Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Easy weeknight Tortellini in Broth

This is the cozy best winter meal for when you don't feel like cooking. It will take you a total of about 25 minutes to make and it's completely nurturing and satisfying. 

All you need are:

One bag of frozen cheese tortellini

2 tablespoons Olive Oil 

One bunch of chopped flat leaf parsley 

One carrot, diced 

1/2 onion, diced 

2 cloves garlic, minced

10 cups Beef Broth 

Shredded Parmesan 

Crushed Red Chili Pepper Flakes (optional) 


Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add olive oil, carrot and onion. Sauté until soft, about 4-5 minutes. 

Add the garlic and crushed red pepper if using and sauté for 2 more minutes. 

Add the beef broth and bring to a boil. Cover and bring the heat to a medium-low, let simmer for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile place the frozen tortellini in a pot of boiling water for one minute, drain and put aside.

Stir the parsley in the broth to taste, and add salt & pepper to taste. 

Place the tortellini into bowls and ladle the broth mixture on top. 

Garnish each bowl with a large pinch of Parmesan cheese and serve right away. Buon Appetito! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

My Healthier Shepherd's Pie

My little secret? Mash or blend a head of steamed cauliflower and a cup of Greek yogurt into the mashed potatoes. The topping turns out creamy and delectable, and your family will never know there are healthy veggies and nutrients in their mashed potatoes. 

One head of Cauliflower
2-3 Large baking potatoes 
1 cup of fat free Greek Yogurt 
One pound of organic grass-fed 90% lean ground beef 
1-2 medium carrots, diced
1 Onion, chopped 
1/2 Stick of butter  
3-4 tablespoons of Worstershire Sauce (eyeball it)
1 bag of frozen peas 
A few pinches of fresh Thyme 
Salt & Pepper 
Optional: a half cup of sharp cheddar, grated 

Pre heat oven to 375. 
Steam/par boil the cauliflower & potatoes until they are soft to pierce with a fork, about 20 minutes. Mash together with yogurt, butter, and salt & pepper to taste.

Meanwhile in a saucepan cook the ground beef until it's no longer pink. Add the onions, carrots, fresh Thyme and Worstershire sauce and let simmer, stirring occasionally until it makes a nice gravy. Turn off the heat, add the frozen peas and stir. Pour this mix into the bottom of a casserole and then layer the potato mash on top, adding grated cheese on top of that if using. Pop it into the oven for about 15 minutes and then switch it onto the Broil setting for about 15 minutes to get the top nice and crispy brown. Dig in! 

Homemade Banana Bread

The smell of banana bread baking in the oven always makes me feel happy to be home. My dad gave me this recipe and it turned out great. It's a very straightforward recipe, using only one bowl, just one egg, and most importantly it came out nice and moist. 

Baking time: one hour

3 large bananas, well mashed 
1 egg
1 stick of butter, room temperature or melted
1 cup of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of nuts, optional (but dad says not really! :))

Directions: Pre- heat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl until nice and smooth. Pour into a well greased loaf pan. Bake for about 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy!