Do you ever find yourself in the office lunchroom drooling over your coworkers’ gourmet lunches while you begrudgingly devour your tuna sandwich? Well, I have! And if I’ve learned anything from my lunchtime envy, it’s the power of the Sunday meal prep routine.
Sundays are sacred at my house. They are for sleeping in with cats tucked in along our knees and big breakfasts. Sunday afternoons usually include naps with the dogs and some time to enjoy a good book. And Sunday evenings are for a glass of wine and prepping for the week ahead. Beyond the standard email check and laundry, I’ve started to set aside time to make 1 or 2 meals in the early evenings – usually a soup or a chilli and I’m always on the hunt for new recipes.
Here are some of my tried and tested favourites:
- Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Harvest Bowls from Minimalist Baker
- Lentil Chilli from Little Broken
- Thai Curry Sweet Potato Soup from Foodland Ontario
- Warm Roasted Butternut Squash Salad from Minimalist Baker
- Zucchini Patty Sandwiches from Martha Stewart
And even though it isn’t on their website to link to, I just had to include the recipe for Thug Kitchen’s insanely delicious take on Italian Wedding Soup from this cookbook.
WEDDING SOUP WITH WHITE BEAN BALLS AND KALE
Note: The recipe below has been adjusted ever so slightly to make it gluten free and more suited to our taste and pantry. But only slightly – I promise!
…for the white bean balls
- Cooking spray
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 cups (2 15oz cans) cooked cannellini beans (aka white kidney beans)
- ½ cup gluten free bread crumbs
- 3 cloves garlic – minced
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast or flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tsp no-salt, all-purpose seasoning blend (we keep this italian seasoning mix from Gimme Some Oven on hand for recipes like this
- 1 tsp each dried thyme, basil and oregano
- ½ tsp grated lemon zest
…for the soup
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 carrots – chopped (we use 3)
- 2 ribs celery – chopped (we omit since I don’t love celery)
- 3 cloves garlic – minced
- 1 cup small dried pasta (we use gluten free orzo noodles)
- 9 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 cups chopped kale or other dark, leafy greens
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or basil
- Heat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
- Now make the bean balls. Use a potato masher to mash the beans up until they form a paste. Some whole beans are ok but try to get a nice smooth consistency if you can. Stir in the rest of the ingredients including a ¼ cup chopped onion and use your hands to blend it all together. If it feels dry, add a tablespoon or two of water. Roll the dough into balls about the size of a golf ball and put them on the greased cookie sheet. You should get 20 to 25 balls. Spray the balls with a bit more cooking spray and bake until balls are browned – about 30 minutes, turning at the halfway point.
- Prepare the soup while the balls are baking. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the remainder of the onion, the carrots, celery (if using) and saute until the onion starts to brown – about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and pasta and cook for 30 more seconds. Gently pour in the broth and let it all simmer together until the pasta and carrots are tender – about 10 to 15 minutes. Fold in the lemon juice, greens, salt, pepper and parsley/basil. Turn off heat.
- When everything is ready, place 3 or 4 balls in the bottom of a bowl and gently ladle the soup over top. Serve it up right away. We sometimes add fresh grated parmesan when serving and a bit more black pepper.