Comfort Food with a Side of Healthy

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday! 🙂

I spent my Thanksgiving Day running a 5-mile race in the rain in good ol’ Cleveland, Ohio.   It was a challenging run, but I felt great when I finished. A nice start to my day!

Andy dropped me off at the race since it was pretty close to our house. I met a friend to run with, although she is faster than me and I told her to run ahead as she wanted to beat her previous time…I had no time goal, only to finish! I finished with a time of 53:36, as I kept it slow and steady!  Years before, I would have been trying to go as fast as I could…then I would end up with intense IT band pain to the point of not being able to walk comfortably for days. Not anymore! Slow and steady wins the race…at least in my mind! 😉

Andy got his bags packed and got the pups together and by the time he was finished, I was ready to be picked up.  This worked out since we were heading to Cincinnati to spend the weekend with my family.  We hit the road around 10:30am and made it to Cincy around 2:30pm.  We snacked on donuts and pringles in the car (Andy bought these for the road)…yeah, I didn’t feel so good after that. Bad move on my part, but it tasted good.

I’ll spare you all the details of the meal that my mom cooked up, but let me run down my top 3 favorites that I consumed:

  • Creamy, Cheesy Cauliflower Soup (I will be making this and posting in the near future! Stay tuned!)
  • Stuffing (duh)
  • Pumpkin Cheese Cake from Whole Foods….to die for!

I spent the weekend relaxing with my family and seeing friends that I have known since grade school.   We drank, danced, and had a blast.  I love going home!

A night out in Cincy

On Saturday Andy and I headed home.   After the very long (and hung over!) drive, I cleaned myself up to meet up with my college and sorority friends in Cleveland.  We each brought an appetizer or dish and spent the night eating, drinking (only one glass of wine for me!), and catching up.  It was a great evening.

Sunday was spent catching up on cleaning and groceries.  I made a big pot of soup to have for dinner that night as well as for during the week for lunches at work.

Vegetable Cheese Tortellini Soup (using the Crock Pot)

*I roughly measure, so here are my best measuring estimates!

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 medium zucchini chopped
  • Half bag of frozen green beans
  • 1 package of cheese tortellini from the refrigerator section at the store (about 3 servings in the package)
  • 1 can of kidney beans (or bean of choice), rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, keep the juice with it
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

*Optional Ingredients:

  • Crushed red pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese


Saute onions, celery, green pepper, and olive oil in a pan over medium heat for about 4 minutes.  Add the mixture to a crock pot.

Add the rest of the ingredients, minus tortellini, and cook on high for 3.5 hours or low for about 7-8 hours.  Add the tortellini at the end for about 20-25 minutes on high.

Optional: Freshly grate Parmesan cheese on top before serving.


On the side, we had a very comforting dish…

Cheesy Potatoes!

This recipe is from Andy.  His mom makes this and it’s delicious.  However, this recipe offers really no nutritional value (OK, perhaps the calcium in the cheese…), but offers all the comfort I crave on a cold night 😉


  • 2lb frozen package of hash brown potatoes (cube shape), thawed
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 8 oz of sharp cheddar
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • Crushed potato chips


Mix all ingredients together (minus the chips) and put into a casserole dish.  Top the potato mixture with the crushed potato chips.  Bake at 375 for about an hour and 15 minutes.

I may or may not have gone back for a second huge helping of the potatoes…Sometimes moderation is not key in my book! 😉

Cheesy Potatoes

After our very comforting meal (with a side of healthy from the soup!), we relaxed the rest of the evening on the couch.

I also decorated our very small, yet cute, Christmas tree.  It works for us 🙂

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Have a great day!


8 responses to “Comfort Food with a Side of Healthy

  1. That veggie tortellini soup recipe looks amazing! My friend made something similarly recently and I loved it. Thanks for sharing the recipe since I keep forgetting to get hers.

    And that run time still impresses me. 🙂

  2. Ooh, I love the look of that soup! Almost like a minestrone…but with tortellini, so BETTER!

  3. Those potatos look like something I kind of want for dinner! yum!

  4. I love tortellini soup! My mom makes a great one!

  5. Pingback: The “Stoup” « Cardio Pizza

  6. Delicious. I am thinking of adding my own little twist to it.

  7. Pingback: Saving Christmas | Cardio Pizza

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