Tag Archives: Recipe

Tortellini Soup

Good lord, did this day get away from me. How is it 5:30PM? How??

Anyway. I was going to call this “I’m Sick Soup,” but then I didn’t want to make anybody think that the soup was what made me sick.

And it’s definitely a good thing I’m not calling this “Food Poisoning Soup,” right?

To be clear, the soup didn’t give me food poisoning. A stupid, awful, frozen meal that I left out for way too long did.

This soup is what made me feel better.

But… let’s stop talking about food poisoning in a recipe post, shall we?

Anyway, this soup is great. It’s easy. It’s literally “dump it all in a pot” easy. My favorite kind of recipe these days.

And I got all of the ingredients at Target because I simply didn’t have it in me to go grocery shopping anywhere else.

Tortellini Soup

makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 16-oz cans vegetable broth
  • 1 26-oz can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 26-oz can-full of water
  • 1 package Buitoni (or whatever) whole wheat tortellini
  • 1 can white kidney beans
  • 3 cups frozen mixed vegetable (I used peas/ carrots/ green beans)
  • 2 cups frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 tsp Italian spice blend (parsley/ rosemary/ thyme)
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan/ romano cheese (plus more to top with)

Directions:

Bring vegetable broth, condensed tomato soup and water to a boil.

Add tortellini, mixed vegetables, spinach, Italian spice blend and garlic powder and cook for 8-11 minutes over high heat (until tortellini is cooked through).

Add cheese and cook for another minute or so more.

Serve, topped with a little more cheese if you know what’s good for you. 😉

Almost as easy from soup from a can — just a little fresher!

Enjoy. 🙂

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Cheesy Quinoa

I made up this recipe out of desperation, if I’m being honest.

What I really wanted was my new go-to comfort food, Upgraded Mac & Cheese. Alas, I didn’t have any Mac & Cheese. I also didn’t have any noodles. I was SOL, if you know what I mean.

While I won’t pit them against each other (they’re both my babies), I would definitely say this meal is a bit… classier. Thankfully, it’s just as easy!


It’s also just as delicious. Seriously. What a winner of a recipe, and all because I was forced to be creative.

Cheesy Quinoa

makes 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry tri-color quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 1/2 tbs low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan & romano
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (regular milk would work just fine — I just used what I had)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • shredded mozzarella to top with (optional)

Directions:

Over high heat on a stovetop, bring the quinoa and water to a rolling boil. Stir, lower heat to a simmer, cover pot, and let cook for about eight minutes more or until the water is nearly gone. Add spinach and cook for about two minutes more.

Add kidney beans and cook about two minutes more, stirring often.

Add cream cheese, almond milk, parmesan & romano, garlic powder, oregano, salt and and pepper. Stir, mixing everything evenly throughout. Cook about one minute more to let the flavors settle.

Serve topped with (optional) mozzarella.

There are lots of flavors in this dish. There’s also lots of protein! I’m a big fan.

 

Plus, it’s kind of pretty, isn’t it? There’s something very… Italian about it to me.

Have you ever come up with any favorite dishes out of desperation?

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Chocolate Granola for Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

I hope you all have loved ones with whom to celebrate. If you do, I think you should be starting your day off with chocolate.

You know, to celebrate.

And if you don’t… you should definitely be starting your day with some chocolate.

To… make yourself feel better. Or, hey, to celebrate being single. Whichever.


It’s because I love you guys that I spent part of my weekend creating a recipe for chocolate granola.

Definitely not because I knew I’d need some chocolate on Tuesday morning.

Not telling you which of the above scenarios has me needing chocolate in the morning, though. 😉

Anyway, I thought this might be a nice Valentine’s Day recipe to wake up to. Healthy, but not too healthy. Chocolate-based, but not wildly caloric (the cocoa makes it taste decadent without being coated in melted chocolate). A good balance. A perfect start to the day.

Chocolate Granola

makes about 2 1/2 cups worth… whatever that means to you, serving-wise 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup agave
  • 2 tbs vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup slivered or sliced almonds (I actually switched to sliced after I took the above picture)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Set oven to 300 degrees.

Pour all ingredients into a bowl. Mix, preferably with a wooden spoon.

Try really hard not to eat some with a spoon.

Fail. There’s no raw egg in there. Fail happily.

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Spread (remaining) granola mixture evenly across the baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes, tossing the granola every seven-ish minutes.

Voila! That’s it. I love easy recipes.

Serve however you want.

So far, I’ve tried it with milk…

Almond milk…

(soooo good)

And in a delicious yogurt bowl for Valentine’s morning. 🙂

Delicious. Decadent. Still healthy.

And totally holiday-appropriate.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Did you have chocolate in your breakfast today? Share!

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Quinoa White Bean Chili

I’ve actually been sitting on this recipe for a while now.

That’s really quite selfish of me. I’m sorry. Because, honestly, this recipe is really very good.

But, hey, I’m sharing it now, right?

So you can’t really be mad at me.

(If I had a new and awkward picture of myself, this is exactly where I would say, “Plus, you can’t be mad at a face like this!” Alas, I have no such picture… so really, I’m not sure why I bothered with this tangent. Annnnnyway….)

My friend Lauren and I made this dish over a month ago. We got it from Clean Eating Magazine. You can find the original recipe here, but we changed it pretty drastically — and, to be honest, we did so because the original was pretty bland.

