QUICK Dinner: Greek Tortellini Salad

Who doesn’t love a quick & easy meal? Being a Mom I LOVE them, but not just Moms’ need quick and easy meals. I know how much I valued an easy meal that I could throw together after a stressful, busy work day. We all have those CRAZY days where the thought of making dinner sounds like absolute torture.

I love those meals in which you usually have all of the ingredients in your kitchen. Can’t beat not having to run to the grocery store on your way home or in the middle of the day. Although I cannot tell a lie, I enjoy just browsing the aisles…at least I used to. Before Gabriella. Winking smile If she is being a good girl, sometimes she will sit in the cart with me for a while before getting to be little Miss Fussypants.

Oh gosh, yesterday she was TERRIBLE. I mean TERRIBLE with a capital T. But I blame myself, I wrote about how wonderful she was yesterday…and then CRAZY lady showed up. EEK! No more good talks about Gabriella for a while. I would like to save what little sanity I have left. Winking smile

Without further a do, I present you one of the quickest meals…EVER!

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Ingredients:

-1/2 package of frozen fully cooked tortellini (most frozen packages are 19oz. – that was the size I used)

-1 tsp minced garlic

-1 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp black pepper

-3/4 cup feta (I used tomato & basil flavor)

-5-6 fresh basil leaves, diced (or 1/2 tsp dried)

-15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained & rinse

-1 cup diced tomato

-Fresh spinach (I used baby spinach)

Directions:

1. Cook tortellini according to package.

2. While you are waiting for the water to boil, and then the tortellini to cook, heat a skillet over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray & add garlic, salt, pepper, feta, basil & beans to pan.

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3. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until feta starts to melt. Then add diced tomatos.

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4. Cook for another two minutes & add cooked tortellini.

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5. Serve atop fresh spinach & ENJOY!!

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Did you notice that piece of bread in the first picture?? I MADE it!

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I am on a ROLL (pun intended Winking smile ) with making homemade bread. I actually really kind of love it. There is really nothing better than pulling out a nice big batch of fresh bread from your oven. I can’t even tell you how quickly the first loaf was devoured by Craig and I.

This time I decided to make ‘copycat’ Macaroni Grill bread. I don’t know if you have ever been to a Macaroni Grill, or if there is one near you, but it is some of the BEST bread! I think Panera may just have my #1 spot for favorite fresh bread.

But let’s be honest, one of the best parts of going to Macaroni Grill is eating plates & plates of their bread. By the time I get my entrée I’m stuff to the gills of bread…which I why I typically order a small salad. I’d rather fill up on bread. Carb-a-holic anyone?! Smile

So when I found a recipe for a knock off of Macaroni Grill’s bread, I was ALL OVER it.

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If you decide to try this recipe, I would just suggest increasing the amount of salt (to maybe 2 tsp- with more sprinkled on top) & the rosemary. (to about 3 tbsp)

Someone else, besides Craig & I, couldn’t keep her hands off of it either.

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We won’t mention any names though Winking smile

Have a wonderful Thursday! I’m hoping for a happier Gabriella today, especially since we are get to see our friends today. YAY for Thursdays- one of my favorite days of the week! Open-mouthed smile

Favorite quick dinner?? Feel free to link away, I could use some more quick meals in my rotation.

Favorite place to get fresh bread?? I think my top HAS to be Panera.

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Fitness Friday?!

Good Morning & TGIF!!!

I don’t know about you, but this week felt pretty long…I was counting down the days until today. It is finally here!! Woohoo!

I thought I would start something new on Friday’s, just to see how it goes. I still like sharing workouts with you, so I thought Friday’s would be ‘Fitness Friday.’ Is that totally LAME or what?! Ha! But I really couldn’t think of anything to call it…maybe I will just stick to no theme, but rather just share a workout from the week that I particularly liked.

The workout this week that happened to stand out to me was a leg workout that I did on Tuesday. It was fast paced and I even incorporated my most HATED exercise…step-ups.

step up

I absolutely despise them, but I do them because I know how much they work my legs & butt. & who doesn’t want a firm tush?! 😉

I would recommend doing this workout when you are planning a rest day the following day, because you WILL be sore. If you are not sore, then you are not using enough weight. I always try to do a leg workout before a day off because I tend to lift REALLY heavy on leg day. I love it!

Exercise Reps Sets
Barbell Reverse Lunges 12,10,8,6,12 5 *
Jumping Lunges 12 each leg 1
Barbell Squats 12 3
Jumping Lunges 12 each leg 1
Stiff Leg Barbell Deadlift 12 3
Supersetted with:
Standing Weighted Oblique Crunches
(I held a 45lb. plate)
15 each side 3
Step Ups holding Dumbbells (aka HELL) 12 each leg 3
Supersetted with:
Crunches on the bench 15 3
Narrow Stance Leg Press 12 3
Supersetted with:
Calf Raises (on machine) 15 3
Leg Extensions** 12 3
Tri-set with:
Leg Curls (on machine) 12 3
Tri-set with:
Stability Ball Hamstring Curls 12 3
Dumbbell Plie Squats 12 3
Supersetted with:
Calf Raises holding dumbbells 15 3

*There are 5 sets of this exercise, the each set of reps is one set. (Ex: 12 reps= set 1; 10 reps= set 2; & so on)
**This exercise starts a triset, where you will do the next three exercises (inc. leg extensions) back to back.

Wooooooooooooooooo!

I finished my leg workout off with an ab workout as well. Here is what I did for abs:
3 sets of 15 each: (I used the stability ball for all of them)
-Ball Passes
-Crunches with legs on ball
-Crunches with legs in the air (holding the ball between your legs)

3 sets of 15 of each of these:
Plank ‘butt ups’ (here is a link on how to do that)
Knee to shoulder plank holds (15 each side) (here is a link on how to do these)

Finished up with a 90 second plank hold. (owwwww!)

My legs, butt & abs were on FIRE! What a combination, huh?! 😉

The whole workout took me a little over an hour to complete. I did not do any cardio when I did this workout because my legs were DEAD by the end. I could barely walk around normally, so there was no way I was going to be adding any cardio to that workout!

I typically don’t do cardio on leg days. If I do happen to do any, it is something light- like the elliptical or a walk on the treadmill.

If you try the workout, please let me know what you think!! (Lauren, I’m especially talking to you 😉 )

In other news guess who I FINALLY (after years of trying)  convinced to try spinach in his protein shake??!
THIS GUY:
chicken

Isn’t he attractive?! 😉 (In case you are wondering that is a chicken leg in his mouth. Lovely, huh?!)

He has been fighting me on it because he thought the whole drink would taste like spinach. NOPE! He couldn’t be more wrong.

He finally gave in (he was probably sick of hearing me mention it.:) ) & I added it to the protein shake I made him one morning.

(I went a bit lighter on the spinach than I normally do for myself, I figured I would ease him into it 🙂 )

When I handed it to him he kind of gave me this look like ‘you have got to be kidding me.’ But then I just told him to drink it. After one sip he looked up & said ‘not too bad H!’ He said he couldn’t even taste it AND that he actually really liked it. (I added 1/4 of a tsp. of almond extract to the mix as well. I love that flavor.)

Needless to say my point was proven. You really CAN’T taste the spinach & it is the perfect way to get in some extra vitamins first thing in the morning.

I think I’ve convinced him. Only took a few years of trying, but I’ve finally done it. 😉

Hope you have a great Friday! 😀

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend??