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This vegan pasta alla vodka recipe, a deliciously creamy, tomato vodka sauce swirled into pasta, is the midweek dinner idea you didn't know you needed.

This vegan pasta alla vodka recipe, a deliciously creamy, tomato vodka sauce swirled into pasta, is the midweek dinner idea you didn’t know you needed. But you most definitely do need. Especially if you want a home-cooked, restaurant-style meal in less than 30 minutes.

This vegan pasta alla vodka recipe, a deliciously creamy, tomato vodka sauce swirled into pasta, is the midweek dinner idea you didn't know you needed.

Pasta alla vodka with crispy panko-eggplant

Vodka? On a weekday?

Have you ever tried vodka sauce with pasta? If so, I bet you love it. On the rare occasion I’m out at an Italian restaurant I sometimes order this dish. I totally adore the creamy, brick-red sauce with its subtle kick. Here in Scotland it is often studded with morsels of smoked salmon. Gorgeous.

But you might have seen pasta alla vodka (or, more likely, penne alla vodka) on a menu and thought, “Nah. That sounds like a waste of vodka/a gimmick.” To which I would answer back, “No, it isn’t.” On both counts.

This vegan pasta alla vodka recipe, a deliciously creamy, tomato vodka sauce swirled into pasta, is the midweek dinner idea you didn't know you needed.

sautรฉed baby Brussels sprouts and garlic chips

Or, you may be concerned that you won’t be able to eat and drive. Please don’t worry. My vegan pasta alla vodka only calls for a small amount of the hard stuff. A few tablespoons for a whole recipe serving four. Besides, the alcohol cooks out, leaving a deeply-flavoured, cream-tempered tomato sauce. You do not, I repeat not, taste the vodka.

So, what does the vodka add? The vodka acts as a solvent to help unlock otherwise inaccessible flavours in the tomatoes. It both sweetens them up a bit and lends – I think – a little hint of citrus. It also cuts through and balances the usual heavy/double cream and parmesan cheese. I find it adds a certain indefinable “bite.” If you’ve not tried vodka sauce before, I really think you should. Even just to see if I’m talking rubbish!

I promise I’m not. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Baked version of New Orleans iconic doughnut, the beignet. Square pillows of soft yeast dough are baked and showered in confectioners' sugar then dipped into a thick, homemade hot chocolate sauce. A traditional Mardi Gras - Fat Tuesday - treat.

Why not celebrate Mardi Gras – aka Fat Tuesday – with these baked beignets? Traditionally these delicious, pillowy square doughnuts are almost always fried and then showered in confectioner’s sugar. My Food To Glow version is a little bit healthier – and a lot of bit tasty. Especially dunked in warm chocolate dipping sauce. So, grab a cup of cafe au lait and read how you can make these New Orleans pre-Lenten treats.

Baked version of New Orleans iconic doughnut, the beignet. Square pillows of soft yeast dough are baked and showered in confectioners' sugar then dipped into a thick, homemade hot chocolate sauce. A traditional Mardi Gras - Fat Tuesday - treat.I know we are on the cusp of Pancake Day – or Shrove Tuesday, if you are up to speed on the Christian liturgical calendar. But instead of celebrating with pancakes, I’ve gone to New Orleans – and their exuberant Mardi Gras celebrations – for inspiration. Continue reading

vegan mushroom piccata for dinner in cast iron skillet

Mushroom and artichoke piccata is a delicious vegan take on the classic Italian chicken dish, chicken piccata. With plenty of lemon, white wine, extra virgin olive oil and best vegan butter, this is a rather decadent dish to serve over delicate capellini pasta. And it takes less than 30 minutes from start to demolish.

vegan mushroom piccata for dinner in cast iron skillet with artichokesIf you are looking for a dinner recipe that will make everyone who eats it want to hug you, this is it. The taste is bright and zesty, yet with strong umami notes from the mushrooms, and boozy depth. Plus, the sublime textures – slippery, saucy pasta and meaty mushrooms – are real dinner-date material. If you want to treat your partner, or impress the hell out of a partner-in-waiting (!), make this. If it elicits unwanted proposals of marriage, I will not be held responsible.

