Tag Archives: spinach

Italian Wedding Soup

Superbowl Sundayyyyyyyy is here!

And as Green Bay Packers fans this is setting up to be an exciting one 😛

I’m trying out two fun recipes for the game festivities —-> here’s a sneak peak.

Now let’s just cross our fingers that The Packers pull through or else not even this delicious food is going to make for a very happy boyfriend hahaha.

Well last night we were supposed to have Fanatic Fam over for a belated birthday dinner, however Fanatic Dad got the flu so we thought it best to reschedule 😦

What I didn’t reschedule was the actual dinner itself, and I’m so glad I didn’t because this new to me recipe was well worth the less than an hour of effort!

Super flavor punch for such little time 🙂

Enough time to get us to the movies to see this lil’ romantic comedy:

Loved. It.

But back to dinner, which like I said was a new-to-me recipe.

A recipe I’d like to dub as “how I got The Man to eat spinach.”

He hates cooked leafy greens.  Hates them.  Well hated them I should say… until tonight!  Yep, that’s right.  This recipe got even The Man to dig into some cooked leafy greens and enjoy every bite 😀

Italian Wedding Soup

I followed this recipe, making a few modifications as noted below.

Recipe courtesy of Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice.

Main changes were using more pasta than called for (we like less broth), panko for bread crumb and dried oregano and basil in place of the seasonings noted.


  • 1 pound ground beef (85/15)
  • 1/2 cup Panko
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil & 1 tsp dried oregano
  • sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

This Whole Foods ground beef is our favorite, has a really really great flavor.

Mix it all up and get your hands dirtyyyyyyy!

You want the meatballs to be small, this takes patience, trust me 😛

About 1 tablespoon each I would guess.  And it makes about 40 U would say?

The Soup

  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 6 cups organic chicken broth (1.5 containers)
  • 1 cup ditalini
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • Parmesan Cheese for serving

Start by prepping all your veggies.

Then saute the carrot and onion in olive oil for a few minutes until they start to get tender.  I’d say about 10, adding some chicken broth if they start to stick.

During the last couple minutes add your garlic and basil too.

Then in goes the broth, which you’ll want to bring to a boil.

Once the soup is boiling, drop in your mini meatballs one at a time (and thank your photographer for a wonderful meatball shot 🙂 )

Then add in your pasta and spinach.

Allow this to boil for about 15 minutes, or until the pasta and meatballs are done that the starch from the pasta has thickened up the soup a bit.

Serve this delicious warm bowl of goodness with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese!

Oh yummmmm.  Yum.  Yum.

Why have I never had Italian wedding soup before?

I was definitely missing out!

This bowl of simple yet amazing flavors seriously warmed me inside and out!  The meatballs had the perfect hint of garlic flavor while the soup was so satisfyingly warm & savory with the chunks of veggies and creamy broth.

I told The Man that I may have to start making this every week.  I liked it that much 😛

He loved it too.  And agreed to eat it that often.  Good thing huh 😉

Like I said, I was a bit apprehensive on how the spinach would go over with this so-called spinach hater (kale, collards, etc. hater) but it was a definite winner. 

This one is a keeper!

Do you have any special ways/recipes to sneak in cooked leafy greens for a picky veggie eater? 

GO PACK GO!!!!!!!!!!


Spicy Garlic Spinach w/ White Beans & Rice

After a wonderful weekend spent up north eating all that NYC and New Jersey had to offer, last night called for what I like to deem a “detox” meal.

In other words, a light (and in this case, meatless) meal with some much needed veggies was in order! 😉

Spicy Garlic Spinach w/ White Beans & Rice


This meal came together in a matter of minutes, another huge bonus after being out of town all weekend and craving some major relaxation time on le couch!

All you need is this (plus a few unpictured pantry staples):

And then it’s as easy as…




How’s that for speedy? 😛

I really enjoyed this simple flavorful dish, the red pepper flakes gave the perfect kick of spicy to the tangy garlic & onions.  What a great staple “go-to” meal this would be!

Here’s the recipe:

Spicy Garlic Spinach w/ White Beans & Rice

  • 1 bunch fresh spinach
  • 1 can Northern beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1/2 tblsp olive oil
  • cooked brown rice to serve
  • grated Pecorino Romano to top (optional)

    Begin by cooking the onions in olive oil over medium for about 5 minutes, or until softened (but not browned).  Add in the canned beans, garlic, salt and pepper, give a stir for about another minute or two.

