Friday, March 1, 2013

Baked Cheese Tortellini in Pumpkin Cream Sauce

My boyfriend and I are always looking for easy recipes to make that will leave enough leftovers for lunch the next day. This is a really quick and delicious dish I got out of an Italian Made Simple cookbook I bought at A.C. Moore for like $5 4 years ago. I looked for it online, but I'm not sure they make it anymore. The original recipe calls for heavy cream and asiago cheese, but I tried to make it healthier with light cream. The asiago is less versatile and more expensive than some of the other cheeses in the supermarket, so I replaced the original asiago with shredded parmesan cheese that you can buy in the specialty cheese cooler (yes I went ALL out to get the fancy cheese!!) Actually, I virtually changed the entire recipe... but the book still deserves some credit!

What you'll need:
- 2 packages (9oz) cheese ravioli - frozen or fresh
- 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree (I used OnePie)
- 1 cup half and half or light cream
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 TBS butter
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/4 TSP nutmeg
- 1/2 TSP salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 1/2 breadcrumbs

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a large casserole dish
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook your tortellini according to package directions - drain well
  3. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the shallot - saute the shallot for 3-5 mins
  4. Add the pumpkin, cream, half the parmesan, nutmeg, pepper, and salt to the shallot saucepan - cook and stir over low heat for ~2 mins or until the cheese melts
  5. Add your pumpkin mixture to the drained tortellini and stir well
  6. Dump the tortellini and pumpkin mixture into the casserole dish
  7. Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese on top of the tortellini and cover that with the breadcrumbs
  8. Bake for ~15 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and you're done!!

Yum!! Enjoy!!

Here is a photo of the book this recipe originally came from:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Homemade Mexican Pizza with Guacamole!

I've been trying to be a smidge healthier in 2013... Pizza is one of my staples that would have been difficult to completely give up. This is a neat spin on the traditional pizza; replace the sauce with salsa and use taco toppings with cheddar (instead of mozzarella) cheese. Though it may not be much healthier, it makes me feel better to have  beans, corn and spinach on top with some fresh homemade guac with all those omega fats!! Here's how to make it, in picture form!!

Here is the final product:

You will need:

- A can of black beans
- Frozen corn (or canned)
- A jar of your favorite salsa
- 1 Avocado
- Pizza dough - we used whole wheat
- 1 2 cup bag of mexican blend cheese
- Baby spinach leaves
- Lemon juice
- Salt
- Pepper
- A bit of flour

Step #1 - Grease your pan and flour your work surface! Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F!
DO NOT forget to grease - I have lost many a good pizza to this silly mistake.

Step #2 - Roll out your dough!
I usually just use a round class cup to do this, since I'm cheap and refuse to buy a rolling pin. Nalgenes work pretty well too!

 Step #3 - Add your salsa!!

Step #4 - Cheese it up!

Step #5 - Add your baby (or normal) spinach leaves!!
(I picked these out of a bag of spring mix that my boyfriend got to make salad with.)

Step #6 - Add your corn and black beans!
I used about 1/4 cup of each.

Step #7 - Pop 'er in the oven! Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has all melted. 

Step #8 - In the meantime, start your guac!
Chop up your avocado and add it to a bowl or to your food processor. I added probably 2 teaspoons of lemon juice (to prevent browning) and some salt and black pepper. Mash it up with a fork or blend it on low! 

FINALLY - Your finished product!! Let rest for a few minutes, cut up and serve with your guacamole!!