Meatless Monday Recipe – Fall Minestrone

A delicious meatless meal for a chilly, rainy fall day. To save time, use pre-chopped frozen vegetables. Serve with some crusty bread and a light, crunchy salad for a complete meal.

Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of preventable chronic diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer due to reducing your intake of total fat and increasing intake of healthy alternatives. Just going meatless is not enough to reduce your risk, but it is a great step in the right direction. Preventing chronic diseases is nutrition as well as lifestyle related. (www.meatlessmonday.com)

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups vegetable broth
2 1/2 cups 3/4-inch cubed peeled butternut squash
2 1/2 cups 3/4-inch cubed peeled baking potato
1 cup 1-inch cut green beans
1 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup diced carrot
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
2 Tbsp low-sodium tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chopped kale (or spinach)
1/2 cup uncooked pasta (look for a smaller sized pasta to cook quickly)
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté 2-3 minutes or until tender.
2. Add broth, squash, potato, green beans, zucchini, carrot, Italian seasoning, tomato paste, and black pepper – bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 3-5 minutes.
3. Add kale, pasta, and beans. Cook 5 minutes or until pasta is done and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with cheese prior to serving.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrition Information per Serving: 212 calories, 5 g fat, 1.6 g saturated fat, 9.6 g protein, 36 g carbohydrate, 3.9 g fiber, 5 mg cholesterol

Adapted from Cooking Light, October 2003

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