Saturday, September 19, 2015

Creamy Tortellini Vegetable Bake


  • 1 package (19 ounces) frozen cheese-filled tortellini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup (~1 medium sized) carrot
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup (2 small sized) sweet bell peppers
  • 1 cup summer squash
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) corn
Creamy base:
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or tomato broth
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
Top it off:
  • 1/4 cup freshly-grated mozzarella cheese
  • 3-4 tablespoons freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish and set aside.
  2. Prep the veggies: trim the snap peas, peel and coin the carrot, thinly slice the mushrooms, chop the peppers, chop the summer squash, halve the cherry tomatoes, and rinse & drain the corn.
  3. Prepare the tortellini according to package directions. In the last minute of boiling the noodles, add in the sugar snap peas and carrots.
  4. Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a skillet. Over medium heat sauté the mushrooms, peppers, and summer squash until crisp tender.
  5. Drain the tortellini, snap peas, and carrots and return to pot. Add in the sautéed mushrooms, peppers, and summer squash. Add in the cherry tomatoes and can of corn.
  6. In a small pot (or use the same skillet you used to sauté the veggies if it will work), melt the butter over medium-heat.
  7. Whisk in the flour until a paste is made. Slowly whisk in the broth and stir until completely smooth. Then gradually, whisk in the milk and stir until smooth. (Add broth and milk slowly to allow the sauce to thicken). Add the garlic salt, pepper, and dried basil. Cook and stir until the mixture is thick and bubbly.
  8. Add in the cream cheese and stir until smooth and the sauce is thickened.
  9. Pour the sauce over the veggies and tortellini. Transfer the mixture to the prepared 9 x 13 casserole dish.
  10. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, add the mozzarella and parmesan cheese and broil for 2-3 minutes watching carefully until the cheese is melted on top.
Recipe adapted from BHG tortellini-vegetable bake

Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup


  • 2 large leeks, washed, ends trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 carrots, washed and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 to 6 cups vegetable broth, or enough to cover the vegetables
  • croutons and fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
  • heavy cream (optional)

  • Place the leeks, potatoes, carrots, celery, and garlic in the slow cooker pot.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add in the vegetable broth, just to cover the vegetables.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours, or LOW for 6 hours.
  • Puree the soup with either an immersion blender, or a food processor. If using the food processor, puree the soup in batches
  • Taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls.Add croutons and parsley. Drizzle some heavy cream on top right before serving. (optional)

  • Thursday, September 10, 2015

    Classic Glo Bar

    Source: The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon
    Makes 12 bars

    1 1⁄2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
    1 1⁄4 cups rice crisp cereal
    1⁄4 cup hemp seeds
    1⁄4 cup sunflower seeds
    1⁄4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I used slivered almonds)
    2 tablespoons sesame seeds
    2 tablespoons chia seeds
    1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1⁄2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, brown rice syrup (or maple syrup)
    1⁄4 cup roasted peanut butter or almond butter
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1. Line a 9-inch square cake pan with two pieces of parchment paper (one going each way).
    2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, rice crisp cereal, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt and mix.
    3. In a small saucepan, stir together the brown rice syrup and peanut butter until well combined. Cook over medium to heat until the mixture softens and bubbles slightly, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
    4. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oat mixture, using a spatula to scrape every last bit out of the pan. Stir well with a large metal spoon until all of the oats and cereal are coated in the wet mixture. 
    5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, spreading it out into an even layer. Lightly wet your hands and press down on the mixture to even it out. Use a pastry roller to compact the mixture firmly and evenly. This helps the bars hold together better. Press down on the edges with your fingers to even out.
    6. Place the pan in the freezer, uncovered, and chill for 10 minutes, or until firm.
    7. Lift the oat square out of the pan, using the parchment paper as handles, and place it on a cutting board. With a pizza roller (or a serrated knife), slice the square into 6 rows and then slice them in half to make 12 bars total.
    8. Wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap or foil and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Alternatively, you can store them in the freezer for up to 1 month.
    Tip: To make the bars nut-free, substitute sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter. Look for lightly sweetened sunflower seed butter, such as by Sunbutter, because unsweetened sunflower seed butter can have a bitter aftertaste.

    Slow Cooker Barley, Bean, & Corn burrito filling

    (slightly modified by Aimee)
    2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium organic vegetable broth
    1 cup uncooked pearl barley
    3/4 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
    1/4 cup chopped green onions $
    1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
    (15-ounce) can lower-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained $
    1 1/2 cups salsa
    garlic clove, minced
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    (8-inch) flour tortillas $
    optional: cheese, sour cream, etc

    Place ingredients in a 3- to 4-quart electric slow cooker (except tortillas); stir well. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in 1/4 cup cilantro.

    Saturday, September 5, 2015

    Melon Berry Smoothie


    • 1 1/2 cups (240 g) fresh watermelon, cubed (black seeds removed)
    • 1 cup (120 g) frozen strawberries
    • 1/2 ripe banana (50 g), previously peeled, chopped and frozen
    • 1/2 - 3/4 cup (120-180 ml) unsweetened plain almond milk
    • 1 lime, juiced (~30 ml)
    • 1 Tbsp chia or hemp seeds (optional)
    1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth, adding more almond milk to thin, or more frozen strawberries or ice to thicken.
    2. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more lime for acidity, banana for sweetness, or watermelon for a more intense watermelon flavor.
    3. Serves 2 - top with additional chia seeds to mock watermelon seeds! Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

    Thursday, September 3, 2015

    Chocolate Nut Butter Spinach Smoothie

    Source: Whole Food Real Families 
    Makes 1 smoothie

    • 1 whole ripe, frozen bananas
    • 1 cup almond milk
    • 1 cup fresh spinach
    • 1 tablespoons unsweetened, organic cocoa powder
    • 2-3 tablespoons almond butter 


    Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth. Add more or less milk to reach your desired thickness.

    Slow Cooker Enchilada Orzo


    • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
    • 1 (14-ounce) can mild enchilada sauce
    • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
    • 3/4 cup vegetable broth, or more, as needed
    • 1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
    • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
    • 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
    • 1. Place diced tomatoes, enchilada sauce, green chiles, vegetable broth, corn and black beans into a slow cooker; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir until well combined. Top with cream cheese.
    • 2. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
    • 3. Uncover and stir until cream cheese is well combined. Stir in orzo. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 15-30 minutes. Add more vegetable broth as needed until the desired consistency is reached.
    • Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro, if desired.