Spinach Tomato Tortellini

Looking for a quick and delicious weeknight or weekend meal? I got you covered with this creamy spinach tomato tortellini. It cooks in about 20 minutes and is filling by itself or can pair with a vegetable or with garlic toast.

First gather your ingredients: tortellini, spinach, tomatoes, milk, flour, parmesan, and spices

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Heat water for the pasta then add pasta when boiling

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While the pasta is cooking, start to make the sauce.
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DSCF1871With the veggies are cooking, combine milk/flour with a whisk and then add to the veggies

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Allow sauce to boil, then move to simmer (low) to thicken

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Drain pasta

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Then add pasta to sauce and stir

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Enjoy this vegetable packed dish by itself or with a side

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Spinach Tomato Tortellini

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package cheese tortellini
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When boiling add the tortellini and cook until tender according to package directions.
  2. While the water is preheating, start the sauce. Combine the tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper, basil and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until the mixture begins to bubble (usually 3-5 minutes).
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and milk Stir this mixture into the saucepan along with the Parmesan cheese. Heat through then reduce heat to low, and simmer until thick, about 2 minutes.
  4. Drain the tortellini then pour the tortellini into the saucepan with the sauce. Stir to combine and enjoy! Top with parmesan cheese if desired.

❤ Hope

Hope’s Homemade Veggie Burgers

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You can buy veggie burgers in the frozen section of most grocery stores, but HAVE YOU ever had a homemade one? They are a GAME CHANGER.

I feel like I can openly say I am a veggie burger snob. I have tried SO many more veggie burger recipes that I like to admit. Most have minimal flavor and are so mushy mushy. I have finally created one that I like the best after trial and error and is my now GO TO. I present to you my sweet potato, onion, black bean seasoned veggie burger.

Let’s get started:

1. You’ll want to cook rice for the recipe (or use leftover cooked rice) and roast one sweet potato and 1/4 of an onion (see directions below)

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(I recently got a rice cooker and typically make 1 cup of dried rice (which makes about 3 cups of cooked rice. I like to have more than I need so I have extra leftover rice for bowls later in the week)

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I roast the chopped sweet potato and onion on a parchment lined baking sheet for easy cleanup.

2. Measure and gather all ingredients together for easy assembly 

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3. Next layer ingredients in food processor, cover, pulse together to combine, then refrigerate for 30 minutes if you have time (if you do not have time, proceed to next step).

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4. Form veggie burgers on a plate then cook in preheated pan with oil.

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5. If desired after the veggie burgers are done, top with a slice of your favorite cheese.

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6. Pair with a veggie side like asparagus, The Best Roasted Red Potatoes and Onions, Vegetable Feta Quinoa Salad, or Easy Seasoned Quinoa and enjoy!

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Veggie Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz) – rinsed and drained
  • 1 sweet potato – peeled, chopped, roasted
  • 1/2 cup onion -chopped and roasted (about 1/4 of a large onion)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Olive oil (for cooking)

Instrutions:

  1. Make rice according to package directions. Typically 1/2 cup of dried rice will make more than 1-1.5 cups of rice.
  2. To roast the sweet potato and onion, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper if you have it, makes cleanup a breeze. Peel and chop the sweet potato and onion and place on baking sheet. Drizzle lightly (about 1 tbsp) with olive oil. Cook for 10 minutes, stir and then cook for an additional 8-10 minutes.
  3. Combine ingredients in food processor. First add cooked rice to the bottom of the food processor, then layer the other ingredients and sprinkle the spices on top. Cover with  lid and pulse for 10-12 times in 2 second bursts, until well combined but still choppy.
  4. Remove blade and set aside and cover top of bowl, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to making burgers.
  5. Remove mixture from fridge and form burgers. (Better to keep them thick versus thin, as they won’t get too crumby if you keep them thick). It should make 5-6 burgers.
  6. Preheat pan to medium with 1 tbsp olive oil. After 2-3 minutes, add burgers. Cook for 4 minutes on each side without covering. Turn off heat, leave pan on burner and if desired, add a slice of cheese.
  7. Top with your favorite burger toppings and add a side of choice. Enjoy! If you haven’t tried The Best Roasted Red Potatoes and OnionsEasy Seasoned Quinoa, or Vegetable Feta Quinoa Salad these would all be great options for sides!

Happy Cooking!

Hope ❤

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Whats better than a bowl of tasty chili when it’s cold out? *crickets*

So check it out, I’ll show you a step by step of the quick process to get you on your way to trying my chili. It is a slow cooker recipe that makes life EASIER. Who doesn’t like taking the extra work out of cooking!? It does not disappoint. : )

Turkey Chili

So first gather the beans, tomatoes, tomato soup, spices and chopped onion

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Brown the ground turkey in a pan

Turkey Chili Crockpot

Layer the ground turkey, onions, tomatoes, tomato soup, beans, and spices. Then mix ingredients, cover with lid, and set crockpot for 8 hrs on low or 4 hrs on high.

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Top with cheese, crackers, and enjoy by itself or with warm cornbread

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Hope’s Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) cans low sodium tomato soup
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion , chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili power
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. Brown turkey in the skillet and then drain.
  2. Layer ingredients in then crockpot starting with turkey, onion, beans, tomatoes, tomato soup kidney beans, black beans and onion. Season with chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and cumin.
  3. Cover, and cook 8 hours on Low or 4 hours on High.

