Meals · Savory · Soup

Spring vegetable + bacon soup

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A Mother’s Day trip to the Farmer’s Market this weekend filled my heart with memories, and my fridge with beautiful, seasonably fresh produce. It was a great morning filled with sunshine, coffee + family!

One of my favorite purchases was from a local farmer selling the most delicious asparagus. His eyes shimmered when he spoke to families walking by, and he was so sure of the quality of his product that he handed out samples to anyone willing to meet his glance. His passion for what he did was evident, and his joy for sharing it with others pure. I stood watching for minutes before approaching, because this man was clearly in his element and there’s nothing more lovely than to witness this kind of energy in others. Passion. Mindfulness. Love. Joy.

We are each given a variety of gifts by which we can bless others. It’s the things you do that while they may be hard work, don’t feel anything like hard and bring others (and also yourself) a great amount of joy. This joy isn’t derived from a place of selfishness to fulfill your own needs — but more it’s the joy that radiates from fulfilling a purpose that God has graciously given you pouring out to others.

For some, it’s teaching, coaching or mentoring; for others building, crafting or organizing. For me, it’s serving – most frequently via my kitchen. A few weeks ago while prepping for dinner, I had a very vivid image of our lives in heaven and the roles we would have that are tied to our gifts. I envisioned preparing a meal alongside my grandma and serving it to the Lord. It stopped me in my actions and a sense of pure joy and emotions washed over me, leaving me enormously grateful for a glimmer of what’s to come. Until that day, I will continue honing my gift to serve others – both in and outside the kitchen.

This soup is warm and vibrant, and reminds me of the new life and beauty spring brings upon it’s arrival. I’ve always been a fan of more rustic soups in texture, this one reminds me a bit of a warm, green version of gazpacho. It’s beautifully flavored with green vegetables and herbs – as well as rendered bacon fat for a great depth of flavor. (Vegetarians, feel free to omit the bacon fat + topping!)

Happy Spring, from my kitchen to yours!

(Yields 4 bowls of soup)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. pure organic coconut oil
  • 1 pound of fresh asparagus
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 10 oz frozen organic spinach
  • 10 oz frozen organic peas
  • 2 cups organic vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp. chopped basil
  • 4 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat
  • 1 lb. bacon, cooked + cooled
  • 2 tsp. garlic salt + black pepper

Method:

  1. Cook the bacon on a large sheet pan at 400 in the oven until desired crunchiness is achieved. Set aside to cool, reserving the rendered fat in a cup to cool.
  2. Trim the asparagus 2″ from the bottom and discard. Cut the remaining lengths into 3″ pieces.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the coconut oil over medium high heat and sauté the onions until translucent – approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add the asparagus, frozen spinach, green onions and peas; cook another 5-7 minutes. The asparagus should be al dente. Season with garlic salt and pepper.
  5. Add the basil, vegetable stock + rendered bacon fat. Simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. In a Vitamix or similar blender, puree the contents of the pan 2-3 minutes until no large chunks remain.
  7. Serve hot + garnish with diced bacon, 2 slices per bowl suggested.

 

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Breakfast · Meals · Savory

Savory Waffles with Prosciutto, Arugula + Over Easy Egg

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Brunch: it’s technical definition is a late morning meal eaten instead of breakfast and lunch and categorized as a noun.

In my book, brunch is a verb. Done with enthusiasm and best when shared amongst friends. Weekends and brunch go together like coffee and chocolate, where adequate time can be spent enjoying all varieties of food sweet and savory.

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so savory dishes are my jam at any brunch table. This dish satisfies every tastebud – and can be tailored to anyone’s liking quite simply. The slight crunch of the nutty waffle (a perfect mix of almond, brown rice + teff flours) provides a perfect canvas to the peppery arugula, salty prosciutto + buttery yolk of the over easy egg. Top it with a pure maple syrup and you’ve hit every tastebud with a powerful punch.

Wether you enjoy this for breakfast, lunch, dinner or brunch – you’ll walk away both full and satisfied. Enjoy while sipping an iced coffee or Bloody Mary (I have my favorite recipe here.) Recipe yields three waffles.

