Simple advice for a better life.

Pasta e Fagioli – Light Recipe

Pasta e FagioliThis cold weather calls for a cup of hot, hearty soup, so Pasta e Fagioli is a perfect solution.

Being of Eastern European background, I enjoy homemade  soups anytime, but especially on cold winter days.

Pasta e Fagioli, is one of my favorite Italian soups, so today I am posting its lighter version recipe, made with ground turkey, less beans, and low fat cheese.


Pasta e Fagioli - Low Fat Recipe

Serving Size: 6-8 servings

Pasta e Fagioli - Low Fat Recipe


  • 1 lb. Turkey, ground
  • 4+ cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth (32 oz)
  • 1 tsp. Basil, dried
  • 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 30 oz. Crushed Tomatoes (2- 15 oz cans)
  • 2 Tbs. Tomato Paste (I use Contadina Italian Style)
  • 2 Carrots, shredded
  • 2 Celery Stalks, chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 Leek, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 15 oz can of Great Northern Beans, rinsed
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp.Oregano, dried
  • 3/4 tsp.Thyme, dried
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Tbs. Dry Wine (red or white)
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste
  • Low fat cheese, shredded (Swiss, Havarti, Gouda)
  • 2 cups cooked pasta (small cut - Elbow, Ditalini, Shells)


  1. Place 1 Tbs. of olive oil in a sauce pan, add ground turkey, and saute for 15 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Drain and discard any excess fat. Remove meat from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add another Tbs. of olive oil to pan, add onions and saute until translucent.
  4. Add garlic and leeks, and saute 1 minute.
  5. Add carrots and celery, and cook 10 minutes longer, stirring frequently.
  6. Remove from heat. Mix veggies with ground turkey. Set aside.
  7. Pour the Vegetable or Chicken Broth into a 6 quart pot, and bring to boil.
  8. Add the turkey/veggie mixture, and bring to boil.
  9. Turn the heat to medium, and continue simmering.
  10. Add the Crushed Tomatoes, Beans, Oregano, Thyme, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, and wine.
  11. Cook for 5 minutes.
  12. Mix tomato paste with 1/2 cup of water, and add to the soup. Simmer 2 minutes longer.
  13. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove and discard Bay Laves.
  14. Remove from heat.
  15. Serve hot with 2 Tbs. of pasta per serving, topped off with 1 Tbs. of shredded cheese.


To make this recipe even lighter, this soup may be served without any pasta. It still tastes wonderful.....very full body and delicious.




Breakfast-Mini-Quiche-servingVeggie BurgerThe-Fat-Smash-Diet-book

If you have been following my blog, you already know that I am very impressed with The Fat Smash Diet, and love following all the phases at least once every year, with very rewarding results.

Some people think it is too harsh (no coffee or alcohol for 9 days…wow…), but it is perfect for my taste and my lifestyle.

The holidays are over (I have been really bad); the cookies and chocolates are gone…or almost gone: the three-way mirror and the scale are not my best friends at the moment, so the Fat Smash Diet comes back to life.

My most effective motivating factor for The Fat Smash diet this year is  a very special wedding I will attend this  May…then two more after that…so it’s perfect time to clean up my act, and start eating healthy again.

At the beginning of this week I began Phase I, and hoping that some of you will join me on this journey of healthy eating and fitness.

In preparation for this journey, I shopped for the staple foods used in Phase I:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Brown rice
  • Chickpeas
  • Veggie burgers
  • Low fat milk
  • Low fat cheese
  • Saltines
  • Nuts
  • Low fat yogurt
  • Hummus
  • Lots of water

Have you noticed there is:

  • No pasta
  • No bread
  • No white rice
  • No potatoes
  • No meat or fish
  • No coffee
  • No sugar
  • No chocolate

These NO foods are excluded during the Detox Period – Phase I of the Fat Smash Diet, which lasts only 9 days.

Many of these NO foods get introduced slowly back into the daily menu, as we progress further into the other phases.

