Chicken and Spinach Tortellini Soup

chicken-and-spinach-tortellini-soupIt seems like the seasons change in a blink of an eye, and just like that it’s winter. Right now it’s all about the holidays, football, and cooler weather comfort food. A big pot of soup is one of my favorite cooler weather meals; there are endless ways change them up, and there is always enough to take for lunch the next day! The only rule in my house is that soup has to be hearty, and this Italian inspired soup is packed with tender chicken, fresh veggies and tortellini, which combines two of my favorites – pasta and cheese!

 

chicken-and-spinach-tortellini-soup-2Ingredients (serves 4):
1 lb. cooked chicken
4 cups (32 oz. chicken broth)
28 oz. can diced tomatoes, including juices
9 oz. container cheese tortellini (can be found in the refrigerated section)
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion
2 celery stalks
1 zucchini
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper

chicken-and-spinach-tortellini-soup-3Preheat stock pot on medium-low heat. Add olive oil and sauté onion, celery and garlic until translucent, about 5-7 min. Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes and Italian seasonings, and bring to a simmer. Add diced zucchini and chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn heat up to medium and add tortellini to pot. Cook according to package instructions (mine was 7-9 minutes). Stir in baby spinach and let cook one minute more. Garnish with chopped basil and grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Cranberry Pecan Spinach Salad

Cranberry Pecan Spinach Salad with Balsamic VinaigretteDuring the summer we have salads a few times a week. Some salads are fresh and herb-y, some are a meal all on their own, and this one is a perfectly sweet and salty treat to have anytime. I like this salad best with chicken or steak off the grill; baby spinach gets a sweet kick from the glazed pecans, salt from the crumbled blue cheese, all tossed in a tangy homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette.

All salads are not created equal and this one is no exception.

Ingredients:
12 oz. bag of baby spinach
½ small red onion, sliced thin
2 oz. crumbled blue cheese
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup glazed pecans
½ cup Balsamic Vinaigrette

In a large salad bowl, combine baby spinach, sliced red onion, blue cheese, dried cranberries and glazed pecans. Toss with Balsamic Vinaigrette to evenly coat and serve. Enjoy!