Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Pinterest… Oh, Pinterest….

There are so many tasty looking foods on Pinterest these days… over and over, I find myself pinning recipes that I’m dying to make.  Considering that my fellow pinners are sharing tons of these recipes with me daily, it’s really hard to keep up.

I’ve even started a separate Pinterest board for the recipes that I try… click here to see.  I’ve started including my reviews too, so pin if you wish, but check the comments to see if it comes NTTC recommended.

When I found this one, I think it took me TWO days to get the ingredients together and to make it.  I had some fat-free half and half in my fridge from my previous Bolognese sauce recipe that I had made, so it was a great way to leverage what I had!

Yeah, that creamy, amazing soup you see above was made by little ol’ me.  Oh, and let me surprise you by telling you it clocks in at LESS THAN 300 calories!

I will make this dish again and again and again… it even got the red alert text to all my closest chefs:  You have to make this!  Consider this YOUR text!

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

From Taste of Home

Serves 5

INGREDIENTS

1/2 package (4.5 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 can (10-3/4 ounces each) reduced-sodium condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup skim milk
1 cup fat free half-and-half cream
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup reduced fat grated Parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Cook tortellini according to package directions, minus 2 minutes.  Note:  I cooked mine about 2 minutes less, so that my tortellini wouldn’t get to soggy.  I thought they were PERFECTION.

2.  Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, combine the soup, broth, milk, cream, tomatoes and seasonings.  Heat through, stirring frequently.

3.  Drain tortellini; carefully add to soup.

4.  Stir in cheese.

5. Sprinkle each serving with additional cheese if desired. 

6.  Grab a spoon and clean that bowl!

Per 1 cup of soup:

CAL 283; CARB 41g; FAT 7g; PROT 13g; FIB 3g; WW Points Plus: 7

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Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Truth be told, I don’t love the lettuce wraps at PF Changs.

They’re probably the most popular appetizer on their menu, but all I can think about when I’m eating them is that they’re FULL of mushrooms.  I’ll eat them, but I just don’t get too excited about them.

What I do love is the concept… how awesome is it to enjoy a tasty taco with no tortilla??  Anytime I eat lettuce wraps of any kind, I always think I’m being uber-healthy.  I’ve created a few versions of lettuce wraps over the year, and I’m sharing the first of which with you today.

Now, to those of you that know your greens… I know you’re staring at that picture and thinking that there’s something wrong.  That looks an awful lot like cabbage doesn’t it???  Well… during my whirlwind shopping trip, I picked up a small head of cabbage instead of a head of bibb lettuce.  In all honestly, the recipe STILL turned out and was delish!  That being said, I’ll let you choose… lettuce wraps or cabbage wraps!

Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

From Self.com

INGREDIENTS

1 lb lean ground chicken

2 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced

1 cup green onions, sliced

2 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped

8 large lettuce leaves

2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp lower-sodium soy sauce

1 tsp honey

crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

 INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Add chicken, garlic and ginger to skillet and cook for 6-7 minutes or until chicken is brown.  Grind cooked meat in a food processor.

2.  While chicken cooks, slice scallions and chop chesnuts.  Note:  The original recipe called for 8 oz. mushrooms and 8 oz. water chesnuts.  I replaced the mushrooms with extra water chesnuts… feel free to exchange as you see fit.

3.  Place chicken back in the skillet.  Add green onions and water chestnuts; toss together.

4.  Combine sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, lower-sodium soy sauce, honey and crushed red pepper flakes in a small bowl; whisk to mix well.

5.  Divide chicken mixture evenly between each lettuce leaf and top with sesame oil mixture.

6.  Roll up and enjoy!

7.  You can also try the meat mixture over lettuce to create a asian salad – - also amazing!

Per 1/4 meat mixture and 1/4 sauce:

CAL 218; CARB 7g; FAT 10g; PROT 25g; FIB 1g; WW Points Plus: 6

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Baked Turkey Tacos

I love tacos.  Chicken tacos, steak tacos, but those ground meat tacos are some of my absolute favorites.  Pretty much ANY Mexican recipe makes my heart sing… especially when it has a little salsa, a little chip, and a little guacamole.

When I found a recipe on Pinterest for a baked taco with melty cheese, I knew I wanted to make it… and that I wanted to make it healthier than the original recipe poster ever thought it could be without sacrificing an ounce of flavor.

Mission Accomplished!