Quinoa White Bean Chili

makes 5-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 15-oz cans white beans
  • 1 16-0z can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 6 cups fresh chopped spinach
  • grated parmesan to taste (or, if you’re Vegan, don’t)

Directions:

In a large pot, combine quinoa and water and cooke over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover tightly and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add bell peppers, beans, diced tomatoes, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, cumin and oregano to pot. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.

When chili has thickened and the quinoa has a white halo-like appearance, stir in spinach and cook for one more minute, until the spinach has just wilted.

Serve topped with fresh grated parmesan.

And no,  you totally do not have to serve it in a glass jar…


But isn’t it pretty like that?

 

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Lazy Girl’s Lentil Chili

Boy, do I have an easy dish for you today!

I call this the “lazy girl’s” lentil chili because it’s made entirely of ingredients that are already basically prepared for you.

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All you really have to do is dump everything into a pot together. And, I mean, does it get much easier than that?

No. The answer is no. Not unless you’re making a frozen meal, but this can be passed off as homemade, you can control the sodium levels, and it’s preservative-free! Hooray!

This dish is a good, very healthy meal to have at the ready for busy girls (Not just lazy girls! Maybe I should change the name…) who don’t have time to prepare lunches every day before work. All you have to do is throw this dish in some tupperware and you have individual, microwave-ready meals.

Lazy Girl’s Lentil Chili

makes 5-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 package TJ’s prepared lentils
  • 1 package frozen rustica carrots
  • 1 package frozen yellow & green wax beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (16 oz)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (despite the picture, I actually used Annie’s organic BBQ sauce)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbs ground chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • sour cream or greek yogurt (optional)
  • low-fat shredded cheddar (or other) cheese (optional)

Directions:

I wasn’t kidding. This couldn’t be easier.

Literally:

Dump all of the ingredients into a pot. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 20-25 minutes.

Top with a dollop of sour cream/ greek yogurt and  low-fat shredded cheddar cheese if you like. You should. Unless you’re vegan… since this meal is otherwise vegan!

I know, right? You’re welcome.

Don’t tell me eating healthy is hard!

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Homemade Whipped Cream

So, remember that Chocolate Bundt Cake I posted about the other day? Well, it’s damn good, but the homemade whipped cream that goes along with it takes it over the top.


I was originally going to post the recipe for this whipped cream  in my own words (you know, as usual), so I emailed my mom and asked her to send me the recipe (since she’s the one who made it and this recipe is her’s).


Then, I read her email and I realized how funny it was and also that you’ll be able to see that I get both my writing style and my sense of humor from her, so I thought I’d just share it exactly as she wrote it. Enjoy.

From my mother’s lips (well, fingers, I suppose):

Homemade Whipped Cream

Oh boy, this is a tough one. Kidding.

Use cold whipping or heavy cream – usually one pint is plenty.
I also use a cold bowl and cold beaters. It helps beat the cream. Put them in the fridge for 15 minutes. Be sure to have the beater UNPLUGGED when you attach the cold beaters.
Beat the cream on high until stiff peaks form. Once stiff (yeah, I know), add powdered (confectioner’s) sugar to taste. Try a little at first – maybe an 1/8 of a cup, and add more as desired. Depending on what you’re serving it with, you may want it sweet or not so sweet.
I simply shaved dark chocolate on top. I had Ghiradelli dark chocolate squares but use what you have – although, it does have to be a firm/hard (yeah, I know) chocolate to be able to shave it.
That’s it. It’s simple. If for some reason you have to make it far in advance (not recommended though), a chef I saw said to melt one marshmallow for each cup of cream used  to keep it stiff (yeah, I know). Add it at the end, but keep in mind that it’s sweet, so you may need to cut your sugar down. I would put them in first, and then add the sugar.
Don’t over beat, but I like it very stiff (yeah, I know).
Love you 
Mummy”
So… now you see where I get it.
Anyway, this cake with this whipped cream? Divine.
Make both. Together. You’ll thank me (and my mom).

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Spinach Artichoke Bread

Remember how I said there were two parts to the dinner my mom and I made for our family one night while I was at home? Here’s the other half.

The recipe I’m about to share with you comes from The Rachael Ray Magazine as one of her 30 Minute Meals. You can find the original recipe here. I’m essentially copying it here with just a few tweaks, but I want to make sure you know the original source.

This recipe was one to which we stuck fairly close, other than a slight healthification. We simply didn’t eat it as a main dish, but had small servings alongside our healthier soup as a main dish.

Let me tell you something: this bread? Really. Effing. Good. However, one piece packs a lot of punch, so you can easily stick to a small piece and feel fully satisfied.

Spinach-Artichoke Bread

Serves four as a main dish or 8 as a side dish

Ingredients:

  • 1 baguette, halved
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs EVOO
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1 ½ cups 1% milk
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 (?)-oz bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the bread on a baking sheet. Hollow out the insides of the bread halves slightly to create “boats” of a sort.

In a medium skillet, melt the butter with the EVOO over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened (about 5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk in the flour for about a minute, then whisk in the milk and nutmeg. Cook for about 5 minutes or until thickened.

Pull the spinach apart and shred the artichoke hearts, then stir both into the cream mixture. Cook until heated through, then add the parmesan. Remove from the heat.

Spread the spinach-artichoke mixture into the hollowed-out bread halves.

Top with mozzarella.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the cheese has melted and browned slightly.

Slice and serve.

I’m drooling just thinking about it.

It’s not the absolute healthiest of dishes, but it’s definitely a healthified version of something that could be much, much worse for you. And hey, at least you’re getting your greens in! This would be a great way to get picky kids to eat their veggies.

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