Alex, my son, has another race today for cross country. So last night I fed him a homemade slow-cooker minestrone packed with healthy veggies, pasta shells and a little ground beef. Topped with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and it was pretty darn near perfect.
Can I just add this? The slow-cooker is the busy single working mother’s best friend. I’ve used it twice this week, and made enough dinners to last us a week and a half, for less than $25 total ingredients. Amazing!
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 29-oz can tomato sauce
- 3 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
- 13.4 oz box (or can) of red kidney beans
- 13.5 oz box (or can) of garbanzo beans
- 1 small package lean ground beef
- 3 zucchini, chopped
- 1.5 cups frozen carrots
- 1.5 cups frozen green beans
- 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped.
- 1/2 pound dried pasta shells
- salt and pepper to taste
- ground parmesan cheese
Mix the broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, kidney beans and garbanzo beans together in the slow cooker, set to “high”. Cover. In a skillet, brown the ground beef until cooked through. Add the ground beef to the crock pot mixture. Then add the frozen carrots, and frozen green beans and fresh spinach. Let cook on “high” setting for 3 to 4 hours. Add the dried pasta, cook until done, about another 40 to 60 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in warm bowls, dust with parmesan cheese. Serve hot, with whole grain crackers or bread. Leftovers can be frozen.
I’m taking the frozen leftovers to the ranch with me tomorrow. Don’t know if the cowboy likes minestrone. Guess we’ll find out soon enough! I could always do like his mom used to, and tell him, “This isn’t Burger King, you can’t have it your own way. You’ll eat what you’re given, or go hungry, son!” Bet he’d LOVE that…ha!