    Then layer the spinach on top with the red pepper flakes plus a spoonful or two of water.  Allow to cook until the spinach is slightly wilted and tender – this doesn’t take very long.

    That’s it, you’re done!  Now just serve over some brown rice* and voila! – dinner is served 😀

    *When cooking brown rice during the week (which can take up to 45 minutes) I always make sure to prepare some extra servings, then place them into freezer-safe ziploc bags in the freezer for easy use later on.  This trick saves me tons of time during the busy work week schedule!*

    Edited to add:  I totally forgot that I sprinkled some grated Pecorino Romano to the top of the dish before serving – if cheese is your thing than try that too!

    Time to veg-ify!

    Friday night, you are my first true love 😉  No?

    So want to see how my week of Gruvin’ played out?  And yes, I’m obsessed.

    This shows calories burned in excess of my resting metabolic rate, obvi Friday was a more sedentary day for this gal!

    They are actually going to reset the Gruve so that we can have an assessment week (as they would if you purchased new) and gauge our individual activity level and set the red/yellow/blue/green goals from there.

    So now I’ll really get to see what this thing can do!

    Movin’ and gruvin’ right into dinner, how ’bout it?

    Well I knew I was on my own tonight after receiving a 2pm text from The Man that stated only “owwy” — apparently those pain meds send him into lala loopy land too 😉

    With that, it was time to veg-ify!  And no, I don’t mean lay on my bum on the couch (that comes later :P) but instead I mean to get to eatin’ my veggies!

    First let’s start with the sweet tater, which was where I was going to use the fun new tool I got at FitBloggin!

    Am I the only one who’s ever wondered what “size” their sweet potato is when looking at nutrition charts?  Please tell me what ‘small, medium and large’ really means CalorieKing… kapeesh?

    Naw, forget it, I’ll use my new EatSmart Digital Pro Scale to figure this lil’ mystery out!


    You can change the measurement to use g, kg, oz or lbs – booyah!

    This sucker clocked in at approx. 215g, which according to Calorieking has 185 cals… solved that mystery 😛

    So I guess this begs the question:  Does CookinFanatic count calories?

    And my answer would be yes & no. 

    I don’t count them neurotically “to the penny” however I usually have a somewhat general sense of my daily intake give or take a few depending on the day.  It just works for me – plus I’m an accountant – it’s hard to get outta the “counting habit” with the way my brain works 😉

    Alright, back to dinner!

    After about 40 minutes in a 375F oven (speaking of, what’s up 30 degrees outside, heat is back on!) I sliced this tater open and topped with some of these 2 loverlies:

    I prefer fresh salsa for dipping, however for cooking purposes I lean towards a fabulous jarred version – and this one did NOT disappoint!  It had hints of smokey flavor throughout… oh yeaaaa

    The sweetness of the tater with the smokiness & spiciness of the salsa plus the creamy thick Greek yogurt was mouth watering good I tell ya!  I always forget how great savory sweet potato dishes are 🙂

    To go alongside, it was time for some sauteed spinach – garlic style!

    • 1 clove garlic, chopped
    • few handfuls fresh spinach
    • 1 tsp olive oil

    1. Saute garlic in olive oil until fragrant

    2. Add massive quantity of spinach (1.25lbs down! 😉 )

    3.  After a few minutes the spinach disappears before your very eyes!

    Minced garlic, olive oil and mountains of spinach is obviously where it’s at 😛

    Delectable dinner indeed!

    As far as McToothy himself, I feel so bad for him 😦  At first I may not have haha, as he was a royal grump when I got home!  But nothing a handspun chocolate milkshake from Nurse Fanatic couldn’t fix… thank God. 

    But in all seriousness, poor thing’s mouth is so swollen and he is in so much pain.  So my night is going to be spent doing what I do for my love – taking care of him and trying to make him feel better 🙂

    So with that, I’m off…

    Enjoy your night bloggies! 😀

    Too much spinach?

    Happy Wednesday-Humpday-However-you-wanna-say-it! 🙂

    First things first, did I mention I had to stop into Costco yesterday for some contacts? and other “necessary” food items, obvi 

    Sooooo since reading on Caitlin’s blog about her bulk spinach bargains & with my new found love of spinach in everything smoothies, salad, scrambled eggs…

    I decided that I too, needed 2.5lbs of this stuff LOL 😛

    I mean check out the size of this bag next to my measley container of Amazing Grass!