Enjoy + happy brunching!

xo,
Julia

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My kitchen companion perfecting her angles
Ingredients:

For the waffles

  • 1 cup almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup sprouted brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup teff flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole milk (or unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

For the toppings (per waffle)

  • 1 egg, cooked over easy
  • 1/2 cup baby arugula
  • 2 pieces of prosciutto
  • Maple syrup for drizzling

Method:

  1. Preheat waffle grill to medium high heat.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Whisk together all wet ingredients and stir into the dry mixture, making sure not to over mix.
  4. Generously spray the waffle maker with nonstick cooking spray. Pour 1/2 cup of the batter atop the bottom iron and cook until brown.
  5. Place waffles on a cookie rack if serving immediately, or place on a baking sheet in a preheated oven set to the keep warm temp.
  6. Cook the eggs over easy  (or fry if you’re not fond of the runny yolk, but note the yolk adds the creamy, buttery flavor that rounds out this dish nicely.)
  7. Top each waffle with the arugula, layer the prosciutto atop the arugula and finish with the over easy egg. Drizzle your preferred amount of maple syrup atop and enjoy!

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Appetizers · Meals · Savory · Sides

Fried Rice

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I have scoured the internet for the quintessential fried rice recipe that brings me back to my childhood years with no luck. While there are a lot of great ones out there, very few hit all my criteria of what it ought to taste like. Memory has a strong attachment to flavors, which is why so many people tend to never stray from favorite recipes passed down from generations.

 Growing up, we were fortunate to have friends that lived nearby and also worked with my mom who’s heritage was Vietnamese. Her recipe for fried rice was, far and away THE BEST recipe I’d ever tasted. Her recipe is the standard by which I judge every other fried rice.

I grew up playing with her kids that were near my age I have fond memories of performing “on stage” in her basement for all of her family, playing dolls and laughing a lot. Those play dates also included so much love via her mom’s kitchen, where the scents of spices and ingredients made with love made you float into the kitchen on an aroma cloud, much like any cartoon scene. My mom would often come home with fried rice and egg rolls made that morning because her friend knew just how much we loved her cooking.

We’ve been asking for this recipe for years, and just recently the blessing of memories washed over us as she shared it with us. We made the simple + unmistakable version of the dish, and what struck me most was its simplicity. Real ingredients and simple technique shared with people whose company you cherish. It was a sweet couple of hours spent with my mom and family reminiscing and reconnecting. I hope you enjoy – the recipe offers a very minor tweak or two, but every ounce of delicious goodness I so vividly remember.
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Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of uncooked Jasmine, long grain rice
  • 1 frozen bag of peas & carrots mixed, thawed
  • 1 lb. protein of choice, cut into 1″ pieces. I used chicken breast, though shrimp or pork are wonderful options as well. Vegetarians — skip the protein altogether!
  • 3 eggs, scrambled
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 large bunch green onions, diced. Use the entire onion, greens included
  • 2.5 tbsp. soy sauce

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Method:
  1. Cook or steam the rice per the package instructions and set aside.
  2. In a small nonstick saute pan, cook the eggs until scrambled and set aside.
  3. Heat the canola oil in a separate large frying pan on the stove top over medium heat. Season the protein with the 2 tsp. of salt and saute until fully cooked.
  4. Add the thawed peas, carrots, and yellow onion to the chicken and saute 3 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat, then add the cooked rice, butter, sugar, black pepper and soy sauce. Stir until combined, noting the rice will still be relatively light in color. The soy sauce should merely act as a season to the rice. (note: bean sprouts would be a lovely addition to this, or any other favorite vegetable you prefer. Just ensure anything you add is similar in size to the peas and carrots.)
  6. Stir in the diced green onions, saving some to garnish atop and serve hot.

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Meals

Dill Chicken Salad

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I’m all for recipes that sustain my family throughout the week or quick grab and go options made in advance. Chicken salad is definitely one of those recipes – and this one is an adaptation given to me from a co-worker. It’s incredibly simple and packed with so much flavor. The dressing is a combination of real mayo, sour cream and couple tablespoons of room temp butter which provides it a richness without being heavy. The carrots and onions are roasted with the chicken, giving it incredible flavor and depth – but the celery, green onions and cashews provide the crunch.

Fresh herbs are one of my go to staples to change up every day dishes flavor-wise and dill is one of my favorite options. Use your favorite herb in lieu of the dill if you don’t prefer the flavor – the first time I made this recipe I used chives and it turned out just as delicious. The joy of cooking is the personalization you bring to the dish. Use recipes as your diving board – but make the art of the dive your own.