*Note* – You can substitute ground beef or ground chicken for ground turkey or make it vegan by usually additional beans. You can also decrease the red pepper flakes and chili powder if you prefer more mild chili. This makes a medium spicy chili.

Happy cooking!

❤ Hope

 

A Letter To My Husband

I love this life with you.

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I love celebrating small and big victories with you. I enjoy our time together as a family at home, exploring, traveling, and making memories with you.

Thanks for making me comforted and supported when I am emotional and feeling overwhelmed.

Thanks for making me laugh even when I want to cry.

Thank you for being kind to me even when I am having a rough day and I often forget to tell you how much it helps to have your support.

You work hard at your job and then still have energy to take on house projects.

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Thank you for being so sweet with our child. I never knew how someone that I respect so much and has always been strong and stoic can also be so gentle and touching.

You are an amazing man. You are a great friend to your friends and an incredible husband.

Thanks for giving me space when I need it.

Thanks for being you.

THERE ARE DAYS I want to yell and cry. Or cry then yell. Life can have patches that can get you down. Thank you for helping me through those days and I’ll always be there for you when you have those same days.

AND when we have the INEVITABLE AND HARD discussions of our approach and opinions on finances, family goals, jobs, house and other decisions, thank YOU for being open to discuss what we desire. We argue sometimes. It can be difficult.

BUT HERE’S THE THING,

I love you.

We got this. I’d rather not have these discussions with anyone else but you. You are my person and I’m in it to win it with you, husband.

❤ Wifey

 

 

I CANT WAIT ….

Challenging myself to not say the phrase “I can’t wait until….”

….baby sleeps at night, baby walks, baby feeds himself, baby does this or that, or for me to work less or exercise more, have a clean house, bigger or better house, more money, more more more more more more

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TODAY is today. We are all works in progress and WAITING for this or that to happen takes away from the joy of today. So trying my best and making priorities for today, but also enjoying the little things and big things.

So I CAN wait.

Today is a beautiful day and is just how it is supposed to be. Who knows what tomorrow or next month or year will bring. Today is today. ❤

❤ Hope

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Why Journaling Is My Medicine

JOURNALING? AS an ADULT?

I know, I know. Some people do not think journaling is a legitimate way to spend time. I am not sure why people think it is a silly pastime. It honestly has changed by life. You might have never have written in a journal before or maybe you share the same thoughts as me and enjoy writing things down. All I ask is to not knock it before you try it 🙂 ❤

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Reasons why you should try journaling:

  1. It helps you reflect on how far you have come and how proud you should be about overcoming obstacles.

  2. From reading previous entries, you are reminded of things you have learned.

  3. It puts ALL things in perspective.

  4. It is relaxing to GET emotions out.

  5. Journalling helps you identify things you would like to WORK on and brainstorm solutions.

  6. It also allows you to DREAM big, no boundaries.

  7. It reminds you of what matters in life and what your priorities are. Is it family? Friends? Work? Traveling? Cooking? Hobbies? A combination? Are you happy with how you spend your time or do you want to change how the weeks and month are spent?

  8. It helps you GROW to become the person you want to be.

What do you think? What to pick up a journal and try to make it a weekly or daily habit? Or do you already practice journalling and enjoy it? Let me know, would love to hear from you!

Peace and love

❤ Hope

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How To Get Rid Of the Pacifier: 4 Steps To Success

SOME babies will use a pacifier for months regularly and then not ever miss it.

MOST babies are NOT like that and it takes some time and going in with a strategy to make the pacifier disappear and stay gone. ❤

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Pediatricians vary on the best time to phase out the pacifier and every baby and family is different with how long they choose to use it. Talk to your doctor about their recommendations of when to stop using a pacifier.

I’m here to offer an easy step by step guide how to kiss the pacifier goodbye when ready.

  1. Start cutting use out during the day while baby is awake.
  2. Start cutting use out at nap time.
  3. Start cutting use out at night. 
  4. Be consistent (if possible) with bedtime routine – bath/pajamas, book, sip of water or snack, brushing teeth etc. Once a good routine is established, it makes it easy to have a new “last thing” before sleeping 🙂 

Also, determine how flexible/strict you are going to be and how attached the babe is. As you can see from the picture above, our baby LOVED his pacifiers. We phased out the pacifier before our son was 13 month old over about a 2 week course going step by step every few days with the 4 steps listed above and it went smooth. He had pretty much just been using it for naps and at bedtime most days by the time he was 1 year old. For you, it could be a slow process over a few days, weeks, or months or possibly there is a desired deadline(before age 18 months or 2 yrs or 3 yrs or a designated cut off that you’ve been aiming for). It may instead be a simple and quick change to use the four steps above and within a few days or weeks the pacifier has left the building.

Pacifier use has research that supports use to decrease risk of SIDS, help baby self soothe, ease discomfort, and satisfy the innate suck reflex. (article here)  There is also research that recommends to start to wean baby from pacifier use after 6 months to reduce the evidence of otitis media (ear infections) and dental issues. (article here) Some pediatricians recommend weaning use by the child’s first or second birthday. Again talk to your doctor for their recommendation.

What worked for you when you phased the pacifier out or is this a current struggle for any of you guys?

Would love to hear from you!

<3, Hope

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Been searching for a good sippy cup for the baby? –> Best Sippy Cups: Organized Review