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Pesto Chicken Minestrone

8 servings
1 hour
  • 1 head garlic
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 c. chicken stock
  • 1 1/4 lb. boneless, ­skinless chicken breast
  • 1 large piece Parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 (9-ounce) package fresh four-cheese tortellini
  • 1 bunch curly kale, stems discarded and leaves torn
  • 2 tbsp. prepared pesto, plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Cut off pointed end of garlic, exposing cloves. Place on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; wrap tightly. Bake until soft, 35 to 40 minutes; let cool.
  • Squeeze pulp from garlic and mash into a paste; reserve.
  • Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Add chicken stock, chicken breast, and Parmesan rind.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove chicken and shred with two forks; return to pot.
  • Stir in beans, carrots, red pepper, and 2 tablespoons reserved mashed garlic.
  • Simmer, covered, 15 minutes.
  • Uncover and stir in tortellini. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Stir in kale and cook until pasta is cooked through and kale is tender, 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and discard Parmesan rind.
  • Stir in 2 tablespoons pesto.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve warm with additional pesto.