Here's a simple one - 6 ingredients, 1 crockpot, 4 hours, 1 amazing and addictive soup. So easy, so delicious and creamy, and pretty healthy if you use low-fat cream cheese and turkey sausage. Try to get bulk sausage from your butcher, if you can. The big name/pre-packaged stuff (Jimmy Dean, I'm looking at you) has high fructose corn syrup - yuck! Jasper is not a big fan of soups, unfortunately - which means that I got to eat this every day for lunch for a week and never got sick of it. In fact, I was still craving it after it was gone!
Creamy Tortellini Soup
You can thank Pinterest for this one. You need frozen tortellini to stand up to the long cooking time. If you can't find it, reduce the cooking time by half for dried and even more for refrigerated. Also, if you are not using "Italian Style" tomatoes, you will need to add some spices.
adapted from Little Fellows
1 lb ground sausage, preferably turkey
1 (8 oz) block cream cheese or neufchatel (less fat), I use cream cheese made from Greek yogurt which is as low fat as neufchatel but has more protein
1 (19oz) bag frozen cheese tortellini
1 bag fresh spinach (5 oz is common, but use as much as you want)
2 (14.5 oz) cans Italian style diced tomatoes
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
Brown the sausage and put into the crockpot with the cream cheese. Stir around a bit to break up the cream cheese and get it to start melting (this will help prevent lumps). Add in the rest of the ingredients. Set temp to low and cook for 3-4 hours (check pasta texture at 3 hours).
We are finally getting into some Spring weather here but I am way behind on my posts, so I'm sorry if the cold weather stuff drags on a bit! I actually made this Pumpkin Cream Cheese Loaf all the way back in October - yikes! Put it uses canned pumpkin, so you can make it whenever that is available. I found this recipe through Pinterest which advertized only 500 calories for a WHOLE LOAF!(!!!) Oh-em-gee! Can it be true? Delicious and healthy? The unicorn of pumpkin loafs?!
Okay, I wouldn't really call it healthy. It's low calorie and low fat due to the use of low-fat cream cheese, egg whites vs whole eggs, and applesauce vs oil. And it uses half fake sugar and half real sugar, but I'd still call that a sugary snack.
As for deliciousness? I'd call it okay. You can definitely taste the fake sugar and it isn't as dense and luxurious as the real thing, but it's a pretty good substitute. So all-in-all I'm going to call this decent but not amazeballs.
Here is a dish that is simple, easy, healthy, and totally delicious.
All you do is mix together cooked quinoa, wilted kale, caramelized onions, eggs, and cheese; then bake until set.
It sets up a bit like a frittata. So simple!
Quinoa and Kale Crustless Quiche
adapted from Food 52
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch kale, stems removed and cut into ribbons
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese (or whatever you like)
3 oz reduced fat cream cheese (or Laughing Cow), cubed
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a 9" pie dish (either butter the dish thoroughly or spray with baking spray).
Rinse the quinoa. Combine the quinoa and water in a pan. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat and then reduce to a simmer. This will take about twenty minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, start to caramelize the onions. Heat the olive oil in a large saute on medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions. Slowly cook until the onions are soft and browned. Remove the onions from the pan, and place them in a large mixing bowl.
Add the kale into the hot onion pan. On medium heat, cook until the kale is wilted and bright green, about two minutes. Allow the greens to cool. Squeeze out any extra liquid using a sieve or a clean dish towel.
Add the kale, quinoa, garlic, cream cheese and cheddar to the mixing bowl. Stir the ingredients so that they are evenly distributed.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs so that they are well combined. Pour over the quinoa/kale mixture. Stir until the egg clings to the greens. Add salt and pepper.
Pour the mixture in the prepared pie dish. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden and the pie has started to pull away from the edge of the baking dish. This dish is delightful hot, but even better at room temperature.
In my ever-continuing quest to find healthier foods, I stumbled across this recipe. Cupcakes, that are diet-friendly, in my favorite tropical flavor combo, made with only 5 ingredients! Yeah - these are awesome.
For the cake part, you only need 2 ingredients (only 2!) - cake mix and canned crushed pineapple. That's it! The pineapple takes the place of the eggs and oil making these super low-fat.
Creamy, rich, decadent cheesecake topped with sour cream and luscious cherries - yes please!
Press buttered graham cracker crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a spring form pan (normally 9-inches, but all I have is 10). By the way, they now sell pre-crushed graham crackers in the baking isle!
I am obsessed with all things spinach and artichoke right now, it must be Spring getting to me. Tossed in a casserole with chicken, pasta, and cheese these veggies become instant comfort food (similar to my long time favorite Spring Shells casserole). This comes together quickly and only needs to bake for 10-15 minutes, just enough to brown the top (all the ingredients are already cooked).
Last week, I stumbled upon this really cool concept blog called Food 'n Flix that invites bloggers to watch a movie, make a dish inspired by the movie, then blog about it. This month, the movie is Big Night (hosted by Spabettie) starring Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub as two hilarious Italian brothers that own a restaurant together. In order to save the restaurant from bankruptcy, they risk everything they have on one extravagant dinner to impress a celebrity singer.
I loved the movie, it was cute and funny and well acted, and it made me SO HUNGRY. It inspired me to make a Tricolore Lasagna in the colors of the Italian flag (green, white, and red).