This is an easy kid-friendly, crowd-pleasing, veggie-packed, freezable school lunch solution. Freeze in individual one cup portions, defrost overnight, then reheat and send to school in a thermos. I like to freeze in glass containers — small mason jars work really well, just be sure to leave a little room on top for expansion. Feel free to use any fresh veggies you’ve got lying around or whatever is crowding your freezer, this recipe is the epitome of flexible!
1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced and cut into half moons
1 c. mushrooms, chopped coarsely
8 c. low-sodium veggie (or chicken) broth
1/2-1 tsp sea salt (to taste)
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 c. whole grain pasta (can be gluten-free, your choice!)
1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 c. fresh basil, chopped (cilantro would also be delicious)
1/2 c. frozen peas
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 c. cooked beans, edamame or lentils OR 1 c. pre-cooked chopped chicken
juice of one lime or lemon
Heat oil over medium heat in a soup pot. Add onion and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes, stirring.
Add the celery, carrots & mushrooms and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes to slightly soften veggies.
Add stock, salt and pepper then bring to a boil. Add the pasta and reduce heat to medium.
Add the parsley, basil, peas, tomatoes and cooked beans or chicken and cook, covered, about 10-15 minutes, or until carrots are tender and pasta is just al dente. (It will cook a little more when re-heating for lunches so you don’t want to overcook). Squeeze the lime or lemon juice in just before serving, and check by tasting to see if you need more salt or pepper.
Makes about 12-13 cups.