Freezer Friendly Chunky Tortellini Soup

Make a batch of soup, freeze half for an easy go to meal! I hope you’re growing younger (yes, I did say younger, and I am referring to your fit age) with tips on  how to be consistent with healthier eating choices and  daily exercise. For those following with the goal of  reducing your fit age, it’s time to recheck  with the fitness calculator.

File today’s post under, tips to save time in the kitchen along with my post 5 time saving tips for a fitter  you. I wouldn’t ordinarily put a soup that takes 40 minutes to make, in  the quick meal category. But here’s why I’m breaking the rule:  you can freeze half of this soup  so your second meal is done in minutes!   It’s comfort in a bowl, and I love the results of the nutritional profile (per serving) : 240 calories, 4 grams fat, 15 grams protein, 38 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber, 35% daily value Vitamin A, 15 % daily value Calcium, 50% Daily Value Vitamin C, 20% Daily Value  Iron.

Keep up the good work!

Chunky Tortellini Soup

by Diane Boyd

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onion
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 16 oz slice baby portabella mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 64 ounces reduced sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 15-ounce can fired-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups cannellini bean
  • 6 cups stemmed chopped kale
  • 9 ounce package tortellini
  • Parmesan or Pecorino cheese rind

Instructions

1. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates , stirring occasionally.

2. Stir in tomato paste, cook one minutes. Add stock , pepper, fire roasted tomatoes and drained cannelloni beans. Bring to. a boil.. Reduce heat , add cheese rind and simmer 5 minutes.

3. Stir in kale. Add tortellini and cheese rind and cook 7 minutes or until tortellini are done.

FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS: Follow instructions through 2. Add kale. Cool soup completely and add tortellini. Freeze flat in a large ziplock freezer bag for up to 2 months.

THAW: Microwave soup in bag at MEDIUM (50% power) for 8 minutes or until pilable.

REHEAT: Pour soup into large Dutch oven ; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add cheese rind and cook 25 minutes or until tortellini are done.

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Thai BBQ Chicken Bowl

Walnuts are the perfect complement to this Thai inspired barbeque bowl that’s a  mix of brown rice, roasted red peppers,  BBQ chicken, arugula, garbonzo beans and  drizzled with  a warm  sweet and sour sauce.IMG_4371

Disclosure: I received free samples of California walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and I am eligble to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Versatily, variety and the pleasure of eating! Yep, that’s what I’m talkin’ about, and it all starts here with these..IMG_4333.. I would eat them for their delicious crunch alone, but they’re also a powerhouse of good nutrition providing important components of a healthy diet- an ounce of walnuts has 2.5 grams of the essential plant-based omega 3 alpha-linolenic acic (ALA), 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber to keep you feeling full. I love to  gooble them up by the handful, but  they’re also a perfect complement to other whole foods! In her book, the Vegetarian Flavor Bible, Karen Page  lists over 100 whole foods that pair with walnuts, from apples to zucchini. Talk about versatility!

 Because I ‘m a creature of habit, I  tend to eat foods that are familiar to me.  So when given a two pound bag of delicious walnuts, here’s what I’d typically do with them (besides eating them by the handful):

• make banana nut muffins

• prepare a nut roll

• use as a coating for chicken and fish

• add to cereals and granola

• add to salads

• add to smoothies

• make nut butter

Now don’t get me wrong, there ‘s nothing wrong with any of the above. However,  today the challenge is to play matchmaker and create clever pairings for this hard working nut and other whole foods to give you ideas for a healthy pantry makeover. You see, the folks at the California Walnut Commission are smart; they  know that the walnut hasn’t reached it’s culinary potential! Incorporating walnuts and other whole foods into nutritious dishes with  exciting new tastes and textures will improve your eating pleasure. So let’s get started!

Today I’m focusing on variety in one single bowl. That’s right, one bowl with layers of nutritious and tasty ingredients including a whole grain,  both plant and animal proteins,  raw and cooked veggies, and delicious California walnuts. The sweet and tangy sauce drizzled over the top will excite your taste buds even more. I hope you will continute to enjoy California walnuts in your favorite  traditional walnut dishes and in this extraordinary  BBQ bowl!IMG_4362

Thai BBQ Chicken Bowl, serves 4

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 4-8 cups fresh arugula
  • 2 red peppers, sliced
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup  garbonzo beans
  • 1 cup walnuts

for the marinade

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons cooking sherry
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 minced garlic gloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes

for the dipping sauce

  • 2/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

Instructions

1.Preheat grill

1.Combine all ingredients for marinade in bowl and stir well to dissole the sugar.

2. Add chicken and red pepper slices. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours.

3. Make diping sauce by adding all ingredients into a sauce pan. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and keep on a gentle boil. When sauce is reduced to 1/3,remove from heat. The sauce will thicken with time. You can make this ahead of time, but add a little water when you reheat.

4. Brush grill grates with oil or spray with cooking spray.

5. Place chicken and red peppers on grill grate and grill on medium heat , turning oaccasionally. Remove when chicken is fully cooked and peppers are charred.

5. In 4 serving bowls, layer brown rice, arugula, roasted red peppers, garbonzo beans, grilled chicken, and walnuts. Drizzle with warm sweet and sour sauce.

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