I jest, of course, but it really is rather good. And a pleasure to eat. As long as your fellow diner(s) isn’t violently opposed to mushrooms (there are such people. It makes me sad.) they will love this. Whether or not they are vegan.

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baked chipotle cauliflower frittata in skillet for a healthy dinner

Make this baked chipotle cauliflower frittata for a nutritious and scrumptious low-carb midweek dinner, saving a slice for your lunch the next day.

baked chipotle cauliflower frittata in skillet for a healthy dinnerBusy week? Eggs and random vegetables in the fridge? Well, you could do worse than make a frittata.

I make quite a lot of frittatas, both for work and for us. The ultimate clean-out-the-fridge recipe, frittatas combine healthy ingredients with speed and flexibility. Basically, in less than half an hour you can have a satisfying, good-for-you breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or snack. There aren’t many dishes that cover all the mealtime bases in quite the same way. We just love them.ย  Continue reading

Korean kimchi rice waffles + five ways to eat them

If you have never waffled rice, then you are in for a treat. These kimchi-spiked rice waffles have a crisp exterior and delectably chewy interior. Add one – or more – of the suggested toppings for a dinner or snack with a difference.ย 

Korean kimchi rice waffles with five toppings for an easy, funky dinner or a snack.Making good use of leftover rice and a slightly neglected pot of tangy kimchi, Korean kimchi rice waffles are our latest fun food. So, heat up your waffle iron and settle down to read how to make these.ย 

I have gone a bit crazy with the topping ideas. But they are all very easy. You can do all of them, none, or one or two. The whole recipe is more an idea than recipe so is very flexible to your likes and dislikes. The one requirement is at least a curiosity about kimchi. And a jar of the stuff.

ย The kimchi rice waffles themselves are a mildly spiced treat all on their own, with perhaps a flurry of toasted sesame seeds. To make them a proper meal I would recommend whacking on a gooey, fried organic egg, or even some nuggets of stir-fried tofu. Or both if you are anything like us. Greedy. ๐Ÿ™‚

And don’t worry if you don’t have a waffle maker: these fry up perfectly well as a pancake – although without the delectable all-over crispy crust. Continue reading

Beetroot and raspberry #granola for a healthy #breakfast or #snack. Vegan recipe

If you can turn on a oven, you can make this easy, whole food granola. Beetroot powder adds the subtlest of pink hue without any weird taste. And the nuggets of dried raspberry are little sweet-tart flavour bombs on the tongue. A fab breakfast or snack for the whole family.

Beetroot and raspberry #granola for a healthy #breakfast or #snack. #Vegan #recipe Countless batches of granola have been in and out of my oven over the past 20 something years. As soon as my daughter Rachel was old enough to competently eat small crunchy bits without me poised to administer the Heimlich manoeuvre, I was on it with the homemade granola. She is now almost 23. And, do you know what? Granola is still the first thing she asks me to make when she is home. Of course I happily oblige.

As well as the incomparable taste of homemade granola, there is the tantalising smell. If you have ever made granola you know what I mean. The aroma, swirling into every corner of the house, is irresistible. Toasty oats and nuts, sweet spices, caramelising syrup – mmm. Am I making you hungry?ย  Continue reading

62 healthier chocolate recipes roundup collage

Whether you are looking after your health, wooing a potential Valentine, wanting a nutritious sweet treat, or soothing your mood, I’ve got 62 healthier chocolate recipe links to melt your heart.

62 healthier chocolate recipes roundup collage

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt” – Charles Schulz

Chocolate gets a bad rap. Although it can reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes, as well as protect brain function, most of the ways we tend to enjoy chocolate don’t promote health. Unless we are talking emotional health. Chocolate, in all of its glorious forms, is of course the classic cure for a broken heart – and to win your way to someone’s heart.

chopped dark chocolate by kelliesfoodtoglow.com
chopped dark chocolate – food to glow

The healthiest way to enjoy chocolate is of course to go dark. The darker the better – 70% cocoa content and up. This way you are minimising the sugar and added fat, upping the antioxidants and maximising the true taste of chocolate.