I love using mason jars to store this salad in the fridge. That way when early morning rush hour occurs in our home during the week, I can grab one to go on my way out the door to work. I hope you enjoy this recipe – thanks for stopping by!

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Ingredients:

  • 4-5  boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced cashews
  • 1 bunch green onions, diced
  • 5 stalks of celery sticks, diced
  • 3 tbsp. fresh dill
  • 1 cup real mayo (I used Hampton Creek’s Vegan Mayo )
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tbsp room temp organic butter
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • garlic salt + pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place chicken breasts on a sheet pan and season with garlic salt + pepper. Add the diced onions and carrots atop the chicken, cover pan with tinfoil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Mix together the mayo, sour cream, butter, dill and lemon juice – stir until combined. Add the diced green onions, cashews and celery.
  4. Shred the chicken on the pan with two forks (the chicken will absorb back some of the juices from the cooking process, which is so much goodness.)
  5. Add the shredded chicken and cooked carrots/onions into the bowl with the dressing. Stir until combined and season if necessary.
  6. Chill. Devour. Enjoy!

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Meals · Noodles · Savory

Cauliflower + Dill Spaghetti

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Week night meals can vary from a well planned, calm menu to a frenzied episode of Food Network’s ‘Chopped’ in our home. If you work, have children, volunteer, travel often or any combination of the above, you get where I’m coming from in terms of this scenario.

Not all are successful, and ironically the biggest hits are usually the frantic sort where careful planning hasn’t occurred. Perhaps it’s not all that ironic, as in my opinion good food speaks for itself. Fresh ingredients prepared in simple ways have always spoken love to me, so it’s no surprise that this specific frenzied dish resonated with both my family & a number of others who requested the recipe.

Throw it together for a meatless Monday option or on a night you’re short of time or energy. Pair it with a glass of sauvignon blanc to fully allow yourself to decompress from the long day, but most importantly – share it with someone you love. Cheers, friends – from my kitchen to yours.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, removed from the stalk + cut into florets
  • 5 tbsp. EVOO, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 tbsp fresh dill, roughly chopped + divided
  • 2 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb thin spaghetti
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock (I love Trader Joe’s organic brand for full flavor)
  • 1/2 yellow onion sliced + sautéed
  • 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Garlic salt + pepper to season

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Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper + arrange the cauliflower florets + garlic cloves evenly across the pan. Drizzle lightly with 2 tbsp. EVOO, garlic salt, pepper, red pepper flakes + 2 tbsp. fresh dill. Bake approximately 30 minutes until golden brown and soft enough to pierce with a fork without resistance.
  2. Cook the pasta to al dente. While the pasta cooks, halve the cherry tomatoes + slice the onion into quarter inch half moon slices.
  3. Place remaining 3 tbsp. of EVOO in a large pan or skillet on medium heat and cook the onions until translucent. Add the cherry tomatoes + stock to the pan, followed by the cooked pasta and roasted cauliflower. Sauté 30 seconds to combine then add the fresh dill + Parmesan cheese. Season with garlic salt + pepper per your liking.
  4. Remove from heat and toss all the ingredients together. Add more fresh dill for garnish + serve.

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Meals · Savory · Sides

Parmesan + Thyme Cauliflower Rice

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Cauliflower is one of those vegetables I’ve always struggled eating until recently. In efforts to get my two blonde babes to keep an open mind about all foods, I figured I should do the same and simply try different variations of cooking said vegetable.

One tried and true method I’ve found to get almost anyone to enjoy a vegetable they normally turn up their nose to is to roast it in the oven with fresh herbs. Herbs provide such a strong punch of flavor simply + naturally, and in no time at all completely change the flavor of any dish. Roasting vegetables with a little EVOO also brings out the vegetable’s natural sweetness and enhances it’s flavor so nicely that I find myself using this technique when I’m in a cooking rut or short on time.

I digress. This recipe doesn’t roast the cauliflower, so you may be wondering why I even bring it up. Two reasons: 1.) be bold + take a vegetable you’re not all that keen of and roast it. Trust me. 2.) after using the vegetable in a new way – it will open your mind up about trying other preparations as it did for me with cauliflower.

