Last night marked the first meal of many from Weeknights with Giada. With the soup and the cornbread I managed to knock out two recipes; so, boom.

First, the cornbread. Make. This. Now. I’ll probably start using this as a regular side dish when I make soup; it’s easy and quick, with a great, unique flavor. As I halved the recipe, it only needed to cook for fifteen minutes. In addition to the alterations I already planned on making, I chose to substitute coconut oil in for the melted butter. With the current butter shortage the island is experiencing, I’ve decided to conserve my butter and substitute whenever possible. I can happily report that, at least for cornbread, coconut oil is a fine 1-for-1 swap-out for melted butter. Another tip: chop and use “real”/ball mozzarella as opposed to bagged. The ball melts really nicely and holds the cornbread together, and I read that people who used bagged mozzarella ended up with crumbly cornbread.

Scallion and Mozzarella Cornbread

Scallion and Mozzarella Cornbread: made 6 servings

The soup was really nice as well. On the nights that I do yoga or run I like to have dinner prepped before I go. That way I can either just reheat it when I get home, or Nick can stick it in the oven at the right time as he studies. Soup works really great for that purpose. The soup came together really quickly, in about 30 minutes, so I just shut it off as I was heading out the door and Nick turned it back on about ten minutes before I got home (at which point he also put the cornbread in the oven. He’s a good helper). It was just coming to a boil as I walked through the door, so I was able to throw in the pasta and let it cook in the broth for ten minutes. When I tasted the soup it was a little bit sweet and one-note for me, so I added in a good couple glugs of balsamic to the broth as it was finishing.

Minestrone

Beef & Cannellini Bean Minestrone: made 5 servings

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