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Easy Weeknight Dinner and Tough Lovin’

Posted Mar 25 2011 7:00am

I’ve been thinking that I’d like to share some more insightful posts, more than just recipes.

I do love sharing recipes, but thought I could share a little more sometimes.

But first, an easy weeknight dinner.


Tortellini with Vegetables and Herbs Here were the thoughts behind this dish. The base was tortellini, and I wanted the rest to be full of vegetables and flavor. I didn’t feel like drenching in pasta sauce, so I wanted the dish to be able to stand alone.


  • 1 package Buitoni whole wheat cheese tortellini
  • half bunch asparagus, chopped into pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • 6 basil leaves, in chiffonade (chopped into ribbons)
  • 2 big bunches arugula
  • extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, dash of red pepper flakes


I also wanted this to be a one-pot and one-dish meal, so I cooked my veggies and the noodles in the same pot (veggies first so you don’t get pasta water for them).

  • In a medium sized pot, bring water to a boil. Add red pepper and asparagus and boil about 4 minutes.
  • Immediately pull vegetables out with a strainer spoon and put into bowl of cold water, or a strainer bowl filled with ice. This is called blanching to keep their vibrant color.
  • Add tortellini to boiling water and cook as package says, simmering about 8 minutes.
  • Dump out noodles and water over vegetables in strainer, discarding water too. (Are you following me?)
  • Add vegetables and tortellini back to pot over medium heat. Add a little olive oil to the pot.
  • Add herbs, arugula, and seasoning and cook together to get everything hot.
This made about two servings with no leftovers! We both liked it, and it was minimal cleanup.


Tough Lovin’:

Today I want to talk about getting picked on. At Crossfit this week, I got called out for not lifting heavy enough. It wasn’t about lifting heavy compared to others, it was about lifting heavier than my previous times. The exercise was back squats, I did 95 lbs. The most I’ve done is 110. That day I stuck to 95. Why didn’t I go up? I’m not really sure. For starters, it hurts and it’s hard (I should be able to get over that by now). The most likely reason was that I just didn’t feel like it. It takes mental toughness too to put that much weight on your back, squat down and stand back up. That day, I probably didn’t feel 100% mentally tough.

Later, I thought about how yoga classes say that you have to do what you can today. Listen to your body today, they say. That’s what you’re working with today. Crossfit says if you did it once, you can do it again. And more.

So which one is right? I didn’t argue with being picked on. He was right, I could have done more but didn’t. I like being pushed and then felt like a sissy. How will I get stronger if I don’t go up?

Some days I finish an exercise feeling strong, and it’s a great feeling to increase the weights and realize your improving strength. But this day, I got beat by CrossFit.

Do you like a little tough love or can you motivate yourself?

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