All of the recipes I link to from my fellow food bloggers call either for dark chocolate, or can be adapted to a higher cocoa or cacao content. A head start to healthy! In a future blog post I will detail the chocolate making process and give you the low down on the differences between cacao and cocoa.

crazy-good chocolate chip cashew butter blondies – food to glow

You are certain to find something in this comprehensive roundup to tempt you. And they are all lower in sugar than your average bought chocolate treat, with many being gluten or grain free, vegan, nut-free or lower carb.

To help you choose your perfect recipe, I’ve noted special diet options {if they aren’t obvious}, as applicable. I’ve also divided the recipes into Baked and No-Bake. Each link will send you straight to the recipe author’s site for the full recipe. Continue reading

eggplant parmesan tortellini soup with vegetables

Healthy and quick cheese and vegetable tortellini soup with garlic, tomatoes, chard and eggplant. A hearty and delicious way to stretch a bag of bought tortellini. Top with extra parmesan to really take your soup up a level.

Most of us have a bag of tortellini as an emergency meal option. Filled pasta is a perfect fix for those times when you come in the door absolutely starving, but with zero energy to prepare dinner for you and your family.

Typically we boil a big pan of water, throw in the pasta, drain it and then top with some pesto and cheese. And there is nothing – nothing at all – wrong with this option. An easily thrown together dinner of tortellini has circumvented many a “hangry” moment in my home. “The comfort of carbs” is my not very original phrase for this kind of meal.

Another thing we sometimes have on hand is a big carton of soup. Or perhaps we have homemade soup in the freezer. Prepared soup is always a winner for a quick meal. I’ve got loads of soups here on Food To Glow that I rotate between, stashing extras in the freezer for a day when I have no inspiration or energy. Yep, it happens to us food bloggers, too!

Eggplant parmesan tortellini #soup for an #easy #family #dinner. #eggplantparmesan

But what about combining these essential, quick hunger busters into one rather gorgeous meal? With added vegetables and a little chilli and cheese for an added yum factor?

Enter, tortellini soup.

Oh my days, it really is dinner magic. Imagine little pillows of pasta bobbing around in a simple, hot, tomatoey broth with added vegetables for flavour, satiety and, of course, nutrition. Well, keep that delectable image in mind as I walk you through the basics. And then be prepared for an overwhelming desire to make this immediately.

Eggplant parmesan tortellini #soup being made in a large pot for an #easy #family #dinner. #eggplantparmesan

Three steps to making Eggplant Parmesan Tortellini Soup

Cube and Steam Chop the eggplant into bite-size cubes and steam them until just done. You can sautรฉ these of course, but I tend to steam them and save the added extra virgin ollve oil for drizzling on top of the soup – where we can fully appreciate it’s silky, grassy flavour.

Chop and Sautรฉ While the aubergine is steaming, you finely chop the onion, mince the garlic, chop the mushrooms, cut the courgette into small cubes and ribbon-slice the chard or spinach – chopping the tender chard ribs, too. I don’t bother to cook the stems longer in this kind of recipe, where everything is submerged in liquid.

Eggplant parmesan tortellini #soup for an #easy #family #dinner. #eggplantparmesan

Sautรฉ and Simmer Then it is simple matter of sautรฉing the vegetables, adding the tomatoes, dried herbs, tomato paste and water. This is what makes up the fragrant , nutritious broth. Easy, huh? Once the vegetables are nearly cooked slip in the tortellini, optional chilli flakes, fresh herbs and serve hot with grated hard Italian cheese.

Eggplant parmesan tortellini #soup for an #easy #family #dinner. #eggplantparmesan

Ways to customise this soup

Change out the chard for spinach, kale or even broccoli. I would definitely always include a leafy green to balance the flavours and add a different texture.

Use any vegetables that you love or need to use up. Of course it might not be eggplant parmesan-esque, but I’m sure it will be damn tasty. Just make sure to cut the vegetables to a similar size. And give the denser, harder ones a head start with the onion base. A bag of mixed frozen vegetables – especially an Italian or Med mix – would be great, too.

Add more protein. Borlotti beans would be a particularly good choice. Or maybe add shredded cooked chicken or prepared shrimp.

