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Last night, we had a mini-feast at home. For dinner, we had minestrone soup and quesadillas (made with my new griddler, thanks to A. and the brother!). Then for dessert, we had lemon ricotta blackberry muffins. Everything was pretty quick, which is pretty key for weeknight cooking – the soup was tasty, the quesadillas toasty and delicious and those muffins are the bomb. We used this recipe for the muffins (though I did have to add some milk to my batter because it was so thick). The rough recipes for minestrone and quesadillas are below:

Easy Minestrone Soup

  • What you need: Olive oil, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 stalk of celery, 2 cloves garlic, 1 can kidney beans (or more traditionally, cannellini beans), 1 cup macaroni (I used whole wheat), basil (I used fresh but dried is good too), 1 cup green beans, 1 can tomatoes diced (I used Hunts, with no salt added), 2 cups vegetable stock, 2 cups water, parmesan cheese (to top)
  1. Dice all veggies
  2. Sautee onions, carrot, garlic and celery in a pot for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add kidney beans, green beans and tomatoes.
  4. Add in vegetable stock and water.
  5. Add macaroni, basil and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Allow to boil, then turn heat down to simmer for about 40 minutes.
  7. Serve with grated parmesan cheese on top.

Vegetarian Quesadillas

  • What you need: Butter, tortillas, 2 cups mushrooms diced, 2 cloves garlic, 1 small onion, red or yellow peppers (sliced into strips), a lot of cheese (I used organic cheddar), coriander (chopped), 1/2 mango diced, and salsa (make your own with tomatoes or store bought). — Note: you can also add homemade guacamole or spinach or corn or any vegetable that you like really.
  1.  Sautee onions and garlic until brown.
  2. Add peppers and mushrooms. Cook until almost tender.
  3. Butter one side of tortilla, put salsa, coriander, cooked vegetables and mango onto unbuttered side of tortilla.
  4. Top with cheese.
  5. Fold tortilla into half  and lay onto griddler. If using a pan, put light pressure on top with a spatula.
  6. Cook until outsides of quesadilla are nicely browned.
  7. Cut and serve.