Whole Wheat Tortellini with Spinach and Tomatoes

Now that my half semester classes have started my kitchen has been collecting cobwebs. Needless to say, this week’s meals have been a variety of what can be really easy to make, tasty to eat, and great to keep for left overs. We are a whole wheat family so when we see things like whole wheat tortellini on sale we have to buy it. Pasta sauce is “good” but I’ve always felt that it can be overbearing and take away from the hidden flavors of a dish so I’ve made a recipe for my own “sauce.” This dish is perfect for busy moms/dads worldwide!

Ingredients:

-Pinch of salt (for boiling water)

– (2) 9oz packages of whole wheat three cheese tortellinis (or any type of tortellini that you like)

– 10 oz bag of fresh spinach (rinsed)

– 1 whole container of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

– 2 tbsp minced garlic (modify to taste.. I love garlic so I put unnecessary amounts of it in my recipes haha)

– 1 tsp dried rosemary (or any herbs you like)

– 3 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

1.) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2.) When boiling add tortellini and 1 tbsp of olive oil (to keep tortellini from sticking together.) Stirring often cook until soft (approximately 7 minutes)

3.) While cooking the pasta heat (medium heat) the remaning 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large pan and add spinach. Cook until the spinach is just starting to wilt (approximately 3 minutes) Add the tomatoes, garlic, and rosemary. Continue to cook until the tomatoes start to wilt (approximately 3-4 minutes.) take off of heat and set aside

4.) When tortellini is done drain and toss with a very small amount of olive oil. Put about half of a cup of tortellinis on a plate and top with spinach/tomato sauce.

5.) Enjoy!

**Photo is an original taken by me

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Mini Asian Meatballs – Party Pleaser!

Yesterday we went to a BBQ and signed up to bring an appetizer. My husband automatically said he wanted meatballs so I turned to the internet to find a recipe for cocktail meatballs. After looking for about an hour I found “the one.” This recipe does not take 5-8 hours in the crockpot (this was key because time was not on my side.) Also if you cook a lot of Asian style foods you probably have a lot of the ingredients in your cabinet. If you don’t have the ingredients however it will be a little more pricey initially but don’t fret because you can make a ton of great recipes with those same left over ingredients. These little morsels are very flavorful and extremely easy to throw together.

INGREDIENTS:

For the meatballs:

-2 lbs. ground beef

-2 tsp. sesame oil

-1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (oriential foods aisle at the grocery market)

-1/2 tsp. ground ginger (I grated fresh ginger and did not used dried ginger)

-2 eggs

-3 tsp. minced garlic

-1/2 cup of sliced green onion (you want to slice these guys pretty thin)

-garnish (completely optional): sesame seeds lightly toasted in a pan over the oven.

Ingredients for Sauce:

– 2/3 cup of hoisin sauce (oriential foods aisle at the grocery market)

-1/4 cup of rice vinegar (oriential foods aisle at the grocery market)

-2 garlic cloves minced

-2 tbsp. soy sauce (oriential foods aisle at the grocery market)

-1 tsp. sesame oil (oriential foods aisle at the grocery market)

-1tsp. ground ginger (once again I grated fresh ginger instead of using dried ground ginger)

DIRECTIONS:

1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.) In a fairly large bowl mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs.

3.) Once combined roll the mixture into 1-in balls and place in a greased baking sheet. (Approx 30-40 balls)

4.) Bake 10-12 minutes until browned and not longer pink.

5.) While the meatballs are baking whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce.

6.) Drop baked meatballs into the sauce and fold the balls into sauce to coat.

7.) If you want to keep them warm (like I did) put the balls and sauce into a crockpot and turn to low/warm.

8.) Either have the sesame seed garnish in a separate bowl by the meatballs or dump them into the sauce and mix.

9.) Make tons of copies of this recipe to hand out to your friends who ask for it 🙂

**Photo is an original by me

**Original recipe was found at http://www.allrecipes.com