Friday, February 26, 2010

Week 25: Minestrone (Re-do) and Chopped Salad

After the oh-so-disappointing new Minestrone recipe, I needed to make my beloved, stand-by minestrone recipe. It always makes me smile.

And, a recent meal at Buca's rekindled my love affair with their Antipasto Salad - seriously delicious. A quick Google search yielded the recipe below.

My Minestrone Soup
Taken from Light and Tasty (now Healthy Cooking),
August / September 2003

Makes 8 servings (1 1/2 C each)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: about 30 minutes

4 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1/4 C chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cans (14.5 oz each) vegetable broth
3 C V8 juice
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 C frozen cut green beans
1/2 C uncooked noodles
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley

Cook carrots, zucchini, onion, and garlic in oil for seven minutes or until onion is tender.

Add broth, V8 juice, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, green beans, noodles, and basil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.

Stir in parsley. Cook 5 minutes longer or until macaroni is tender.

1 serving = 166 calories, 3 g fat, 5 g fiber

Sunday is my favorite day to eat this soup because it yields a pot of left-overs that I can enjoy all week long. It's great with a salad (like the chopped salad below) or a big chunk of crusty bread.

Buca di Beppo Antipasto Salad
Served at Buca di Beppo
Recipe shared here

10 oz Iceberg Lettuce, chopped
1 oz Pepperoni, diced
1 oz Mortadella, diced
1 oz Red onions, diced
1 oz Provolone, diced
2 oz Roma tomatoes, diced
2 oz Cucumbers, diced
1 oz Gorgonzola, crumbled
1 oz Feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 oz Pepperoncini, chopped
1/2 tsp Oregano
Italian vinaigrette dressing 4 oz.
3 whole Pepperoncini
Black olives
Green olives

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl except half of the tomatoes, the whole pepperoncini, olives, and dressing and toss.

Add the dressing and toss again until fully incorporated.

Mound salad mixture on a chilled plate, getting as much height as possible.

Place the remaining amount of tomatoes around the outside of the salad.

Garnish with olives and pepperoncinis and serve.

I didn't combine the ingredients for this salad. Instead, I chopped everything and put it in little bowls in the fridge. Brad and I can't eat the whole salad at one time, and combining the ingredients and letting them sit hasn't worked for us in the past. This way, we could put together little salads as we were ready to eat them. Also, I really struggled with what kind of dressing to add to this recipe. I ended up going with Marzetti Roasted Garlic Italian Vinaigrette. It worked, but I'll try a different one next time around.

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