I also had 1/2 an avocado left over from Sunday night’s Creamy Avocado Basil Alfredo, that I thought I could use it in this dish as a garnish.

My thoughts on this dish:  These tacos tasted more like restaurant tacos than any others that I’ve made before!!  But what it liked was that orange grease that always oozes out of the shells when you order them at restaurants, there wasn’t any!  I didn’t miss that for a single moment!  Gross!

Baking the tacos gave the shells a majorly crispy flavor, while making them sort of chewy on the bottom where the meat was.  Fresh toppings, melty cheese, and tasty guacamole topped this dish off perfectly!  I’ll definitely be eating these again… and I’m thinking the little Guys in Virginia need to try these too (Hint, hint Beth!

Note:  The original recipe (link below) included beans and a homemade taco seasoning… if you’re interested in seeing that version, click on the link! :)

Baked Turkey Tacos

Inspired by Mommy I’m Hungry via Pinterest

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

4 oz. ground turkey, extra lean

1/4 cup onion, diced

1/4 cup taco sauce

1/4 tsp. taco or fajita seasoning

1/4 cup Kraft fat free mozzarella, shredded

4 taco shells

1/2 avocado

1 roma tomato

lettuce

garlic salt

lime juice

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Brown ground turkey and grind it up in a food processor.

3.  Add diced onion to the pan and saute for 1 minute.  Re-add the ground turkey to the pan.

4.  Add 1/4 cup of taco sauce to the pan, and add additional taco/fajita seasoning (optional.)  Saute for about 1-2 minutes, until meat/sauce mixture is combined well and heated.

5.  Place taco shells in a small baking dish so that they are standing up.  Add about 1/4 of the meat mixture to each of the taco shells.  Note:  I didn’t realize until I got further into this recipe that I was going to have so much meat!  As a result, I just made 1/2 of the meat into tacos and saved the rest for a later dish.

6.  Add a tablespoon of cheese to each shell.

7.  Bake tacos for 10 minutes.  In the meantime, prepare your toppings.  Dice tomatoes and shred your lettuce.

8.  To prepare an easy guacamole, take 1/2 of a tomato diced and 1/2 an avocado and mash it together in a small bowl.  Add a splash of lime juice and garlic salt to taste.

9. Remove tacos from the oven, and top them with a small scoop of your guacamole, lettuce, and tomatoes.

10.  Then, it’s time to eat these bad boys… get ready…

Per two taco serving including 2 taco shells, 1/2 of meat mixture, 1/2 of guacamole, and 2 Tbsp. cheese:

CAL 283; CARB 22g; FAT 14g; PROT 18g; FIB 4g; WW Points Plus 7

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Creamy Avocado Basil Alfredo

This recipe has been sitting on my Pinterest board for WEEKS.

I even bought the ingredients to make it once before, and I cut into the avocado to find that it had become over-ripened.  Gasp!

Weeks later, I finally decided to try this dish, and I’m amazed by how incredible the flavors are.  I’m THRILLED to have a chance to share it with you, and HIGHLY recommend this one.  It might be great to pair it with a protein… maybe a grilled chicken or shrimp.

I think the flavor of the sauce is VERY close to a pesto, but COMPLETELY different at the same time.  The fresh lemon and the basil just make the sauce come alive.  I have half of an avocado left, and I’m guessing that it’s going to be “what’s for dinner” again tomorrow night.

Another great thing about this dish is how quickly the dish whips up.  While the pasta cooks, you can whip the sauce up in seconds. No additional cooking required…

Creamy Avocado Basil Alfredo

From Chatelaine via Pinterest

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1 medium ripe avocado, pitted
1/2 lemon, juiced + lemon zest to garnish
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh basil, packed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4-1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
2 servings of pasta (2 oz. per serving)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add in your pasta, reduce heat to medium, and cook about 8-10 minutes.

I always measure my pasta. These whole wheat tubes are thick and heavier than a capellini, but held the sauce REALLY well!

2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth and scrape down sides of the bowl. Now add in the pitted avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy. You can add a touch of water or oil if necessary.

I used the squeezable basil once again. Love the ease of this stuff!

Check out how AMAZING that sauce looks! I wish you could somehow SMELL it via this post….

3. When pasta is cooked, drain in a strainer and place pasta into a large bowl. Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately.

Please Note:  This sauce does not reheat well due to the avocado, so only make the amount you need.

Per 1/2 recipe serving:

CAL 350; FAT 27g ; CARB 27g; PROT 5g; FIB 7g; WW Points Plus 10

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