The One Healthy Thing I Cook All December Long

Because balance is necessary amid the cookie swaps and holiday parties.

Photo by: Armando Rafael

Armando Rafael

The holiday season is in full swing, and with it, the seemingly endless happy hours, cookie swaps and parties, leaving me over-indulged and under-meal prepped. I'm so maxed out by the time Sunday evening rolls around and I'm trying to think about what I can make for lunch that's filling, easy and moderately healthy.

Enter Rachael Ray's Pasta e Fagiole recipe: A super quick take on the classic Italian pasta and bean stew. It doesn't necessarily feel healthy – thanks to pancetta and a very generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese – but also doesn't make me feel like I do after the annual office bake-off (read: sick to my stomach and figuring out how to inconspicuously unbutton my pants at my desk). Plus, I'll be doing my second Whole30 starting on January 1, so I don't want to feel like I'm depriving myself … yet.

More importantly, this simple soup checks off the rest of life's requirements at this point in the season: it calls for mostly pantry staples and warms me up throughout the week because I am cold the other 99% of the time.

Made as written, you'll be *souper* pleased with the recipe. (Had to. Not sorry.) If I'm feeling really fancy, I'll throw in a leftover Parmesan rind while it cooks, and I always finish the soup off with a splash of lemon juice because that's my secret to success with brothy soups. Since I use this as my lunches for the week, I try to leave the pasta undercooked: let's say 4 to 5 minutes rather than the recommended 6 to 8 minutes. And that's it! A cozy, healthy meal that only takes 30 minutes to make.

Get the Recipe: Pasta e Fagiole

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