Souper Simple: Kale, Tortellini, & Bean Soup

Two recipe posts in one week – look at me go!

Whenever I’m training for something, you can assume that I’m hungry at all times. Since my next (goal) race is the Asbury Park Half at the end of April, training has been getting more intense as each week passes. I’m averaging weekly mileage that I’ve never seen before (40+ miles), so it’s no surprise my appetite has grown to match. So when it comes to my meals (especially dinner), I try to get the most bang for my buck. I always want to make sure I’m eating a decently balanced meal that is quick and easy to prepare. On weekdays where I have to run anywhere from 6 to 10 miles, time is of the essence. Plus, I want to make sure I’m fueling and refueling properly.

Enter this Kale, Tortellini, and Bean soup! It comes together in a matter of minutes, has barely any prep, and can easily be doubled (or more!) and frozen. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, and even better for lunch!

Tortellini, Kale, & White Bean Soup |

Simple Kale, Tortellini, & Bean Soup
– Serves 2 –

4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups your favorite tortellini [I used frozen]
3 cups chopped kale
1/2 cup white beans [Cannellini, Great Northern, Navy beans, etc.]
Salt + pepper to taste

1. Heat the vegetable broth over high heat until boiling.
2. Add in the tortellini, turn the heat down to medium, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add in the chopped kale, and allow it to wilt for 5 minutes. 
4. Add in the white beans and allow them to heat through, an additional 2-3 minutes. Season with salt + pepper to taste. 

Pretty Pierogis

When I was in college, sometimes the cafeteria would have pierogies at lunch, or even dinner. They were always plain ‘ole potato filled, and swam in a sauce of butter, oil, and sautéed onions. Now don’t get me wrong, they were delicious, but I just couldn’t bring myself to get them most of the time. I knew that if I did, I would likely be spending the rest of the day with stomach pains, as I really can’t handle a lot of grease. For awhile when I was in elementary school, I couldn’t eat pepperoni pizza, and had to blot my pizza while all my classmates looked at me as though I had three heads. But if I didn’t, I was sure to spend the rest of my night in the bathroom – it was no fun.

Thankfully, growing up my parents always baked pierogies when they were made. Though, they were usually served alongside kielbasa, which is pretty greasy in itself (which is why I barely ate it). In cooking them a few times myself (always the frozen kind, though, I haven’t branched out to make my own), I’ve mastered the art of baking them first, and then just throwing them in a pan with already sautéed onions and cabbage just for a few minutes to mix everything together, leaving it still pretty grease-less (though I’ll admit there is a little).

Apparently mother nature has been confused, and even though it was in the high 70’s last Friday, there has been a snow/rain/hail mixture going on since Monday. So, these pierogies were a great warm and hearty dish to have while it was thundersnowing outside on Wednesday night! While I would like to at some point try and tackle making my very own pierogies (or at least a somewhat passable version of them), for now I’ll just stick to the frozen kind. At least this meal is semi-homemade?

Pierogies with Onions & Red Cabbage
– Serves 2 –

1 box of frozen pierogies, any flavor (I used 4 cheese)
1 medium sized yellow onion, sliced
1/3 cup shredded red cabbage
2 Tbsp cooking oil
2 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add pierogies and cook for 15 minutes.
2. In a skillet, heat oil and add sliced onion. Sautee for 5 minutes. Add salt and cabbage, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until onions and cabbage are soft.
3. Once pierogies are done in the oven, transfer them to the skillet. Combine all the ingredients, and cook together for an additional 5 minutes before serving.

Quick Curry

Both my fiancé and I really enjoy Thai food, and as you know, like our food spicy. So, when I saw a recipe for Green Curry on YumSugar, I made sure to bookmark it. However, I really used the recipe more as a suggestion, since I don’t have green curry (but I do have red), and didn’t feel like buying any. So, by choosing to go with red curry instead of green, I think it altered the recipe a lot. I still used the coconut milk, though, even though with most red curries I’ve had, there really isn’t a coconut flavor. So I guess you could say it isn’t really a traditional red curry. That’s okay, though, because it’s quick, and yummy!

Quick Curry
– Serves 2 –

1 cup coconut milk
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup canola oil
2-3 cups frozen veggies
1 8oz. package of extra firm tofu, cut into squares
2 Tbsp red curry
2 Tbsp Sambal Olek
1 clove of garlic, pressed/chopped
A pinch of Chinese Five Spice (literally just a pinch!)
1 cup brown rice

1. Prepare brown rice according to package. You should probably start this first, because rice takes some time, and the rest of this recipe doesn’t.
2. Heat skillet with canola oil. When beginning to bubble, gently place the tofu into the oil. Cook on first side for 4 minutes, then turn, and cook on other side for additional 2 minutes. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel.
3. In a wok, heat coconut milk and vegetable broth, whisking in the curry and Sambal Olek.
4. Once combined, add veggies. Lightly boil ingredients together for about 5 minutes.
5. Serve over cooked rice

Ladies Who Lunch

Lunch has always been my favorite meal of the day. Growing up, I was never a big breakfast person, and dinner was just an afterthought. But lunch, oh the possibilities! Lunch is smack dab in the middle of your day, perfect for you to incorporate almost anything you want – a late breakfast, or even an early dinner. You can get away with pretty much anything you feel like for lunch. I however, like to stick to typical lunch foods. You know, your sandwich, soup, salad, etc.

Since I work full time, lunch isn’t nearly as glamorous as I wish it could be. By glamorous, I mean all of the different and delicious creations that lend themselves to the mid day meal. If I had it my way, I’d be in the kitchen creating an interesting sandwich, wrap, salad, or other oddball creation daily, with of course leaving room to sample the yummy lunchtime menus from surrounding eateries. Alas, I live a far from glamorous life.

I’ll be honest, a lot of the time I’m just too lazy to think up creative lunches, so I settle for frozen meals. I try my hardest to have them no more than 2 times a week, but sometimes my schedule just doesn’t allow time for me to make my lunch ahead of time. If I have leftovers from dinner, I gladly bring those to work as well. Since my fiancé and I are currently saving for a wedding, we rarely go out for lunch during the work week – I’d say no more than once or twice a month.

After a week of boring frozen meals (the semester just started, so I was swamped with start-up work), I resolved to try something new last week. Enter my veggie wrap! I had it twice for lunch this past week, since the ingredients lent themselves to three full wraps – hello money saver! It’s nothing fancy, but it’s delicious.

Random Veggie Wrap
– Serves 1 –

1/2 Hass Avocado, sliced
1/4 Cucumber, peeled and sliced
Handful Soybean Sprouts
3 Tbsp Hummus (I used roasted garlic, but any will work)
1 Tbsp Feta (crumbled)
1 Wrap (I used tortilla – but a flavored wrap would be great, too)

1. Spread hummus in middle of tortilla
2. Place all other ingredients on top of tortilla
3. Wrap, first by folding over slightly, then turning in the sides, and continuing until all ingredients are covered