Mighty O... you may think that means Oster...

smoothie followed by donut followed by salad = paleo..right? it may be the new Seattle paleo because I can't handle the availability of truly fresh baked goods where you walk in and your whole nose is overwhelmed by either the smell of fresh ground coffee or oven fresh scones or donuts. oh my.here is a pic of today's mid-morning treat which we took to-go down to Greenlake park. 

so the house hunting is rough. no one has for rent signs in their yards because they don't' need them. demand is high and availability in great hoods appears to be low. we are literally debating nothing and nothing as options. the ONE house i have been inside so far was for a open house (which they do for rentals) and it was to start at 5:30pm, we came at 5:25pm and there were three others waiting in front the house that all put in applications before us. it's intense folks.we are down about it and mostly because i have this HIGHLY romanticized idea about where i am about to land that has loads of windows, a fireplace, hardwood floors and a reasonable kitchen and has a walk-ability score of at least 85.. i know, get over myself, but a girl HAS to dream. at least a little.

so i came home and embraced a piece of my new life which will be my return to the kitchen. it feels like it has been a LONG time since i was the cooker. and well, for being a bit rusty we started off with a real winner so i must share for those of you that like to cook easy healthy meals.

Mighty O... you may think that means Oster...

It's Spring Minestrone. I found the recipe on Epicurious and modified it a bit so here is the recipe and my modifications included the following: Buy pre-made chicken meatballs - the all natural ones from trader joes with sundried tomatoes are what we used and they were delish (and this cancels out 4 ingredients). Add stewed or diced tomatoes for more flavor and more veggies. I used orzo for the pasta and it worked well. i also used the mixed Italian cheeses from tj's - the parmesan, asiago, romano... and it was yumo. 

  • 6 ounces ground chicken (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, divided, plus more for garnish
  • 4 garlic cloves, 2 minced, 2 thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 large egg, whisked to blend
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, sliced into 1/4" rounds
  • 5 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup ditalini or other small pasta
  • 1 cup 1/2" rounds peeled carrots
  • 1 cup (packed) baby spinach
  • Chopped fresh basil

Preparation

Mix chicken, breadcrumbs, 3 tablespoons Parmesan, 2 minced garlic cloves, chives, egg, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Form into 1/2"-diameter meatballs (makes about 28).

Heat oil in a small pot over medium heat. Cook meatballs until golden all over, about 3 minutes (they will finish cooking in soup). Transfer to a plate; set aside.

Add leek to pot and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves; cook for 1 minute. Add broth and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Stir in pasta and carrots; simmer until pasta is almost al dente, about 8 minutes. Add meatballs; simmer until pasta is al dente, carrots are tender, and meatballs are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add spinach and remaining 3 tablespoons Parmesan; stir until spinach is wilted and Parmesan is melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with chopped basil and Parmesan.