This recipe is so simple and has become a favorite side dish with any protein. It’s also a fun way to change up the usual carb side option with a flavorful veggie substitute. I encourage you to use your favorite herb in this – thyme is lovely, but I can think of a few substitutes that would also go well, like chives, sage or rosemary. Happy cooking and thanks for stopping by!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, preferably organic
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1.5 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, plus more for garnish

  


Method:

  1. Grate the head of cauliflower, sticking to the portions you would eat. It will grate easier if you leave the head whole rather than cutting the segments off the stalk.
  2. In a large pan on your stovetop, add the EVOO, diced onions, grated cauliflower, chopped thyme, garlic salt + pepper. Saute 10-12 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. 
  3. Add the parmesan cheese and saute an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat + serve with fresh thyme garnished atop.

 

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Meals · Savory · Sides

Parmesan Garlic + Dill Drumsticks

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There’s something to be said about chicken wings + football. Theirs is a marriage that has withstood countless years and birthed many flavors. I love them all, truthfully, and any excuse I can get to eat a chicken wing (or drumstick in this instance) is okay by me. With Superbowl Sunday just one week away, menus are being planned + fans across the nation will cheer on their favorite (or favorite of the two options, anyway) teams.

Bring these to the table.

This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite go-to recipes when I’m in a time crunch, and one my family loves as well. Pasta, tossed in butter, garlic, chives, parmesan cheese (and a little pasta water), topped with red pepper flakes and dill for mom and dad. The combination atop these drumsticks took the simple flavors to a whole different level.

They’re packed with flavor, moist as all get out + the definition of easy to make. Try them. Then add them to your repertoire of recipes to make when time is limited or you’re entertaining a crowd.

I chose to make large drumsticks for this recipe, which yielded 5 pieces. Prefer a mixture of wings + drummies? Go for it. Just adjust your cooking time if needed.

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 lbs. Just Bare Brand Chicken Drumsticks
  • 1.5 tbsp. EVOO
  • 1 tbsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 4 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh chives, minced
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (I used a microplane to achieve a fine grate)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the drumsticks evenly spaced on the lined baking sheet + lightly season both sides of each drumstick with the garlic salt + pepper.
  3. Lightly drizzle the EVOO across each drumstick.
  4. Bake 25 minutes, or until juices run clear.
  5. While chicken bakes, chop & mince the herbs + garlic and grate the parmesan cheese.
  6. Melt the butter in a small saucepan on your stovetop + remove from heat. Add the minced garlic to the butter.
  7. When the drumsticks are cooked, immediately toss them with the butter, garlic, herbs, red pepper flakes + parmesan cheese. Serve hot + enjoy!

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Breakfast · Meals

Gingerbread Pancakes

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Pancakes are one of my girls’ absolute favorite meals and I’m always looking for new ways to add a little variety to them. While delicious all on their own, the basic pancake recipe is much like an empty canvas waiting for a touch of paint. Gingerbread for breakfast is my kind of art.

Christmas is just around the corner – which always leaves me thinking of growing up baking with family throughout the month of December. Some of those memories are most definitely the fondest – and my mom and grandma had a soft spot for gingerbread. My mom once told me it’s what she asked of my grandma to bring her in the hospital in the full heat of summer after delivering me: a full pan of gingerbread cake. Rightfully so, my grandma was the best baker around.

This is a fantastic way to wake up your loved ones on a cold winter morning! The flavors + aromas are delicious and sure to please any pancake aficionado in your home. Not overly sweet with all the right punches of spice and molasses…they’re bound to make Christmas morning sweeter as well.

Recipe yields 12 pancakes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose, unbleached flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar

Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda + powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves & allspice together.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla, molasses & brown sugar until well combined.
  3. Combine the wet + dry ingredients until just incorporated. Do not over mix the batter or the pancakes will be tough. There will still be lumps in the batter.
  4. Heat a large pan or griddle to medium low heat.
  5. Ladle 1/3 cup of batter atop the hot surface, leaving 2 inches of space between each cake. Wait until bubbles appear across the top of the cake & the edges appear semi-cooked, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  6. Flip each cake over and resume the cooking 1-2 more minutes.
  7. Serve hot with a side of maple syrup – or for extra decadence with a side of cinnamon whipped cream (or both!)

 

Meals · Noodles

Vegetable Lo Mein – Gluten Free

 I distinctly remember trying Lo Mein for the first time. It was from a takeout restaurant in my hometown in a tiny strip mall a few doors down from my mom’s business. It was everything you want Lo Mein to be:: greasy, garlicky, and loaded with flavors I’ll never forget. The place is still in business and quite frankly one of the better take out venues I’ve had for Chinese food. 

