15 days of sandwiches: Day 8 – Broccoli and white cheddar quesadilla (vegetarian)

Broccoli cheddar soup is so good. It’s creamy. It’s cheesy. It’s comforting. But, it is one of the most unhealthy soups out there. I never order it out at restaurants because I know it is packed with butter, cream, and full fat cheese. For me, there are just too many unhealthy calories to make it worth indulging.

But, that doesn’t mean I will never indulge in that awesome combination! This “sandwich” is really easy and quick to prepare and tastes so good! It has all the great flavors of broccoli cheese soup without all the fat and calories! And the best part of all of this? It’s only THREE ingredients!!! YAY!

Ingredients

1 whole wheat tortilla
1/2 cup steamed broccoli
1/3 cup shredded light white cheddar cheese

Heat a nonstick pan over medium high heat. Place tortilla in pan and spread cheese over the entire tortilla. Place steamed broccoli on 1/2 of the tortilla. Once cheese has melted slightly, fold non-broccoli side of the tortilla over the side that has the broccoli on it. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bottom of the quesadilla is crispy.

Enjoy!

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Baked orzo with broccoli pesto

I just got home from a trip I took up to Rhode Island (where I’m originally from) this weekend. While I was there, I definitely got my fill of Italian foods and desserts. The food up there is hard to find anywhere else in the country, especially North Carolina. So, whenever I am up there, I tend to go a little overboard with indulgences.

Pizza, pasta, pastries = me passed out for hours. I’m really fun to go on vacation with.

One place in particular that I ALWAYS have to go to, is this bakery called Solitro’s Bakery. They have the most amazing pastries. It is so hard to just pick one thing that is my favorite there and if I could – I would eat everything in there once a day. If you are ever in Rhode Island, you MUST go there. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try their Russian tea cake. It will change your life.

My brother, Peter and I in front of my favorite place in the world ;)

Now that I am back home, I need to get back into my healthy eating. As a way to ease myself back into it, I made this baked pasta. It has some really healthy aspects to it, but it tastes super comforting (which always makes me feel like I’m eating unhealthily). It is really filling and super flavorful and it comes together in minutes.

And since I can’t eliminate desserts completely, here is a little sneak peak of my dessert which I will post tomorrow. 😉

Ingredients

3/4 lb orzo
4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 cups breadcrumbs (I used homemade, but store bought works fine)
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 cups broccoli pesto
3 Tbls extra virgin olive oil

Prepare water for pasta and cook according to directions on the box. While your pasta is cooking, preheat your oven to 400 degrees

Assemble the broccoli pesto and set aside. Once your pasta is cooked, drain and place back into hot pot. Add in 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, pesto, and cream cheese to the cooked orzo. Stir to combine and place in a greased baking dish. Mix the remaining 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and almonds into bread crumbs to sprinkle over the top of the orzo. Drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven for 15 minutes.

Once orzo is hot and the breadcrumb topping is browned, remove from the oven and enjoy immediately.

Broccoli pesto pasta

I just got back from such a fun girl’s weekend in Atlanta with my mom and my sister. Even though it was just a weekend, it was so nice to have some quality time with them. We don’t live near each other anymore, so any time we all get to get together we make sure to have some fun! I had never been to Atlanta before (besides the airport 😉 ) and I had no idea it was such a young, lively city! We stayed in an area known as Buckhead and it was great. Beautiful neighborhoods, awesome malls, delicious food…what more do you need?

This pasta is so tasty! It is some different that I thought would be a nice change from the traditional basil pesto. If you are looking for a really quick go-to dinner that has great flavor, this dish is perfect.

Ingredients
2 cups steamed broccoli florets
2 cloves of garlic
3 teaspoons salt (divided)
1 small bunch of basil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pecorino cheese
1/2 lb whole wheat spaghetti

In a large stock pot, boil water for pasta. add 2 teaspoons of salt to the water when its boiling.

In the meantime, add all ingredients (you should have 1 teaspoon of salt left which should be added here) except for pasta and cheese to a food processor and blend until all combined. (If your pesto seems a little dry, add some more olive oil) Once all of the ingredients are blended, remove and add to a bowl. Stir in cheese and set aside.

Cook pasta according to the directions on the pasta box. Drain and pour into the bowl with the pesto. Toss to combine. Add more cheese over the top if desired.

Enjoy!!