Slow Cooker Sunday: Vegetarian Minestrone

While spring may be a few days away the weather is still cold enough for some hearty soup. And while this soup may not have any meat in it, it’s still filling thanks to the array of vegetables. I was a bit intimidated by the amount of ingredients – I tend to avoid recipes that have too many ingredients – but, they are all pretty simple and some I actually had on hand.

I added most of my ingredients to my slow cooker and then set it to cook on low for 8 hours. I began checking on it after 5.5 hours as I didn’t want my vegetables to over-cook and break down, especially the zucchini. Ultimately my soup was ready in 6 hours, my vegetables were tender and still intact.

I then cooked the elbow macaroni in pot of boiling salted water and added it to the soup along with chopped baby spinach. I cooked it on low for an additional 15 minutes and it was done.

The Minestrone was flavorful and as I said earlier hearty and, the leftovers tasted even better the next day and even better the day after that.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Minestrone

Ingredients:

6 cups vegetable broth

1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 large onion, chopped

2 ribs celery, diced

2 large carrots, diced

1 cup frozen green beans

1 small zucchini, cut into quarter moons

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoons thyme

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup elbow macaroni

4 cups chopped fresh spinach

Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Combine all ingredients from the broth through the black pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until vegetable are tender.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the elbow macaroni for about 8 minutes, until cooked through but still firm, drain.

Add the macaroni and spinach to slow cooker and cook for another 15 minutes. Top with parmesan cheese.

Recipe from allrecipes

Chocolate Bunny Topped Easter Cake

Happy Easter! A few weeks ago when I posted about the Springtime Chocolate Chip Cookies I made I mentioned that I picked up some things at my local Target store to create an Easter cake and I am happy to say that the cake turned out just as I pictured it in my head. So, what did I pick up? Edible Easter Grass, Cadbury Mini Easter Eggs and a Chocolate Bunny.

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To begin, I baked my favorite Carrot Cake and frosted it with Cream Cheese Frosting.

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The Edible Easter Grass. If you’re wondering, it’s made of wafer paper candy; it does have a slight green apple flavor and surprisingly doesn’t have any kind of after-taste. And from what I read about it online most of the companies that sell it here in the United States import it from Germany.

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I cut the grass into 1 – 2 inch pieces and spread it onto a cookie sheet. I then misted the grass with a little water and mixed the grass so that it could clump together. I was careful not to use too much water because the grass would then disintegrate.

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I first placed the Chocolate Bunny in the center of the cake and then started spreading the grass around the bunny lightly pressing it into the frosting.

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I decided to only cover the top of the cake with the grass.

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And after placing some Cadbury Milk Eggs in the grass my cake was decorated and ready for Easter!

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