 Skip ahead a few {20} years and I’ve grown so much more cognitive of what I’m eating and what’s in our food – much more what I’m putting into my young beautiful girls’ bodies. By no means is it a perfect system; there are days where they have a box of organic macaroni and cheese (which is likely no better but eases my mom guilt ever so slightly…) but overall, I feel better knowing from where my food is coming and the quality of the ingredients. 

 Lo Mein is a complete comfort food for me – but this is a way I feel way less guilty indulging. And can we please talk about how ridiculously easy this dish is? Seriously folks, dinner will be on the table in less than 30 minutes! Feel good about it. You’re a super human juggling 30 things every day – dinner should be simple and fun. Not to mention delicious. Enjoy and tweak according to your preferences. Like it spicy? Sauté the jalapenos with the veggies. I have delicate palates in the house so I top my Lo Mein with the raw jalapenos at the end. Use vegetables that are seasonal and favorites. Add your favorite meat if you want to add some protein. The sky is the limit. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup grape seed oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1.5 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1.5 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1.5 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup of the pasta water reserved from cooking the noodles
  • 1 red pepper, yellow pepper and orange pepper thinly sliced
  • 3 large carrots peeled and sliced to match the size of the peppers
  • 10 green onions chopped into 2″ pieces
  • 2 jalapenos, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, plus more for garnish roughly chopped
  • 12 oz. brown rice noodles

Method:

  1. In a stockpot atop your cooktop, bring water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, wash and slice your vegetables.
  3. In a large sauté pan, add 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil and sauté the vegetables over medium heat until cooked and slightly crunchy.
  4. Boil the rice noodles 4-6 minutes and drain. During this process, add the oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and onion powder, garlic salt, minced garlic and 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water into a large measuring cup and stir to combine. 
  5. Turn the heat to low and add the drained noodles to the vegetable sauté pan. Pour the sauce over the noodles and vegetables. Add the chopped cilantro and gently toss together the ingredients. 
  6. Serve immediately and top with cilantro and jalapenos. Enjoy!

Meals · Noodles · Soup

Lasagna Soup

I have this sweet little 3 year old who has a zeal for life like no one else I’ve known. She’s passionate about everything {including her opinions}…except cheese. I can’t even begin to imagine life without cheese, and at times I find my cooking techniques to be somewhat creative to create a meal everyone will enjoy if a recipe calls for cheese. We even go as far as making her homemade pizza sans cheese. 

While I scratch my head a bit wondering how anyone could possibly not like cheese, I respect the difference in taste preferences. This meal is the perfect example of how I attempt to create something for everyone – but keep the option to maintain a standard ingredient the original recipe calls for. Lasagna without cheese:: epic fail…until now, anyway. 

Technically speaking this dish still can have the layer of ooey, gooey melted cheese sprinkled atop, and my husband and I certainly indulged in said way. But truthfully, the flavors in this soup leave little to be desired and can certainly be enjoyed on its own. Who doesn’t love a meal with options? It’s also quick and hearty; perfect for a winter weeknight meal.

Recipe yields approximately 4 servings. Serve with your favorite cheesy topping if desired. We used a combination of fresh mozzarella and parmesan because we aren’t ricotta fans – but the sky’s the limit. Go crazy.

 Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of ground Italian sausage or ground beef
  • large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 1/2 tsp black pepper (use the first 1/2 tsp to season the meat)
  • 2 1/2 tsp garlic salt (use the first 1/2 tsp to season the meat)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more if you like heat!)
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 26 oz box of diced tomatoes (I used Pomi brand)
  • 5 1/2 cups of organic chicken broth (I recommend Trader Joes brand!)
  • 1 cup organic beef broth
  • 7 oz elbow/macaroni noodles
  • optional fresh cheese for topping

Method:

  1. Finely dice the onion and sauté with the meat in a Dutch Oven until fully cooked. Add the tomato paste, minced garlic, red pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp each of garlic salt and pepper: sauté for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the tomatoes and sauté an additional 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and beef broths, remaining 2 tsp. each of garlic salt and pepper, dried oregano, Italian seasoning and 2 bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, chiffonade your basil and set aside.
  5. Remove the bay leaves and turn the heat up to a low boil. Add the fresh basil and pasta and cook 7-10 additional minutes until the pasta is done per your liking. Serve hot and top with your favorite cheese if desired.