Chicken gnocchi minestrone

I was at my full-time work gig the other day and had just made lunch when a calendar reminder popped up about a Zoom meeting that was starting. I’d forgotten it was on the schedule, and my boss was out. But it was a monthly check-in with our comrades in the region and I didn’t want to miss it, so I hopped on to the call.

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“I see we have Alyssa on,” the moderator said a few minutes later. “And she has her camera off, which probably means she’s eating.”

I burst out laughing, unmuted myself and said, “How did you know?”

“Because every time I see you, you’re eating,” he replied.

Touche. Our office schedule gets packed with business visits, client consultations, training sessions and other meetings. The endless variety keeps me on my toes, but the one caveat is that when I need to eat, I eat.

I have unstable blood sugar – and I get up really early in the morning – so I can’t always wait for the scheduled lunch breaks. I bring food on road trips, pack an array of snacks for training sessions and have been known to get up in the middle of a meeting to make myself a sandwich.

A few weeks ago we scheduled an 11 a.m. meeting with a consultant, who replied and said, “Eleven? I assume lunch will be provided?” She was kidding, but my mind was also on how the timing would work with my lunch schedule.

So I filled the Crockpot with my latest soup experiment: this take on minestrone, inspired by the fall veggies in my fridge, and with chicken and gnocchi instead of the usual beef and pasta. The soup was a hit and the relaxed atmosphere of partaking together paved the way for a great conversation.

I just might suggest those 11 a.m. meetings more often.     

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