Chicken Minestrone

Well the month and our experiment with The Zone is almost up as is my whirlwind tour of Zone Meals in Seconds cookbook. It’s been … interesting. I’ve done well on The Zone, losing about 9 lbs, which for a month is pretty good (and technically, I still have ’til Friday for my four weeks to be up, and I’ll be Zoned until then). I can’t say it’s something I feel like I could live with permanently. I like a bit more wiggle room in my life … I like food, good food, way too much to be this restricted, but I think it put me back on track with what I know to be healthy and reinforced some good lessons. Lean meat, healthy vegetables, less starches, little sugar, good fats.

The cookbook itself was a meh. Let’s say a 4 out of 10. This book had two kinds of recipes … one was real recipes as we think of them, the other, just thrown together ingredients. They were both a mix of awesome and blech! with a few meh … thrown in there. My samplings:

  1. Tex Mex meatloaf – seriously tasty; I’ve recommended this to a few people and it was very well received
  2. Salmon Tagine – loved the spinach, but the Salmon was just so-so
  3. Apple Spice Oatmeal – protein powder completely screwed up the texture; edible, but not yummy
  4. Moroccan chicken stew – ICK. Way too much of the cream of soup.
  5. Zoned Apple Muffins – These were good, but not great. Not a ton of flavor/taste.
  6. Mexican chicken chili – not so much a recipe, just a list of things to throw together in a bowl; pretty tasty though
  7. Blueberry and banana creme freeze – pretty tasty, even liked the sour cream in here – may post this one later.
  8. Chicken Minestrone – quite good!

Anyhow, more about Chicken Minestrone. This is one of those recipe that I don’t even really consider to be a recipe because there’s just not much to it. Just a couple of raw ingredients, the rest from cans or the freezer section, but I know a lot of people struggle with even this and it could be a gateway recipe, so I will post it. It really is tasty and super healthy. This makes 4 4-block meals (a TON of soup)


  • 3 cups of cubed frozen chicken
  • 1 10 oz package cut green beans
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 qt low sodium chicken broth/stock
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 zucchini quartered and sliced
  • 3 T EVOO
  • dried oregano and basil


Heat the EVOO in a dutch oven. While the oil is heating, cook the green beans to about 75% done in the microwave. Add the chicken, garlic, zucchini, green beans and herbs to the dutch oven and cook until all are warmed through and fragrant. Add the kidney beans, broth and marinara. Stir to combine and bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


I really enjoyed experimenting with this cookbook this month. It’s not one that I expect to turn to often but it gave me a couple good new recipes. Next month will be The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook.