21 Day Fix Approved Minestrone Soup (crockpot)

Back in November, the Mister and I made the commitment to each other and ourselves that we would start working out again. I had been talking about it for months. I could never find or make the time during the day and by the time the boys were in bed, all I wanted to do was veg on the couch and watch my shows. The Mister is an early riser, always has been. He has always made time for himself in the mornings before getting ready for work. Whether that was time to read, catch up on sports stats, practice putting or workout, that was when he "fit it in." So my excuse of "not enough hours in the day" did not cut it with him. Something had to give and that something for me was an hour of morning sleep.

Not realizing, we started our new 5:30am workout routine the day after day light savings. Score! Smartest. Thing Ever. We were already winning. My body was use to 6:30am wake up and with the time change, I barely noticed the difference. We choose to start our new lifestyle with the Beach Body 21 Day Fix. Thanks to the advice from my amazing coach Sabrina and a little video watching on Youtube, we decided it was the best choice for us. Half hour workouts still gave Shawn time to get ready for work and out of the house at his normal time. For me, it gave me an extra 30-45 minutes to myself before P wakes up. I can actually shower now without having someone stand on the other side of the door staring at me! AMAZING! We completed all 21 days and ROCKED it! We loved it! We didn't follow the eating portion part because we didn't want to lose 15-20 lbs in those 21 days. We wanted to tone and most of all CREATE A HABIT. They say is takes 21 days of repetition to create a habit and guess what? It worked. We've been working out daily since with a few off days here and there throughout the holidays. We are now doing the P90 series and are enjoying that. I do miss Autumn from 21 Day Fix and am considering a hybrid schedule with 21 Day Fix and P90. I'll keep you all posted.

Tonight's dinner is a favorite in our house. Minestrone soup is always a winner. We like soups. This is the first time I am making the 21 Day Fix Approved version. Not really different from other recipes I've used. For those of you following the eating program, head on over to 21 Day Fix Recipes where I found this recipe. There is a break down of the containers.

1 can (15 oz.) white beans drained and rinsed (cannelloni or navy beans)
32 oz container of low sodium vegetable broth (chicken broth would also work)
2 tsp olive oil (I use EVOO, it's what I have)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced carrots
2 garlic cloves minced (I actually forgot to add this)
1 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 fresh rosemary sprig
2 bay leaves
2 tbs of fresh basil chopped (I did not have fresh on hand)
1/4 cup of fresh parsley chopped (I did not use)
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium zucchini (apox. 8oz) diced, I also threw in the squash I had as well.
2 cups chopped fresh (or defrosted frozen) spinach, kale, whatever your liking is (I always use frozen/defrosted spinach)
*optional- 2 cups of pasta,small like elbows, preferably whole wheat
**optional- chicken, ground turkey or mini meatballs to add some protein

1. Turn crock pot onto low setting. If you're like me and waited until after lunch to start this project, crank that baby up to high. You'll just cook for half the time.
2. Drain and rinse beans. Add to food processor or blender with 1 cup of broth. Blend until smooth. Add mixture to crock pot along with the remaining broth. Add basil, parsley, salt and pepper, rosemary and bay leaves.

3. Mix in tomatoes.
4. This is the step where I'll admit I cheat. It's such a game changer. I buy already cut/chopped veggies (onions, carrots, celery). I don't have the time to stand at the counter and chop veggies, so for me it's worth spending the extra money. Add oil to pan and sauté until soft.
5. Once your veggies are finished cooking, add to crock pot. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Or if you are like me, cook on high for 3-4 hours. About 40 minutes before you serve add in your greens and zucchini. At this time you will also cook your pasta (separately). 

A couple of things to note. There is really no limitation to the veggies you can add. You may just have to adjust your containers if you're following the eating program. Also, the spinach tends to absorb a lot of the soup. So you can either use less or add more broth.

Hope this becomes a family favorite for you too!


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