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Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini

May 20, 2011

def: Spinach /’spi-nich/

A green leafy vegetable that at all costs, you as a child must refuse to eat.  Comes in cooked, steamed, or raw varieties. Your parents are very sneaky and will try to put it in smoothies, regular lettuce, or dinners. They think it adds extra vitamins. Do not fear throwing tantrums, feeding it to the dog or other extreme methods for avoiding eating it. 

See also: brussel sprouts, artichokes

Doesn’t it seem like kids had a dictionary they read while in the womb of all the things they should refuse to eat? It’s like they are trained which foods they should and should not eat. I’m sure our soon to be little one is in their getting ready for “Operation Veggie Reject.” Spinach in our family is one of those. Yes, I as a parent have resorted to some of the extreme measures of adding some spinach to a smoothie, chopping it up with a regular lettuce and tossing it all together so they wouldn’t notice, and throwing it in with dinners. All because it does have good vitamins in it and we crazy parents read that eating the vegetable itself is better than any supplement you can give your child.

So I as a parent subject my kids to some foods they may not like. However, I was freaking out with this recipe. It called for a lot of spinach. And I knew I wouldn’t just be able to throw the frozen spinach chunks in with the recipe. So I decided to blend the tomatoes and spinach together in the blender.  And it was really green!! I freaked out. The kids freaked out. But I told them they had to try as many bites as they were in years. And by the time they finished their bites, they were asking for more.

(I may have also told an insignificant little white lie. I told them they were green tomatoes that didn’t taste so…tomatoey). They bought it! Try it with your family, it’s delicious!!


Serves 4-6

1 16 oz package organic frozen cheese tortellini (I was unable to find any organic cheese tortellini at my local health food store. If you find it, please let me know where!)

1 small onion, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced (If feeding this to children, I would opt to cut this down to 2)

1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 14.5 oz can organic diced tomatoes (we use Muir Glen) *Drain the tomatoes if using the lower fat half and half version, but leave undrained if using the heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh basil or dried basil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 1/2 cups organic fat free half and half (look for Horizon) for a lighter version or heavy whipping cream for the original version

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the cheese tortellini according to package directions. While the tortellini cooks, place oil and onion in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until tender. Add the garlic, and cook for approximately 1 minute longer. Add the tomatoes, spinach, basil, salt and pepper and continue cooking until all the liquid is absorbed. (Approximately 3 minutes).

Stir in the cream and cheese. Bring the entire mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat; simmer, uncovered for 8-10 minutes until the mixture thickens. If you are using half and half you may want to really watch this. I had to add a couple of tablespoons of half and half in.

Drain the tortellini then toss with sauce. Sprinkle with some additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

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