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Minestrone & Weights on a Monday

Why are Mondays so darn difficult? This morning felt harder because it was cold and windy for the walk into the office. Not sure why I bothered to do my hair. It was sort of a blah, blue day for me. At least it was sunny out, so that helped my mood a little bit.

After work, I headed directly to the gym. I tortured myself on the dreadmill then the elliptical before hitting the weights. I will admit that for a fleeting moment I had one of those "I could run all day" feelings. It did subside. Today is the first weight workout for Week 4 of the Total-Body Training rotation. These are the same exercises done last week, but this week they are done as supersets with a 1.25-2% increase in weight. Each exercise is done as four sets of five reps.

SS #1
Back - Wide Grip Pullups
Chest - Barbell Bench Press

SS #2
Quads - Squats
Hamstrings - Still Leg Deadlifts

SS #3
Biceps - Barbell Curls
Triceps - Close Grip Bench Press

Jason was supposed to meet me up there to spot, but got side-tracked at work. So I ended up having to get a staff member to spot on bench presses so that set was not done as a superset. I'm glad I hadn't planned on spin tonight as there were some electrical issues in the building and they were having to close the gym at 6 pm (it's typically 24 hours).

The temps are dropping again this week so soup with a side of toasted ciabatta sounded so appealing. Using a few odds and ends ingredients, I pulled together Minestrone My Way.

Minestrone My Way

1 small white onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1-2 carrots, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

32 oz. low-sodium vegetable broth
1 can no-salt added diced tomatoes
Spices to taste: sea salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, parsley, red pepper flakes
1/2 small can tomato paste (optional)
1/2 a bunch kale, cleaned, de-stemmed, and rough chopped

In large soup pot, saute onion, carrots, peppers, and garlic in small amount of extra virgin olive oil until onions soften. Add in tomatoes, broth, zucchini, and beans. Add in spices and paste and let simmer until veggies are cooked. Add in the kale and cook until wilted and cooked through. 

This wasn't an earth-shattering new recipe or anything, but it definitely hit the spot.


  1. Mmmm...what a healthy, delicious dinner!

    Yep-- definitely something about Mondays that makes everything just seem a little harder...but it's over now :-)

  2. Minestrone your way sounds a lot like minestrone my way! I have been making a soup like this at least once a week, big huge batches with lots of yummy leftovers. You didn't use any of my favorite soup spice though, thyme. Mmm!

  3. When I was little I would always order minestrone at Olive Garden and pronounce it MINE-STRONE :) It looks chock full of veggies even if it wasn't earth shattering! Definitely would have hit my spot!!

  4. Your dinner sounds wonderful. A perfect meal for a cold night.

    I never like Monday either. Why would anyone want to go back to the grind after 2 days off? Give me weekends!


  5. Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg I've just about decided that a 3-day weekend be mandatory!

    Sarah @ The Ordinary Vegetarian I didn't even think about thyme! What all do you add?

    Allie @ Live Laugh Eat When I think of minestrone, I almost always think Olive Garden. No idea why as I don't think I've ever eaten there even! LOL. I most definitely hit the veggie quota (and then some) yesterday.

  6. Alicia it most definitely fit the bill. Weekends are just way too short. I can never seem to get it all done in those 2 days.

  7. I love your "Minestrone My Way." The pictures are gorgeous too. Thank you for a great recipe.

  8. Thanks so much Ameena ! BTW, your exercise post really hits home. Great post.

  9. Hi Heather,
    Other frequenters of my version are pearled barley, celery, and peas or Italian green beans. Oh, and sometimes when I'm really hungry, a chopped potato. Otherwise ours are about the same! :)

  10. Sarah I'm so glad you mentioned the pearled barely b/c I had originally planned to add that but decided not to b/c I was making the toasted ciabatta. Green beans would have been good too!

  11. Your adventurousness in the kitchen blows me away daily :)


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