Spinach, Artichoke, and Tuna Tortellini Salad

A few years back, my mom could’ve been the president of the Dr. Phil Fan Club. She watched his show religiously and would FREQUENTLY (::insert eye roll::) quote him…a lot.

I’m glad she’s moved on to bigger and better things…like Rachel Ray. I know not everyone can like everyone, but personally, I really like Rachel Ray. There’s something about her haphazard gathering of far too many ingredients at once that makes me uncomfortable for her and self-assured all at the same time. If she can look that ridiculous and disorganized on camera, then I’m probably not doing so bad within the confines of my kitchen’s walls, right?

When I was in Chicago last weekend, my mom had saved this recipe from Rachel’s show. Part of me thinks my mom saves the “outside of the box” recipes for me…and another part of me thinks she saves all the “healthy recipe” for when I’m in town so I am under the impression my parents are always “behaving” when it comes to their intake. I have been known to leap across the dinner table to remove excessive amounts of condiments from my father’s plate, or to authoritatively remove the salt shaker from his manly grip.

My mom gets two points for this one, though. One point for introducing me to another great, healthy recipe and one point for officially bidding farewell to Dr. Phil.

Thanks, Mom!

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Spinach, Artichoke, and Tuna Tortellini Salad from Rachel Ray

1 10-oz frozen chopped spinach
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb whole wheat cheese tortellini
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 14-oz can quartered artichokes in water, drained
nutmeg, to taste
1 5-oz can tuna, drained and flaked
1 lemon
2 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

Directions:

Defrost the spinach in the microwave, wring it dry and separate the leaves.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the tortellini and cook according to package directions. Drain and let cool.

In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, for two minutes. Add the artichokes and spinach; season with salt and pepper and a hint of freshly grated nutmeg.

Add the tuna and pasta to a bowl. Top with the spinach and artichokes. Dress with the lemon juice and thyme. Serve or refrigerate for later. Yield 4 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 353 calories; 15.3 g. fat; 46 mg. cholesterol; 534 mg. sodium; 34.8 g. carbohydrate; 7.5 g. fiber; 19.3 g. protein

Result: Simple, light, flavorful, and healthy. This is perfect for a light meal or something to pack for lunch as it can be eaten hot, room temperature, or cold. You can make this ahead of time, too. Can’t wait to make this again 🙂 Enjoy!

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I am off to campus to teach and as of 2pm I am stealing an hour or two of “me” time. Yesterday was…ridiculous. This evening will be a workout and a homemade meal. Somehow my apple and pretzel sticks didn’t quite hit the spot last night!

Question: What’s one of your TV show guilty pleasures?

Be well,

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14 Comments

  1. September 29, 2011 / 7:08 am

    Rachel can get kind of annoying but I’ve honestly never had a bad recipe of hers. This salad would definitely fall into the love category…tortellini alone just makes me happy!

  2. September 29, 2011 / 7:09 am

    That’s cute. At least your mom and dad try new things. My mom maybe tries one or two new recipes a year. Very set in her ways…

  3. September 29, 2011 / 7:11 am

    Sounds delicious! I will admit, I can’t stand Rachel Ray (watching her, she annoys me) but I LOVE her magazine, and her recipes. So, as long as I don’t have to listen to her, I love her! Her recipes are simple, yet delicious, which I appreciate.
    That’s hilarious that your mom quotes(or used to quote) Dr. Phil. ha! He’s a strange cat.
    Have a great day Nicole!

  4. September 29, 2011 / 7:52 am

    Guilty TV Pleasures: The Real World, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I caught a couple episodes of Dance Moms when I was in Vegas at the beginning of the month and could see that turning into a guilty pleasure too.

  5. September 29, 2011 / 8:42 am

    Hahaha, I always wonder if she ever drops ingredients in her outtakes. She’s not my favorite Food Network celeb, but she’s definitely one of the first who I was watching, alongside my mom too. I watch way too much Food Network. I like to blame it on the fact that it’s the only channel I have memorized on my new cable.

  6. September 29, 2011 / 9:09 am

    Man I LOVE Dr. Phil. He’s so ‘no nonsense’ and not very sympathetic. He’s basically exactly like me when friends ask me for advice (so, if you need sympathy I’m not your girl).

    Sometimes I like to say “What were you thinking?” with a southern drawl when people do something stupid.

    I’m not a big fan of Rachel Ray. I don’t like her talk show much. 30 Minute Meals isn’t bad but I only like to watch it on mute with closed captioning so I don’t have to hear her. :-/ Her recipes seem pretty simple yet flavourful though so it’s worth watching. This one in particular sounds really good. I’ve never had tortellini in salad form but it sounds good.

  7. September 29, 2011 / 2:10 pm

    HI Nicole, aww…I love that your Mom saves recipes for you. My guilty tv pleasure….The Amazing Race (I love it!!), So You Think You Can Dance (Canadian and U.S versions), and Family Guy. NONE of which is very mind blowing television. 🙂 Have a great day.

  8. September 29, 2011 / 3:25 pm

    I love the idea of using tortellini for a pasta salad. It just seems more fun that way.

    And how awesome is it that you take salt away from your father? I harass my poor mother about all the stuff in her fridge. I like to point out everything containing nitrates. She has stopped buying some of them, so thats a success.

  9. September 29, 2011 / 4:36 pm

    Oh I really can’t stand Rachel Ray haha but I DO like this recipe! I might just have to try it out on my familia! 🙂

  10. September 29, 2011 / 5:04 pm

    i like RR’s personality…but her recipes…sometimes things are just such weird combos…lol This actually sounds wonderful to me though!

    TV guilty pleasure…hmmm….Modern Family and The Middle at the moment. 🙂 Lots of pretty good new shows on this season for a change. Not a huge reality tv fan, so it’s nice to see so many new sitcoms and dramas entering the picture again!

  11. September 29, 2011 / 9:03 pm

    Ha, this is too funny! And yes, why does she have to grab so many ingredients at once!?! I guess when you only have 30 minutes, you can’t be wasting time. 😉
    This recipe looks delicious!

  12. September 30, 2011 / 12:42 am

    I don’t mind RR and i think her story is pretty inspiring. Looks like a super easy and flavorful weeknight meal!

  13. September 30, 2011 / 5:43 am

    Gossip Girl. Watched seasons 3 and 4 over the last two weeks. 🙂

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