my chest, it’s time to share this recipe I’ve been holding out on you a bit. It was one that I made (and we loved) but I wondered if it was good enough, or different enough to share.

If I learned one thing from the survey, it’s that you want more of those real life posts which makes me take a step back and realize that every post doesn’t need to be a perfectly-styled, super-creative recipe. It’s about the real food. The food that’s eaten after a long day at work and no desire to cook. Food that doesn’t fit a diet perfectly, because, your family probably isn’t on that diet. (I also learned that you really aren’t interested in product reviews and my favorite link posts – noted!)

Lasagna Soup - easy, comforting meal the whole family will love!| anutritionisteats.com

So 2015, it’s going to be a lot more real. And a lot more life. (And a baby!!!!!!) And the food that goes along with it.

Lasagna soup is one of those meals. It’s a big bowl of comfort food, and I think your whole family will love it. It’s got classic lasagna flavors – but in a slightly different form. We loved it because it was really filling and satisfying, but also not really heavy either.

Lasagna turned into soup – you’ll love it too!

Lasagna Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 32 oz beef, chicken or veggie broth
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz tomato sauce
  • salt, pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp dry basil
  • 8 oz fusilli pasta
  • ¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup chopped parsley or basil
Instructions
  1. Dice onion and mince garlic.
  2. Add olive oil to large pot and heat over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up chunks, for about 7-9 minutes, until cooked through. Drain if necessary.
  5. Add broth, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and seasonings to pot, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, while soup is simmering, cook pasta as directed, until al dente. (Be careful not to overcook!)
  7. Taste soup and add any additional seasonings if necessary.
  8. To serve, portion out pasta in bowl, top with soup mixture, cheese and fresh herbs.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 421 Fat: 15 grams Carbohydrates: 44 grams Sugar: 9 grams Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 29 grams

 

green beans vinaigrette with blue cheese

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese | anutritionisteats.com

Let’s ring in 2015 with something green, shall we?

It’s a total cliché, I know. But December wasn’t all cookies and egg nog either – things were actually quite healthy around here. Waldorf Salad, Veggies with a Charred Onion Dip, Blueberry Baked Oatmeal and not a single cookie or candy insight! (Well, I was eating them but not making them.)

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese | anutritionisteats.com

It’s no secret that I love green beans. (Always haricot verts actually, and there is a difference, albeit small.) Richie gets sick of them because week after week, I prepare them in the same exact way: lightly steamed, finished in a pan with a touch of (usually) butter, garlic salt (YES, the stuff that comes in a big green bottle) and red pepper flakes. On the nights that he makes them, they’re always much better! His secret?

Skipping the garlic salt and red pepper flakes. Butter, salt and pepper. That’s it.

Green Bean Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese | anutritionisteats.com

But this idea for green beans basically fell into my lap (it was on the back of the package) and since I’ve been loving the blue cheese + nut +vinaigrette combo lately I had to make it immediately. I need a life – I know!

It couldn’t be easier to make. Steam the green beans, whip up the vinaigrette (which honestly, is something I think you should always have around) and toss everything together. Dinner vegetables get an upgrade!

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese | anutritionisteats.com

 

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • ½ cup blue cheese crumbles
  • ¼ cup toasted and chopped nuts
Instructions
  1. Lightly steam green beans. (I microwave mine!)
  2. While the beans are cooking, whisk together shallot, mustard, vinegar, olive oil and salt & pepper.
  3. Toss green beans with about ¼ cup of dressing. (You'll have extra dressing.)
  4. Top with blue cheese and chopped nuts.
  5. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

 

waldorf salad

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

I love this time of year. The lights, the cheer – everyone seems so happy! And I can’t forget the constant stream of sweet treats. I don’t know about your office, but between the gift sweets and homemade sweets, it’s hard to stay away from the kitchen. And then there’s my own kitchen…which has seen its own constant stream of sweet treats lately. Dessert > Wine. (Only while pregnant.)

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

But with all of the extra treats, it’s also a time of year when cutting back elsewhere needs to happen. Cookies > Other Carbs.

It’s not something that I actively keep track of, or even stress out about, but I make sure that salads are a staple for lunch and dinners are built around protein and vegetables. For me, it feels easy (and honestly, salads at lunch are the norm) but painless. I still get to enjoy the treats and while I’ll be gaining weight this year no matter what, at a minimum, I can feel good about fitting in some nutritious foods into each day.

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

But it’s not the time to cut-back too much – meals still need to be filling! This salad, though pretty light in calories, still packs a protein and fiber punch, and it will keep you satisfied until your cookie snack! :)

Need more convincing? This salad is:

  • high in protein (32 grams!)
  • full of fresh produce (crunchy romaine and celery + sweet apples!)
  • healthy fats from almonds
  • light and tasty yogurt-based dressing

Enjoy every cookie. And every salad!

Waldorf Salad
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1-lb chicken breasts
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (not greek)
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper
  • 2-3 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups thinly sliced celery
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
Instructions
  1. Grill or broil chicken until cooked through.
  2. Let cool and thinly slice. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together lemon juice, yogurt and mayonnaise.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
  5. Layer lettuce, celery, chicken, apples and almonds on each plate.
  6. Drizzle with dressing.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 308 Fat: 12 grams Carbohydrates: 19 grams Sugar: 12 grams Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 32 grams

How do you balance things this time of year?  

charred triple-onion dip with crudités

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

You know what every holiday party needs? A beautiful platter of vegetables served alongside a delicious dip.

But not just any ranch dip served with baby carrots. Oh. No.

A dip full-of-flavor and vegetables that are anything but expected. Like where I’m going here?

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

I took three types of onions: green, leeks and shallots. I charred them in the broiler. And then I turned them into a delicious dip.

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

Instead of serving it with the usual carrots, celery and pepper strips, I served it with baby boiled potatoes, mini romaine leaves, roasted brussels sprouts and fresh carrots with tops. (Technically speaking, crudités are raw vegetables, but there’s no need to get technical today.)

It was a welcome change. Other unexpected crudité ideas: roasted cauliflower or winter squash slices, thinly sliced beets or fennel, lightly steamed broccolini or haricot verts and any baby lettuce that’s sturdy enough to stand up to a dip.

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

If you are trying to eat more vegetables (who isn’t!?) try this dip. It’s reminiscent of the classic onion dip, but it’s made from real onions (not dehydrated ones) and the flavor will have you grabbing for vegetables like you never thought was possible!

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités
 
Author:
Serves: 2.5 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 small leeks, cleaned and cut lengthwise
  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 1 small bunch of green onions
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • few drops of worcestershire
  • salt & pepper
  • crudités for serving
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat broiler.
  2. Drizzle leeks, shallots and onions with olive oil.
  3. Broil for about 10 minutes, until slightly charred.
  4. Let cool a bit and chop all onions, removing roots of green onion.
  5. Stir together remaining ingredients and let chill for at least two hours before serving.