weeknight

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Need a quick weeknight dinner idea?

NutriFocusRD has got your answer!

This creamy, nutritious soup hits the spot!  It is a guaranteed family favorite!!

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Creamy Tomato & Tortellini Soup:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • ½ lb. Italian Sausage
  • 1 Diced White Onion
  • 24oz Organic Marinara Sauce
  • 8oz Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
  • 32oz Reduced Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 8oz Diced Bella Mushrooms
  • 4-5 cups Fresh Organic Baby Spinach
  • 16-20oz Frozen or Refrigerated Whole Wheat Cheese Tortellini
  • ½ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • French Bread or Rosemary Olive Oil Bread (Costco)

Directions:

  1. In a stockpot, add EVOO, diced onion, and Italian sausage. Cook until sausage is brown.
  2. Add marinara sauce into the meat mixture and stir well.
  3. Using a whisk, stir in cream cheese until blended well. Once blended, add chicken broth and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Add mushrooms, baby spinach, and cheese tortellini to broth and combine well. Allow to simmer for 7-9 minutes.
  5. Serve soup warm, topped with 1-2 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese, and with a warm, crusty French bread for dipping! Enjoy!!!
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RECIPE RAVE!

I made this recipe on Thursday night for my husband and myself with a little hesitancy, but  I was pleasantly surprised!!  If you need a quick weeknight meal this recipe is for you! This pasta dish contained a lot of flavors and made enough for a large group or lunch leftovers! Mike and I both ate the leftovers for lunch on Friday cold,  and the dish cold was just as good as the original dish right off the stove! The star ingredients contain vitamins and minerals that have a major impact on our health as indicated below:

  • Spinach in this dish makes it a great source of  potassium, iron, and folate
  • Olives make it a great source of Vitamin E which has anti-inflammatory actions, helps reduce the severity of conditions caused by high levels of free radicals (asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer), and may help reduce the frequency and/or intensity of hot flashes in women going through menopause.
  • Whole Wheat Pasta makes this recipe a great source of dietary fiber and provides other health benefits such as lowering risk of metabolic syndrome, lessens chronic inflammation, and promotes gastrointestinal health!
  • Olive Oil is rich in monounsaturated fats which lowers rates of heart disease, diabetes,  and asthma. By reducing inflammation and free radical damage , dietary olive oil protects the lining of our blood vessels, helping to maintain its ability to relax and dilate which prevents high blood pressure.
  • Feta Cheese is rich in calcium, riboflavin, phosphorus, and vitamin B12.  Calcium is required for the development of bones. Riboflavin is required by the body as it aides in metabolism of macronutrients (carbs, pro, and fat). Phosphorus plays a major role in the formation of bones and teeth and Vitamin B12 is required by the human body to keep red blood cells healthy, supports function of the immune system, and prevents heart disease.

It reminded me of a dish that would be served at Taziki's, maybe similar to the oh so famous Friday's Special!! I highly recommend this recipe to my NutriFocus family!! If you try this dish, please share your comments!! Bon Appetit!!

Penne with Spinach, Feta, and Olives Yield:  4 servings (serving size: 2 cups) 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 3 garlic cloves, crushed 6 cups hot cooked whole wheat penne (about 12 ounces uncooked tube-shaped pasta) 2 cups chopped spinach 1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives 2 tablespoons capers 3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add pasta, spinach, olives, capers, and cheese; toss well.

Cooking Light, May 1998

RD's Recipe Review: Sante Fe Soup for the Soul

Happy Fall Yall
Happy Fall Yall

According to the majority of my clients, the most common barrier to success in terms of following a meal plan is, LACK OF TIME!  As a full-time, working professional, as well as a wife, daughter, and friend, I know time can easily hinder our ability to nutritionally care for ourselves. We live in a fast pace society which is clearly evident by the high number of fast food restaurants, take out menus, and pre-made meals at local groceries.  So if you feel pressed for time, you are not alone. As a young girl, I can remember sitting down to a hot meal every night for dinner. I consider my mom a “super mom” for many reasons, but one reason being her ability to complete a full day of work as a school teacher and still manage to place a piping hot, comfort meal on the table for my two brothers, my dad, and me to enjoy.  I still marvel at her ability to manage time and I’m so thankful for the priority she placed on meal time as a family. It was not only a time to nourish our bodies, but also our souls by reconnecting with each other at the end of an eventful day. All of us may not have the gift of time management, but that does not mean we have to skimp on enjoying delicious, home-cooked dinners on a weeknight!  Each week I will be reviewing recipes that my family personally enjoys and that I find time to make with my busy schedule.  Our bodies are important and the best preventative medicine is nutrition, so I encourage each of you to make meal time a priority, not only for your physical bodies, but also as a time to reconnect with loved ones.  For this week’s “RD’s Recipe Review”, I decided put together a quick “Santé Fe Soup” recipe.

This recipe is a modified version of the Southwestern Soup recipe that can be found in “Super Fast Suppers” by Cooking Light.  This particular recipe caught my attention because of the short amount of cooking time, but more so because the ingredient list contains mostly pantry staples!

Soup Ingredients
Soup Ingredients
Sante Fe Soup II
Sante Fe Soup II

This soup was extremely easy to put together.  It really made my house feel like a home by filling it with the comforting smell of soup bubbling on the stove.  After all, there is no better comfort food than soup!  This soup brings vibrant flavors by combining the taco seasoning, ranch seasoning, and jalapeños. A dollop of sour cream added a nice touch by incorporating a creamy texture and a nice temperature differentiation.

This soup will help you meet your daily vegetable servings by incorporating onions and a heaping amount of tomatoes!  Tomatoes are full of lycopene which is a carotenoid considered a potential agent in the prevention of certain types of cancer. Your protein needs will be met by the fajita chicken strips and the black-eyed peas!  And finally, your carbohydrate needs are partially met by the addition of corn and black-eyed peas.  In order to complete the meal I simply served the soup with a hearty slice of Mexican cornbread, of which I would share the recipe but I must admit, I did not make the cornbread. It’s my mother-in-law’s specialty which she was kind enough to make while visiting us this past weekend in Birmingham!

I can confidently recommend this recipe for a quick weeknight meal or for entertaining guest on a budget!  Enjoy!