What I Ate: 4-Cheese Tortellini & Spinach Tomato Soup

You know what’s the perfect meal when you love pasta, cheese, spinach, and tomatoes? It’s 4-cheese tortellini & spinach tomato soup. I found Gal on a Mission’s recipe on Pinterest the other day and immediately decided that it needed to be inside my body, ASAP. Her recipe is actually for 3-cheese tortellini (but really whatever tortellini you want to use is your choice) and uses carrots instead of spinach, so I tweaked the recipe a bit to my own liking.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ingredients
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/4 cup basil (shredded)
5.5 cups chicken stock (can replace with veggie broth for a vegetarian meal!)
1 1/4 cup half & half
1 jar Ragu pasta sauce (I think I used a 7oz jar)
14.5 oz diced tomatoes (don’t drain!)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
20 oz 4 cheese refrigerated tortellini
2.5-3 cups raw spinach

Gal on a Mission’s recipe actually calls for 5 cups of chicken stock and 16 oz of tortellini, but the best value package at my grocery store was 20 oz so I just added an extra half cup of chicken stock to the recipe to make up the difference.

Instructions
1. Simmer onion over medium heat until translucent (or close).
2. Add garlic, simmer like  1-2 more mins.
3. Add basil, chicken stock, half & half, ragu, diced tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Stir, simmer 20 mins.
4. Add tortellini & spinach, simmer another 15-20 mins.
5. Serve with shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese and basil!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This soup was seriously delicious, and made enough that I’ll definitely be able to get another 3-4 meals out of it. I might make garlic bread too if I’m ever making it for a group. I’m really looking forward to having this as a cozy go-to this winter, especially on snow days!

Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

 

What I Ate: Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust

I love pizza. It’s an eat-it-everyday, shout-it-from-the-rooftops kind of love, one that I hold close to my heart through every meal. Pizza is amazingly versatile; you could eat it every day for a year and have a different kind every single day. Greasy and thin, hand-tossed and fluffy, meaty or vegetarian or just plain cheese, pizza is the end-all, be-all for food options in my book. The only problem with pizza is that unfortunately, it doesn’t tend to be very healthy. That’s where spaghetti squash comes in.

If you’ve never had spaghetti squash, you should know that it’s a yellow squash, roughly the size of a cantaloupe, that pulls apart in strings after it’s been cooked. If you have had it before, you already know that it’s pretty delicious and makes a great starch substitute – it’s especially helpful if you’re gluten-free!

To make spaghetti squash pizza crust, you will need:
1 spaghetti squash
1 egg
a pinch of flour (not strictly necessary, I just like it to thicken the mix a bit)
olive oil (or other cooking oil)
salt
pepper
garlic salt/powder
oregano
pizza sauce, cheese, and toppings – all according to your own liking! (this crust makes for a pretty good white pizza if I do say so myself)

IMG_2742

Before you turn it into a crust, first you have to cook the spaghetti squash.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Pierce the rind of the squash with a fork a few times for ventilation.
3. Put the squash in the microwave for 2 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes.
4. Cut off the stem end, and cut the squash in half.
5. Scoop out the seeds and guts – just like before carving a pumpkin!
6. Drizzle some olive oil over the inside of the squash (I never measure it, I just pour a little bit and then put the halves back together and sort of turn them over to try to get an even coating), then add some salt and pepper.
7. Bake the squash halves for 25 minutes (I usually take them out and turn them over halfway through).

IMG_2744IMG_2743

Now you’re ready to make the crust.
1. Leave the oven still set to 400 degrees when you take the squash out.
2. After taking the squash out of the oven, use a fork to pull the stringy insides apart and out of the rind.
3. In a large bowl, mix the cooked squash with 1 egg and a pinch of flour.
4. Add garlic and oregano to your liking (I never measure them, and I’m usually pretty heavy handed according to my own personal taste).
5. Line a baking pan with parchment paper (not 100% required but it makes it easier to get the pizza off the pan later and I think it helps to cook more evenly) and spread the squash evenly to form a thin layer. You shouldn’t be able to see the pan through the squash, but you still want it to bake all the way through. Make sure it’s just thick enough to hold sauce, cheese, and toppings!
6. Bake 20-25 minutes until edges are browning (In the past I’ve usually taken it out around the 20 minute mark and at this point it’s usually still kind of soft and requires a fork to eat, but doesn’t completely fall apart – in the future I’m going to leave it in for longer).

Once you’ve baked your crust, it’s pizza time! Use your favorite sauce, cheese, and toppings to make the pizza of your dreams. Put the pizza back in the oven for 6-10 minutes to let the cheese melt, then enjoy!

IMG_2638

Spaghetti squash crust has been my godsend for making healthy pizza at home, and I hope you love it as much as I do! Let me know how it goes for you if you try it out!

I adapted my recipe from the girls over at A Beautiful Mess.