    The Man seriously thinks I am on crazy pills.  Which I’m okay with 😀

    $4.99 for all this?!  Are you serious…. SOLD! 

    They also had the cutest lil‘ sweet peppers which I HAD to get, especially since the bag was so cute w/ it’s carrying handle and all (ya’ll remember how I’m a marketer’s dream, right? point and case.)

    $3.99 for all these peppers?! 

    Which by the way are sweet & incredibly delicious.  I’ve never had this variety, they look similar to banana peppers but taste like sweet bell peppers 🙂

    Oh yes, and there was one last purchase that I got in prep for The Man’s mouth surgery on Friday…

    You mean you don’t need 3lbs (or whatever) of cottage cheese haha.  I don’t like the stuff, The Man loves it.  And yes, I was highly surprised by this fact too 😉

    So moral of the story, Costco can really be a steal for certain things that you want need 809 tons of.  Too bad going there on the weekend (too crowded!) is not an option unless I want to really require crazy pills….

    That brings me right into lunch today, which incorporated some of my new purchases!

    Spinach salad w/ peppers, onion, artichoke garlic hummus & raspberry vinaigrette

    Don’t let the simple looks of this salad fool you – as the flavor combo of the savory hummus w/ sweet raspberry dressing was insanely good!

    Vegetable soup

    I liked this soup, I would def buy it again!


    Plus some Nature’s Valley Granola Nut Clusters for good measure


    Lovin’ these!

    Alright well I better get to it – some exciting things going on today & work to get done 🙂

    Plans tonight include a workout, a fast dinner & maybe a basketball game to see my seksi man play…

    Enjoy your day and I hope the sun is shining wherever you are!

    Bright & sunshine-yyyy dayyyy

    Hello everyone!

    What a gorg-y bright & sunshine-y day it is here in central VA… after this long winter I am welcoming this with open arms 😀

    And I’m happy to report that I ended up liking my 2 hour visit with C.Diaz last night, adding a lil’ James Marsden to the mix didn’t hurt either 😉


    Here’s a piece of a review I read describing the premise of the movie:  “Metaphorically, the box refers to how us humans tend to subconsciously hole ourselves into situations or things in everyday life, and how our enclosed thoughts tend to see things from a certain perspective, seldom out of the box.”

    It was directed by the same guy who directed Donnie Darko… and was set in my hometown of Richmond, VA  (!!) in the 1970’s… definitely not a happy-go-lucky movie but quite intriguing none the less.  I would definitely check it out!

    Well breakfast this morning included some inspiration by this homegirl and this fave fitness diva 😛

    Microwave Egg Mug!

    Just spray a mug with some cooking spray, plop in some fresh spinach and microwave 30 seconds.

    Next crack an eggy and add to spinach, giving a lil’ stir to break yolk.  Microwave about 1 minute 30 seconds to cook through.

    Transfer to a bowl & let it cool a minute!  Trust me on this, I had a pretty nasty “situation” with an egg white burn to my throat (yea, I know, shocking) earlier this year and it was horrific.

    Pass the ketchup blob please 😛

    I also had some TJ’s raisin bran, sliced bananer, peanut butter & vanilla almond milk but alas, no pictures were had.

    After 30 minutes of my fave yoga sesh (YogaWorksBodySlim on ExerciseTV) and a quick shower it was time for some lunch!  (P.S. Yoga felt amazinggggggg, however my throat was not loving the upside down pressure after a while so I didn’t push it 😉 )

    Using these friends

    I made a deelish sammie…

    A quick trip in the George Foreman and voila!

    Plus some TJ’s tortilla chips & this sucker to go with

    Gorgeous lunch!

    Now time to roll, I gots some errands to run on this beautiful day before the party tonight! 🙂

    Have a lovely day bloggies!

    “Cream?” sauce gone green!

    Hey friends! 

    Well happy to report that things are going better here on the homefront, throat is under control once again and I don’t feel like I want to curl up in bed… I’m thinking these are good things 😉

    Andddddd I got the go ahead from my eye doc to wear my contacts again too whoop-eeeee!  I haven’t been able to wear them in almost a month, which has been uber-weird for me considering I never wear my glasses.  P.S. Don’t wear your contacts when you are sick, ever.  Lesson learned!