Maybe add a spoon of pesto instead of the sun-dried tomato paste.

No tortellini? Just add some leftover cooked pasta. This would make a lighter soup, probably more suitable as a starter or as part of a larger meal.

Make some quick croutons for added texture (I’m big on texture). I like to break up a stale piece of my sourdough bread into smallish, ragged pieces. Then I fry them in a small amount of garlic olive oil with fresh or dried herbs and a few grinds of pepper. Drain on kitchen paper.

Eggplant parmesan tortellini #soup for an #easy #family #dinner. #eggplantparmesan

What type of tortellini?

I love using Rana brand Aubergine Parmesan Tortelloni (yes, an “o”), but any vegetable or vegetable and cheese filled pasta shape will work. Gluten-free would, too.

The great thing about adding any quality type of tortellini to a broth is that it adds a silky, starchy “mouthfeel”, especially if it sits for a wee bit. I know you can add cream to this kind of soup to boost the specialness of the simple ingredients, but I really think it is luxurious-tasting without. But let me know if you add a touch of cream or the vegan equivalent.

Why wait until a busy night to give this yummy marriage of tortellini and soup a try! It’s a gorgeous little idea of a recipe to try any day.

Healthy and quick #tortellini #soup with chard and eggplant. Hearty and delicious. #vegetarian #dinner #lunch

**Remember to follow me on Pinterest and, if you make my Eggplant Parmesan Tortellini Soup, click on the pin below the recipe card and leave a photo of your make with a comment telling me what you think, or any awesome changes that you made. 

Similarly, any Instagram posts tagged @food_to_glow using my recipes will go on my Story if I see them. Iโ€™m always so proud when you share my recipes with the world. Yay!!!

Whether on Pinterest, InstagramFacebookTwitter or of course here on the blog, I love to see what you do with my recipes, and I welcome your comments, star ratings, tweaks and suggestions.**

Like this kind of recipe? Why not try my recent Shiitake-Ginger Broth with Gyoza Dumplings?

This Shiitake-Ginger Broth is light and deeply-nutritious, floating a whisper of thinly-cut vegetables and a few juicy gyozas. The perfect antidote to heavy winter food. Sip this wholesome, healing Japanese-inspired soup piping hot for best cold-blasting effect. #soup #vegan #shiitake #japanesefood #ginger #broth #healthyrecipe #nutrition
Shiitake-Ginger Broth with Gyoza Dumplings – easy and delicious!
eggplant parmesan tortellini soup with vegetables

Healthy and quick #tortellini #soup with chard and eggplant. Hearty and delicious. #vegetarian #dinner #lunch
4.75 from 4 votes
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Eggplant Parmesan Tortellini Soup

Healthy and quick tortellini soup with garlic, tomatoes, chard and eggplant. A hearty and delicious way to stretch a bag of bought tortellini.

Course DInner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword pasta, soup, tortellini, vegetables
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 322 kcal
Author kellie anderson

Ingredients

  • 1 medium aubergine eggplant
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil more to serve
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 100 g chestnut mushrooms cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 medium courgette zucchini
  • 100 g chard or 80g spinach
  • 400 g tinned/jarred tomatoes
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 1 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
  • 250 g Aubergine Parmigiana filled pasta or other vegetable filled pasta of choice
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes or to taste
  • chopped fresh herbs, like parsley and thyme to serve
  • grated hard Italian cheese to serve

Instructions

  1. Chop the aubergine/eggplant into small-ish cubes. Steam them for eight minutes. Set aside with the lid off.

  2. While the aubergine is steaming, finely chop the onion, mince the garlic, chop the mushrooms, cut the courgette into small cubes and ribbon-slice the chard or spinach - chopping the tender chard ribs, too.

  3. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring, for five minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and turn to coat. Saute, stirring for five minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, boil 1.2 litres of water.

