Tortellini Spinach Soup Revisited

by Joanne on November 20, 2016

The weather has turned and it’s time for soup.


After fun in the cold, wet snow, there  is nothing better than a big, robust bowl of soup.



I was reminded of the healthy benefits of including spinach in our diets by Helen of Well-BeingSecrets. Check out this super food here: Spinach Health Benefits

Now, what about that soup?   Well one of my all time favorite recipes for dinner in one dish is the Ellie Krieger recipe I made back in 2012.  Link here: CEImB Tortellini Spinach Soup.


I tweaked the original recipe as follows:

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 orange, yellow or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 32 oz Vegetable Stock
  • 16 oz chopped frozen spinach, defrosted 
  • 20 oz pkg Tri color tortellini with cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and let cook another minute.

Add the peppers, celery, mushrooms, oregano, thyme, pepper flakes and cook about 6 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to simmer for 10 –12 minutes.  Add the spinach stir and cook for about 5 minutes then add the tortellini and cook for another 8 minutes.

Very tasty.  Not heavy but hearty enough to fill you up with a lot of goodness and iron.

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What’s your favorite one dish dinner when the weather turns cold?

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Just Move and Egg Rolls: Fitness and Food

by Joanne on October 27, 2016

I just read an article in the local paper “Keep on Moving: Exercise, even in small doses, offers tremendous benefits for senior citizens”. Exercise in small doses offers tremendous benefits for EVERYONE, young, middle age, and seniors. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) offers weekly recommended physical activity requirements for optimal health on their site at

Some of the key points in the article referred to above and written by Judith Graham of Kaiser Health News were as follows:

1. Starting physical activity on a regular basis will make a person more likely to regain strength and flexibility quicker after falls or surgery and less likely to develop long-term mobility issues than if sedentary.

2. The government, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes per week of moderate physical activity sustained over time (for seniors). This lowers risk of heart disease, cognitive degeneration, diabetes, depression and cancer.

3. The prescription for exercise is just as important as a prescription for medications for building strength and endurance as we age.

4. In order to stick with a routine, focus on a physical activity that is enjoyed rather than an exercise. Activity over exercise being the key here.

5. Begin slowly and work up to as much as your body can do without injury. Key point: start slowly and increase slowly.

6. The worst thing a person can do is sit down and take it easy.

What is your weekly activity level?

Personally, I’m stuck in my inflexible routine. This is a no-no. Rules of exercises: BE FLEXIBLE. In more ways than one. By flexible, I mean WHEN I work out. Time of day. I have been an early morning exercise buff for too many years now. I like to be finished with my longest workouts (those would be the 20 mile runs during marathon training) by 10 am at the latest. During the week and at times I’m not training for an endurance race, my workout time is between 4 to 5 hours. During marathon training, it can get as high as 10 or more hours per week.


When you are building up endurance, a fine line exists between working out to your maximum personal endurance level and exceeding it to the point of injury. Stay in tune with your body.  As you embark on increasing your aerobic fitness, make it part of the plan to learn what aches and pains are normal (muscular tears and rebuilding) and what might be a problem that could manifest into chronic pain if you don’t back off.

To help power those aerobic workouts, the body needs fuel. Fuel it by feeding it healthy protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Here’s a recipe suggestion to start you on your way!

Recipe from Donna Hay.  Easily made within 10 minutes.

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Serves 2

Ingredients:  sesame oil, green onions, eggs, fillings such as baby spinach, arugula, smoked salmon, tomato) and thickened, sweetened balsamic-soy sauce (simply add a tsp of soy sauce to a TBS of balsamic glaze).

Heat 2 tsp sesame oil in a large non stick pan over medium heat. Add the 4 chopped green onions and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the rest of the fillings which should be chopped small and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from pan.  Lightly beat the eggs then pour only 1/2 into the heated pan. Swirl to coat pan. Cook for 2 minutes until almost set then remove to large plate, top with half of the filling and fold.

Pour the remaining egg into the pan and cook the same way. Add the rest of the filling and roll up.  Serve with drizzles of balsamic-soy sauce.

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Delicious and light!

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Need help getting started?  Let me know. I can help.


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