She Cooks: Tomato Soup

This makes a great low-calorie lunch for one. And can easily be scaled up for more servings.


Single-Serve Tomato Soup

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried basil leaves

Combine everything and heat until warm. Or microwave for 1-2 minutes on high.

I like to serve this with sliced cheddar cheese and whole wheat crackers, a grilled cheese sandwich, or a BLT sandwich, depending on my calorie goals for lunch that day. ☺


She Cooks: Creamy Tomato Pasta

This is a simple, quick lunch I make often for my toddlers. I change the vegetables according to what I have available, and don’t always have cream cheese, but they gladly eat it any which way!

Creamy Tomato Pasta
Serves: 12 (1/2-cup) portions


1 lb. pasta (garden rotini & whole wheat bowties are favorites, here!)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 sm yellow onion, diced small
2 carrots, diced small
2 stalks celery, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 Tbsp ketchup
1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
4 oz. cream cheese, softened, cubed


Put salted water on to boil, for pasta. In a separate pot, saute the onion, carrots, and celery in oil/butter for several minutes until very tender. Add garlic and cook briefly (less than a minute). Stir in Italian seasoning, bay leaves, Worcestershire, and ketchup. Add tomato sauce, bring to simmer, and cook on low about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente, drain, return to pot. Stir cream cheese into sauce until melted, then pour over pasta and stir together.


There are several ways to adjust this recipe.

  • add more vegetables to the onion/carrot/celery mix; try eggplant, zucchini, squash, or sweet potato (diced small enough to cook quickly)
  • add peas or chopped baby spinach to the sauce after simmering, before adding the cream cheese
  • add broccoli florets or fresh green beans to the boiling water for the last 2-3 minutes of pasta cooking time
  • substitute 1/4 cup heavy cream or 1/4 cup plain yogurt for the cream cheese
  • add fresh herbs instead of the Italian seasoning
  • like spicy food? replace the ketchup with hot sauce!

The sauce keeps well in the freezer. I only cook 4-6 oz of pasta at a time, and I store the extra sauce in the refrigerator or freezer for another day. That way, the pasta doesn’t swell with sauce and turn mushy!


sauce on garden rotini pasta


just the sauce

She Cooks: 2-Ingredient Toddler Dessert, Recipe

This is a recipe, if it can be called such, for a very simple dessert. My toddlers love it. It is healthy and delicious. It begins with just two ingredients, but there are many ways to boost the nutritional value, which I will give below the recipe.

2-Ingredient Toddler Dessert

Servings: 2


1 cup frozen fruit, any combination

1/2-1 cup COLD plain yogurt or whole milk


Blend ingredients until smooth. That’s it! It should be the consistency of a very, very soft ice cream or frozen yogurt; similar to a smoothie but smoother. It can be eaten with a spoon or straw.

Optional additions (stir in after blending):

1-2 tsp sweetener (honey will clump; maple syrup is great); be careful if the fruit used is already sweetened!

1 Tbsp whole flax seed or chia seed

1 Tbsp wheat germ

The picture shows this dessert made with frozen strawberries, vanilla yogurt, maple syrup, flax seed, and wheat germ. The kids love it, and don’t mind the little seeds at all.


Found on Pinterest: Crispy Black Bean & Rice Burritos (Recipe)

I have been on a hunt lately for healthy, filling lunch recipes for me to have during the week. It is an attempt to eat fewer peanut butter sandwiches that leave my tummy rumbling by two PM.

This burrito recipe from Gimme Delicious appeared to fit the bill.

and a dollop of sour cream

My Modifications

I used some leftover Spanish rice in place of the plain rice — more flavor is better, if you ask me. And I substituted sliced green onion for the white/yellow onion because I already had it chopped.

Why I Liked This Recipe

Crispy. Hearty. Savory. Gooey. Healthy. What’s not to love?

The filling kept well in the refrigerator for about a week, which made lunch very quick. This recipe would be easy to modify, although it is yummy as written. I’ve estimated it to pack about 350-400 calories.

This recipe is a good use of leftovers. It would be tasty with all kinds of vegetables inside and just about any kind of cheese.

I paired it with a simple salad of Romaine and baby spinach and a homemade creamy cilantro dressing.

Downsides to This Recipe

The initial prep and cooking takes more time than I typically would spend on a lunch meal. Since I cook every night, I don’t usually cook at lunch time because then it feels like I’ve spent all day in the kitchen. But every day I had it after the first, it was really quick!

Overall Impression

I intend to make this again. 🙂

She Cooks: Slow Cooker Red Beans & Rice

I adapted a few red beans and rice recipes I found online, to suit our tastes. This is the result, and I love it. I don’t think it is particularly authentic to New Orleans cuisine, but it is tasty (and inexpensive)!

Slow Cooker Red Beans & Rice

Servings: 8

1 pound dry red beans, soaked overnight, rinsed & drained
1-2 tsp olive oil or bacon grease
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 rib of celery, diced
2-4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
2-4 cups water
14 ounces Andouille sausage, diced
sliced green onion as topping (optional)
2 cups cooked brown rice

Saute onion, bell pepper, and celery in oil or grease until tender. Add garlic and cook briefly. Add to crock of slow cooker along with beans, seasonings (except salt), and enough water to just cover. Cover and cook on Low heat about 8 hours. When beans are tender, mash some of the beans against the side of the crock with a spoon, to achieve desired consistency (mashed beans will thicken the cooking liquid). Stir in salt and cook another 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, fry sausage in small amount of olive oil, until browned.

Serve beans over bed of rice (about 1/4 cup per serving), topped with sausage and green onion slices (optional).

served with a side of bacon Parmesan sweet peas