Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Craaaazzy about Tortellini

And, that's not all that's crazy 'round here. More on that later.

So, being the semi-trained culinary professional that I am (please, no comparisions to other "semi" types...you know who you are, Sandra Lee, you Semi-Ho, you!), I sometimes just want to throw something together that's quicky, easy, and of course, cheesy!

Enter the humble refrigerated cheese tortellini...because who the hell has time to make tortellini these days? Certainly not me! (Whine, whine, whine)

There's an amazing amount of stuff you can do to that little package of pasta that makes a great meal. Although, I must confess that my favorite way to eat the little hummers is with a lot of butter and shredded Parmesan cheese. That's all. Yeah, not too healthy, but really comforting.

We first hit the tortellini jackpot when I discovered a Weight Watchers Shortcut cookbook with this recipe:

Cheese Ravioli in Pesto-Tomato Broth

28 oz fat-free, less sodium chicken broth

1 9-oz package refrigerated reduced fat cheese tortellini

1 14.5-oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes

1/4 cup commercial pesto

2 cups yellow squash, cubed (or a mix of yellow and zucchini)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Procedure:

1. Bring broth to a boil in a large sauce pan.

2. Add ravioli and remaining ingredients; reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes.

Yields 4 servings, 1.5 cups each.

Points = 6 (Which ain't bad for a pasta dish)

Good luck on finding those low-fat cheese ravioli. I could never find them, so I'm sure the point count goes up by 2-3. And, then I would substitute Italian-style diced tomatoes instead of the plain no-salt ones, because that was what was in the cupboard. (And, then I jacked it all to Point hell and back by dumping a handful of shredded Parmesan into my bowl. I just can't quit the cheese!)

So, this version is in fairly standard rotation in the Poodlevania household for the winter months, because we're all about soup, and we're all about the quick soup!

Then, I was perusing a notebook of WW recipes that Linna put together for me when I announced a couple of years ago that I was doing WW (for the first time--I know, I know). Linna was very successful with her weight loss and is my hero!, and I really appreciated this little notebook, which I have used many times.

The Man announced a few weeks ago that he wanted to try eating better again and requested that I throw some WW recipes back in the dinner rotation. So, I got out the trusty notebook and started poring over my options.

Hey--look! A different tortellini soup! More stuff in it! Let's try it!

Tortellini Soup Florentine ('cause it's got spinach in it!)

3 cups fresh or frozen cheese tortellini

1 quart chicken broth (I recommend the Pacific Rim Organic at Costco--6 for $10)

1 cup water

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried sage or rosemary leaves, crumbled

2 cups coarsely chopped cleaned spinach or other greens (kale, chard)

16-oz can small white or navy beans, rinsed and drained

4-6 sun-dried tomatoes, minced

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Procedure:

1. Cook tortellini according to package instructions, until just tender.

2. In a large sauce pan, bring chicken broth, garlic, herbs, and 1 cup water to boil.

3. Stir in spinach, beans, and tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer until spinach and tomatoes are tender, about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in tortellini and simmer 1 minute longer. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 4 servings/6 points each

Hey--more stuff, same Points. Not a bad deal. I also just put the tortellini in the broth without cooking it separately. I let it boil for about 5-6 minutes, then throw in the beans, spinach, and tomatoes and cook for another 4-5 minutes, until beans are heated through and spinach is wilted. Notice this recipe has no salt...I have to add some salt...usually in the form of a small can of sliced black olives. And, for tonight's version, I threw in a can of Italian-style diced tomatoes. I was out of fresh spinach, so I used some frozen, which I defrosted in the nukerator and drained. See, the possibilities are endless!

Besides, I'm going to need all the easy stuff I can get for awhile. I'm have a wee bit o' surgery on Thursday, and will be down for the count for at least 3 weeks...and doomed to The Man's cooking for the most part. (Not that I won't be grateful, honey, but...)

I've laid in some supplies and plan to make some Moldy Jell-o, because I know I won't want a lot to eat when I get home from the surgery. I did find something that looks rather yummy in the dairy case though. Remember this little gem: Ready-to-Eat Cheesecake Filling? Now it comes in CHOCOLATE!! I swear, Kraft/Philadelphia Brand are in league with some sort of demons, and I don't care! I plopped the tub of that into the cart, and later, when The Man was staring into the fridge and asking about it, I very succinctly told him to back the hell away from my cheesecake filling. It's Mine! Mine! Mine! I neeeeeeeed it for my recovery period. I will be sans a womanly part or two, and I am going to need much comforting during this time.

So, not that I've been good about keeping up the blog lately, I'm probably going to either be better about it (boring details of my recovery) or really, really bad about keeping up with it. Bear with me, and I promise I'll be more proactive about posting!

p.s. I soaked Harvey this weekend, because it was time for a soak...sort of past time for a soak, and whaddya know?! He's sprouted at least 6-7 little nubs, which is exciting, since I didn't even shock him to put him in this state. Pretty cool, huh?

3 comments:

Lin said...

I like the look of both of those tortellini soup recipes. I'll have to try both! The beans add a bit more fiber than the squash, which is probably why the points are so reasonable.
Hope your recovery is going well!

J said...

It's a good thing I left the country before that chocolate cheesecake filling came out on the market. I could see me tucking that in the refrigerator for lunch at work on a stressful day! :)

Hope you are feeling okay.

leosatter said...

Maybe you can help me out with something…? I want to order all of my food online from now on because of various reasons, but I don’t know where to go for quality food. I have tried 2 companies so far, Fresh Dining, and and Celebrity Foods, but I wanna get others I can try out. Do you know of any? The main thing I’ve ordered so far is steak. I guess you can say, I’m a steak junkie. LOL!!! From what I have found out (from what I have ordered so far) I think I am able to regulate the quality of beef I buy. I hate going to a store and getting that crappy slab of beef that I have to cut down until there is like nothing left. Hahaha!!!! (its so true though) Anyhow, sorry that I made this comment so long. If you can help me out or point me in a direction where I might find more quality foods online, I would greatly appreciate it. Have a good day or night! (depending on when you read this) LOL!!!!