    Oh check out this fabulous-delicious-wanted-to-eat-100-tons-of-it snack I had this afternoon too… holy yum why didn’t I do this sooner?


    Vanilla Chobani, sliced banana, shredded coconut & a drizzle of maple syrup! 

    So before I get into my dinner adventure with the much-beloved tofu, I have to tell you guys about a lil’ sumthin sumthin first – kapeesh?

    A new blog has launched called Fruit Not Fat that I am very excited to be a part of! 😀

    Fruit Not Fat, a blog written by the CEOs of Galaxy Granola , is dedicated to eating and living healthy and having fun while doing it (hello, yes, I believe I agree with all of the above! 🙂 )

    Fruit Not Fat encourages you to eat, live and feel healthier, happier and more confident.  It’s not another diet, it’s a way of life. 

    So why don’t you go check out their site, and while you’re at it follow them on Twitter and maybe even fan them on Facebook…. 

    Oh yes, and maybe I forgot to mention that you can check out my 100 calorie Carrot/Pear/Raisin Bread recipe featured on their site too while you’re at it 😉

    Carrot/Pear/Raisin Bread

    The company has also sent me some granola which I can’t wait to give a try!


    You know I’ll let you know how it goes once I give it a whirl 🙂

    Alright, onto the dinner adventure!

    I’m sure you friends know that you’ve never seen me eat/make/look at tofu haha.  Well, look who just may have an open mind tonight 😛

    I purchased some random tofu last weekend on a whim, not knowing what the heck I had gotten myself into I did a bit of “research” on what to do with the stuff.

    From what I learned, this silken tofu is best utilized in cream sauces and desserts – something that doesn’t need to hold it’s shape (learn something new everyday?)

    So I concocted up a recipe idea in my head using these guys… it’s time for a “cream” sauce ladies & gents!

    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 small clove garlic, minced
    • 1 small can mushrooms, drained
    • handful spinach
    • 1 tblsp (heaping) artichoke pesto
    • 1 package Mori Nu silken tofu
    • Parm cheese (unpic)
    • S&P (unpic)

    First things first, saute the onions in some EVOO over medium until translucent (add water if they start to stick, best trick evah).  Then add the garlic for 1 minute then the mushrooms.  Plus S&P (we’ve reunited!)

    Then it was time to play with the blender 🙂

    Add the tofu, spinach and artichoke pesto and blend up until creamy, I added 1/3 cup H2O to help things out.  I gave it a taste and then did some baddddd… added the only Parm cheese we had in the house (cut me a break, The Man likes this stuff 😉 )

    Oh and while I’m at it, this artichoke pesto is legit!  Picked it up at ohhhhh World Market the other day LOL 😛


    Oh yea, dump this bad boy into the pan with the veg and get ready to start seein’ green!!

    I made some “lasagna rags” as a serving mechanism for this green sauce of lurve… simply whole wheat lasagna noodles broken up into rugged pieces & boiled.  So fun! 🙂

    Verdict?  Heck yea!  I really liked this ALOT.  I think some “better quality” Parm cheese would make it even that much better too 😛

    And btw, this whole batch of “cream sauce” had about 390 calories… and makes 3 servings.  You do the math 😉  Oh yea, and a decent amount of protein I might add…!

    So I have to say that tofu round #1 was a complete success, whoop whoop!

    Alright, and I’m off.  Major tv night for this housewives!  See you tomorrow for some Friday Fun 🙂

    Pretty standard

    Happy Friday!

    Hope you are all doing fantabulous today 🙂

    Eats around here today have been pretty standard.

    And yea, I’m creepin’ some dairy back into my life slowly but surely in 1 of my favorite forms possible!

    Oh good friend, it has been too long 🙂

    Topped with a few crumbles of TJs moral fiber muffins (staying at Nurse Mom’s has so many perks, food choices are off the hizzle!) 😛

    Lunch eats look a lil’ familiar… what can I say, options are limited and this is just too darn yummy!

    Remember me?

    Thought so 😉

    Check out what else I gave a try today (yes, making improvements on the eating front, first bread slice in a week!)

    This stuff rocked my socks off – there, I said it.

    And I’m out, have a fabulous Friday friends & I’ll see you tonight! 🙂