    Healthy and quick #tortellini #soup with chard and eggplant. Hearty and delicious. #vegetarian #dinner #lunch
  4. After the vegetables have softened, add the steamed aubergine cubes, tomatoes with their juices, mixed herbs, sun-dried tomato paste and the boiling water. Bring to the boil. When the soup has come up to the boil, add the tortellini and cook for three minutes. Stir in any fresh chopped herbs and chilli flakes and let sit off the boil for one minute. Serve warm with grated cheese and more olive oil.

    Healthy and quick #tortellini #soup with chard and eggplant. Hearty and delicious. #vegetarian #dinner #lunch

Recipe Notes

Nutrition calculation based on average, purchased, vegetable filled tortellini and doesn't include optional grated cheese and additional olive oil.

ย 

I use Rana Aubergine Parmigiana Tortelloni for this recipe. Other, similar products would work just as well, I'm sure.

ย 

Feel free to sautรฉ the aubergine, but I find that steaming it is perfectly fine for this kind of recipe.

ย 

Use whatever vegetables that compliment your tortellini, or that you like!

ย 

Although I use water, do use a light vegetable broth if this better suits your palate.ย 

ย 

Make it even heartier - although we find this version very hearty - by adding some cooked beans, such as borlotti when you add the water and tomatoes.

Nutrition Facts
Eggplant Parmesan Tortellini Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 322 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 538mg 22%
Potassium 866mg 25%
Total Carbohydrates 46g 15%
Dietary Fiber 9g 36%
Sugars 12g
Protein 13g 26%
Vitamin A 40.3%
Vitamin C 31.4%
Calcium 16%
Iron 22.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
R

RIPE FOR PINNING!

Eggplant parmesan tortellini #soup for an #easy #family #dinner. #eggplantparmesan
A classic and deeply aromatic Vietnamese fish dish, enhanced with the goodness of Tenderstemยฎ๏ธ Royale. #fish #broccoli #Vietnamese #recipe

A sponsored post.

A classic and deeply aromatic Vietnamese fish dish, enhanced with the goodness of Tenderstemยฎ๏ธ Royale. Use any variety of firm white fish, but definitely look out for this beautiful brassica, with its distinctive deep purple stems. It is exclusively available at Marks & Spencer Food Halls in the UK.

A classic and deeply aromatic Vietnamese fish dish, enhanced with the goodness of Tenderstemยฎ๏ธ Royale. #fish #broccoli #Vietnamese #recipe

Want the recipe right away? Scroll on down.

When you think of Vietnamese food, broccoli, turmeric and dill do not immediately spring to mind. But trust me when I tell you that this admittedly oddball partnership is absolutely sublime. Based on an unusual but authentic Hanoi recipe, my iteration is surprisingly easy to make, too. In fact, I would even go so far as to say it is a perfect, midweek meal. Colourful, healthy, filling and full of flavour.ย  Continue reading

Pop these crispy baked #tofu "chicken-style" #nuggets in a sandwich, on your favourite salad, or dip them in my easy maple-mustard sauce. These versatile little #vegan bites are utterly delectable any way you eat them, and super easy to make! An #easy, nutritious, #family- and #party-friendly #recipe.ย 

Pop these crispy baked tofu nuggets in a sandwich, on your favourite salad, or dip them in my easy maple-mustard sauce. These versatile little vegan bites are utterly delectable any way you eat them, and super easy to make! An easy, nutritious, family- and party-friendly recipe.ย 

Pop these crispy baked #tofu "chicken-style" #nuggets in a sandwich, on your favourite salad, or dip them in my easy maple-mustard sauce. These versatile little #vegan bites are utterly delectable any way you eat them, and super easy to make! An #easy, nutritious, #family- and #party-friendly #recipe.ย I have to admit being more than a little partial to crunchy-coated finger foods. And all the best finger foods are at parties. Tempura-battered prawns, mozzarella sticks, jalapeรฑo poppers – irresistible.

As anyone who knows me knows, I am not one for a big party. Small gatherings, fine. But noisy, jostling affairs leave me a bit panicky. I’ve never been able to master the multi-tasking involved in holding a filled glass in one hand, a plate in another and making informed small-talk. Never mind if there is a fork involved. I am a single-ingredient recipe for a party-induced disaster if ever there was one: clumsy, a bit hard of hearing and surprisingly shy. Continue reading

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