Tag: cheese

Tortellini Casserole

Here’s a super quick and easy casserole-style dish you can make on the weekend and then divide up single-servings for lunches or dinners the following week.

1 package mushroom tortellini
1/2 cup dried mushrooms, chopped
1 can cannelini beans (or 2 c cooked white beans of any variety)
4 small tomatoes, seeded
1 head broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 handsful frozen peas
1/2 cup cooked chicken, diced
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T butter
2 T flour, sifted
2 cups milk
6 oz cheese, cubed and divided into 3oz portions (use whatever cheese variety you have on hand)

Cook tortellini according to package directions.
While pasta is cooking, reconstitute mushrooms in warm water, and saute onion and garlic in butter until lightly browned. Sift flour over onion mixture and continue to cook on low-medium heat until flour has coated onions and begins to brown. Add milk, stirring frequently until mixture begins to thicken and then add half of the cheese mixture and allow to melt and incorporate entirely while stirring to make a thick cheese sauce.
Pour beans into oiled casserole dish with vegetables and chicken. Puree tomatoes in a blender or food processor and pour over bean and vegetable mixture.
Add tortellini once cooked, pour cheese sauce overtop, and fold ingredients together.
Sprinkle remaining cheese over top, and bake 30-45 min at 375.

This will be a fairly dry casserole. If you prefer it to be more saucy, throw in a can of cream of mushroom soup, or double the sauce recipe.

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Recipe: Cheese Olives

Another very easy party recipe. I never liked olives until I had them this way. Now I love them in all their wonderful variations.

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
¼ c butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
dash cayenne pepper
1 tsp Tapatío or other hot sauce
2 jars pimento-stuffed green olives

Preheat oven to 400˚
In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Knead well with clean hands until fully incorporated. Wrap a teaspoon of dough around each green olive and place on a cookie sheet that has been lightly misted with nonstick spray.Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
These can be made ahead and served at room temperature, or frozen and then baked right before your event to serve hot. If baking from frozen, add 3 minutes to baking time.

Recipe: Quick, high-protein healthy breakfast on-the-go

This one’s a two-fer. First, one of my all-time favorite quick and easy, but delicious, breakfasts:

Avocado melt on toast

1 whole wheat english muffin, or 2 slices Ezekiel bread – toasted
1/2 avocado, sliced and mashed slightly onto toast
1/2 tomato, sliced and placed on top of avocado
1 oz lowfat cheese or veggie shreds soy “cheese” – divided to top both toasts
sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and a bit of freshly ground sea salt on top
Toast slightly under broiler or in toaster oven until cheese melts slightly and seeds brown.

Serves two people, or one really hungry one.

Following is the breakfast I’ve been bringing to work every day lately. I don’t get tired of it, it gives me a good pickup in the morning, and it’s HUGE and complex enough that I’m not hungry again for about 4 hours, and it holds me through a workout two hours later.

1 Morningstar veggie “sausage” patty
1 hardboiled egg – organic, cage free, etc.
1 container Activia Nonfat yogurt. Any flavor, but I prefer peach.
1 whole piece of fruit, cut into bite sized pieces (peach, apple or banana) or 1 cup berries
1 cup mini wheats (frosted if you want a little bit of a splurge)

Eat patty, cold but thawed. Follow it with egg – the mixture of flavors is wonderful.
Mix yogurt, fruit and cereal in a large bowl and eat.
Have coffee if you feel the need. I often have 2 espresso shots over ice with a couple pumps of sugarfree vanilla syrup and a tablespoon of milk. It’s wonderful.