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Pasta Fagioli

Serves 4-6 people

I want to thank WSLS 10 and Daytime Blueridge for having me on their show to prepare this warming soup. This dish is packed with flavor, protein, fiber and a ton of vitamins and minerals; the perfect way to start the new year!

Ingredients:

  • 4 large cloves garlic (3 peeled and left whole, 1 minced and set aside)

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced

  • Salt (will use throughout cooking, see instructions)

  • 1 cup white beans, dry and soaked overnight*

  • Enough water to cover beans by 2 inches

  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary

  • 2 sprig fresh thyme

  • 1 bunch parsley stems

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 bulb fresh fennel, thinly sliced

  • 1 medium carrot, diced

  • 1 lb ground turkey

  • 1 tsp. fennel seed

  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  •    ½ cup dry white wine

  •     1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

  •   1 bunch kale, washed and sliced into ribbons

  • 1 cup dry Ditalini pasta (whole grain if you can find it)

  •   Extra virgin olive oil, ¼ cup chopped parsley leaves, and grated Parmesan for garnish.

Instructions:

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onions + 1/8 tsp salt.

  2. As the onions start to brown add 2 garlic cloves. Stir until onions are well caramelized.

  3. Add the soaked beans, water, rosemary, thyme, parsley stems, and bay leaf. Simmer (partially covered) until the beans are quite tender (~2 hours).

  4. As the beans near the end of their cooking, saute the fresh fennel with 1/8 tsp salt in a non-stick skillet. Cook until softened and just starting to brown.

  5. Add the carrots, ground turkey, minced garlic, pepper flakes, ¼ tsp salt, and fennel seed. Stir occasionally until the turkey is cooked through.

  6. Deglaze the pan by adding ½ cup white wine, scraping up any brown bits. Add the meat, wine and veggies to the bean pot.

  7. Add the diced tomatoes + 2 cans full of water. Simmer for 10-15 minutes

  8. Add the kale, 1/8 tsp salt, and pasta. Simmer until the pasta is al dente.

  9. Fresh ground pepper to taste.

  10. Serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, parmesan cheese, and ½-1 tsp extra virgin olive oil.

*You can use canned white beans as well. Drain, rinse and simmer with aromatics as instructed. The simmering time will be cut down to ~30-45 minutes.

Nutritional Information: a 1.5 cup serving

525 calories, 55g carbohydrates, 12g fiber, 16g fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 39g protein, 525mg sodium. Each serving is high in B vitamins, folate, vitamins A, C, K, calcium, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc, magnesium and manganese.

 

Perfectly Baked Chicken Breast

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Perfectly Baked Chicken Breast- serves 4

  • 1 lb. Chicken Breast (boneless, skinless)

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

  • Oil spray

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Season both sides equally with salt and pepper. Spray each side of chicken with oil. In a good, non-stick pan sear chicken on both sides, approximately 2 minutes. Place chicken in a baking dish and cook for 30 minutes until firm to the touch (do not overcook or it will become dry). Let the chicken breast rest for approximately 5 minutes before cutting.

Nutritional Information per serving:

Calories: 110, Total Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 80mg, Carbohydrates: 0g, Protein: 25g, and Sodium: 217mg