Throw Together a Delicious Meal

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

Photo by Steve Tsang via
Photo by Steve Tsang via

Now that we are staying at home and heeding the advice to not venture out in public, this a good opportunity to use up the foods that have been hanging around in the pantry and fridge for a while. Last week I took this challenge for myself and came up with home - made minestrone (a delicious and filling thick soup bursting with veggies and beans).

The items on hand that I wanted to use up:

  • ¼ bag of pasta shells

  • One large (32 ounce) can of chopped tomatoes

  • One 15 1/2 ounce can of cannellini beans (not expired but definitely approaching the date)

  • An almost used up jar of salsa

  • An aging medium zucchini

  • A half bag of chopped kale (purchased fresh but later tossed into the freezer when I noticed it wasn’t all going to be used in time)

  • A half package of ground pork sausage

  • Two overlooked jalapeno peppers in the back of the fridge (wilted but definitely useable!)

  • An almost full carton of chicken broth

  • I then grabbed a few other ingredients from my kitchen:

  • Two whole carrots

  • ½ of a cabbage

  • One medium onion

  • Garlic powder

  • Pepper

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Shredded parmesan cheese

This is what I did:

  1. In a large pot, cook the bulk sausage until done.

  2. Chop all of the veggies into bite- sized pieces (I used up the zucchini and the jalapeno peppers AND I also added in 2 whole carrots, an onion and half of a cabbage). ANY combination of veggies is fine!

  3. Lower the heat and add the veggies (except for the kale) to the pot, mixing them in with the sausage.

  4. Continue to cook and stir for 5 minutes.

  5. Add a generous amount of garlic powder. I also threw in some black pepper.

  6. Add the canned tomatoes, salsa and chicken broth.

  7. Stir in the pasta and kale.

  8. Cover pot and simmer until pasta is done (around 8 minutes).

  9. Stir in the beans.

  10. Drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil and mix well.

  11. Serve in a bowl and top with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan cheese.

Now it is your turn. See what you have on hand and make something delicious.NO recipe required of course!! Be sure to let us know how it turned out. We would love to share your ideas!!

Follow Along

Follow along with Rachel, BCF Program Coordinator, as she makes this recipe on Facebook Live!

Written by Jenny Favret, MS, RD, LDN Nutritionist, Duke Pediatrics Healthy Lifestyles Program

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