You may click on the links below for a closer overview of The different phases and foods of the The Fat Smash Diet.

Phase I – Detox (only 9 days)

Phase II –  Foundation (3 weeks)

Phase III – Construction (4 weeks)

Phase IV – The Temple  (for Life)

I love The Fat Smash Diet, because it is NOT a real diet, but rather a healthy lifestyle.

My body feels so much lighter and energetic after only few days of following the Phase I regimen.

Healthy Lifestyle also means keeping your body in motion, hence the need to dedicate at least 30 minutes per day to some type of physical activity, which for me is outdoor walking, stretching , and exercising on the elliptical machine.

The Fat Smash Diet book has a variety of recipes, some of which I tested and posted previously (see links below).


Delicious Smoothie

Fruity Smoothie


Mini Breakfast Quiche


Carrot Soup

Green-Bean-VinaigretteGreen Beans Vinaigrette

Veggie Burger

Veggie Burger

I hope you enjoyed this post, and will consider joining me now, or at your convenience, on the journey of healthy lifestyle.

I am looking forward to hear your comments, please.

Thank  you.


Cottage Cheese PancakesAs I was looking through a cooking magazine, I came across a recipe for cottage cheese pancakes.

The recipe sounded quite interesting, so I could not wait to test it out, by preparing it for my family.

I altered the original recipe, hence posting my version.

If someone does not care for cottage cheese, I think ricotta cheese would be a suitable substitution.

These pancakes are very moist, but not that sweet.

My grandchildren really enjoyed them served with blueberry pie filling, or maple syrup.

This recipe yields 10 medium size pancakes.


  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup of cottage cheese
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • Canola oil for frying


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl.
  2. Mix with an electric mixer for 5 minutes. (You can also use a blender)
  3. Heat a frying pan with 2 Tbs. of Canola oil to 350 degree F.
  4. Pour 3 Tbs. of batter onto a hot pan, and fry 2-3 minutes per side, turning over once.
  5. Serve warm with your favorite topping, or syrup.





Vegetarian Recipes



Vegetarian dishes are a welcome change anytime in my menu planning, not just during the Great Lent.

If you are looking for tested vegetarian recipes, I am more than happy to share some links to my previous posts.

You may also click on “Meatless Dishes”  categories, for other vegetarian recipes.


Eggplant Rollatini  - Serving

Eggplant Rollatini


Ukrainian Borscht (Red Beet Soup)


Portobello Mushrooms with Pasta


Stuffed Green Peppers with Rice and Mushrooms


Halushky (sautéed cabbage and pasta)


Stir Fry Veggies with Pasta


Vegetarian Matzoh Lasagna


Potato Kugel Cups

This link with take you to my previous list of over 25 meatless recipes.

Enjoy these dishes, and share your favorite vegetarian recipes.

Hot Soups for Cold Weather


With the cold weather upon us, we begin to crave comfort foods and hot soups.

Thanksgiving turkey is all gone by now, but I still have my homemade soup stock (frozen) from the turkey carcass which I cooked last Friday.

If you are tossing out the carcass from your roasted chicken or turkey, you are wasting a great base for a soup stock.


Today I made some sauerkraut soup from the Thanksgiving turkey soup stock, which my husband and I really enjoy on a cold day, accompanied by a piece of crusty bread.

If you indeed tossed out the leftover turkey carcass, you can use chicken broth or beef broth to make your favorite soup.


Homemade Broccoli Cheese Soup.


Homemade Corn Potato Chowder.


Ukrainian Mushroom and Vegetable soup.


Deliciously creamy Tomato Soup.


Ukrainian Red Beet Borscht, quick and easy recipe.

Cabbage and Sausage soup

Hearty Cabbage and Sausage soup.


My husband’s favorite soup – French Onion Soup.


Soups are not only filling and delicious, but they are also known for their healing powers, as listed in this article.

Here you have it, all in a nut shell….lots of delicious soup recipes for you to try and enjoy.

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