Healthy(ish) Green Macaroni & Cheese

GMC Final.JPGI love macaroni and cheese! Give me blue box, homemade, or anything in between and it’s sure to be a hit! I’ve tried lots of different versions of this ultimate comfort food and this recipe has evolved to become my favorite! Not only is it delicious, but it’s also pretty and Continue reading

10 Things I Miss About My Pre-Baby Life

When I was pregnant I heard constant warnings of how much my life was about to change. I’m not a party-all-night kind of gal so I figured the changes would be more noticeable for those who are. What I wasn’t prepared for was how much the subtle changes that I would experience would affect me. I could easily write a list of 1,000 reasons that I love my new life, but there are a few things that I miss about my pre-baby life. Here are my top 10.

Watching television or listening to talk radio at a normal volume. Before having a baby, I had no idea how noisy these little things could be! My 8 month old can drown out the sound of the television when it’s turned to almost its highest level, and she always picks the perfect time to squeal so that I’ll miss only the most pivotal moments. So, if I sound like a total idiot when we are discussing current events, remember that I only heard every 4th word of that news report. Continue reading

Vegan Sunshine Linguine

SF Finished in PotThe last few days here in Pennsylvania have been cold, damp, rainy, and cloudy. It’s really putting a damper on my gardening plans and my ability to take the baby to the park. And after being stuck in the house for a few days I was starting to feel a little BLAH. So, I decided to make a fresh and colorful dinner that I hoped would cheer us all up. Well, it did!

This Vegan Sunshine Linguine recipe is not only delicious, but healthy and although it has a very “light” feeling, it’s quite filling! If you aren’t vegan/vegetarian, this would pair well with sautéed chicken or shrimp!

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Here’s what you’ll need to get started…

  • 3/4 lb. Linguine
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil (plus a few extra tsp)
  • 2 Yellow Bell Peppers, sliced into strips
  • 2 Orange Bell Peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 Cup Black Olives, sliced
  • 1 Red Onion, sliced into strips
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 Cups Yellow bite-sized Tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup Vegetable Stock
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Dried Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper

And here is how you prepare this delicious dinner… Continue reading

Warm Italian Veggie Bake

DSC01969.JPGToday is primary voting day here in Pennsylvania, and after having stressed over political and social issues and deciding who to cast my ballot for, I needed a comfort meal for dinner. This Warm Italian Veggie Bake was just that meal! Packed with savory, filling veggies, and flavored with robust Italian dressing, this meal is like a comforting hug for your taste buds! What’s even better is that it’s super easy to make and it can be prepared up to a day ahead of time and baked just before mealtime.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup Italian Dressing
  • 1 large Onion, diced
  • 1 medium Zucchini, cubed
  • 1 small Eggplant, cubed
  • 1 medium Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 8 oz. White Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 14.5 oz. can Diced Tomatoes, drained (I use Hunts Fire-Roasted Tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup (plus extra for sprinkling) Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. Dried Basil

And here are the easy-peasy instructions…

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Start with a very large skillet. You’ll want lots of room for all those veggies! Heat the Italian dressing on medium heat, until just warm and toss in the Continue reading

Vegan Spinach & White Bean Soup

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With the recent passing of pop icon Prince, I decided to pay homage to his legacy by preparing a vegan meal. For those of you who didn’t know, Prince was not only a musical genius, but a vegan. I didn’t know him personally, but I like to think that his status as a vegan is a good indication that he was also a kindhearted person who loved animals. Just guessing. Anyway, I immediately thought of this soup because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Orzo pasta, and I had some leftover Spinach from when I made my Better than Panera Quinoa Broth Bowl. This is an easy vegan dinner that can be prepared easily and quickly for a weeknight dinner, but has a flavor profile that can rival dishes at high-end restaurants. Plus, the ingredients are those that I usually have on hand for last-minute meal planning!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, minced (not pictured)
  • 2 Small Sweet Onions, Diced
  • 1 Can Cannelini Beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 Pound Orzo Pasta
  • 3 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 2-3 tsp. Dried Basil
  • 2-3 tsp. Bay Leaves
  • 2-3 tsp. Dried Thyme

And here’s how you make this delicious meal…

Heat olive oil in large saucepan. Add onions and sauté’ until they become somewhat Continue reading

Open-Faced Zucchini & Red Pepper Melts

DSC01883.JPGOn this warm spring day I really wanted something that felt light for dinner, but needed it to be heavy enough to satisfy my husband after a long day’s work. This savory Open-Faced Zucchini and Red Pepper Melts recipe is perfect! It feels light but is as filling as any other dinner meal! It’s easy to make, but takes a little extra time, so plan ahead.

What you’ll need for this recipe:

  • 1 Loaf Ciabatta Bread
  • 2 Medium ZucchiniCookie Sheet Ad
  • 1 Large Red Pepper
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 1-2 tsp. Basil
  • 1-2 tsp. Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Pepper

Here’s how you make these delectable melts…

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash and dry the zucchini and pepper. Then slice the zucchini into uniform slices, about 1/4 inch thick. Continue reading

Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Pasta

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One of my favorite appetizers to order when my husband and I go out is Spinach and Artichoke dip. I’m also a huge fan of the homemade version that often makes an appearance at family barbecues throughout the summer. I seriously cannot get enough of the stuff! So upon review of a few recipes, I decided that I had to make a vegetarian Spinach and Artichoke Pasta recipe that was quick and easy enough for dinner. This warm and cheesy dish is definitely it!

For this recipe you will need:

  • Penne Pasta (1 box)
  • Vegetable Broth (about 2-3 cups)
  • Butter (3 Tbsp.)
  • Garlic Cloves (4, minced)
  • Mushrooms (1 pkg sliced white)
  • Flour (4 Tbsp)
  • Heavy Whipping Cream (3/4 cup)
  • Parmesan Cheese, finely shredded (1/2 cup, plus some for sprinkling)
  • Artichoke Hearts (1 can quartered)
  • Frozen chopped Spinach (1 box, thawed)
  • Thyme (dried, about 1 Tbsp)
  • Pepper (to taste)

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Start off by gathering your ingredients and ensuring that your frozen spinach is properly thawed. You’ll also want to press it onto a plate with paper towels to soak up excess water or you’ll end up adding the water to your sauce later. If you don’t want to deal with the frozen spinach, feel free to use fresh. I’m sure it would be delicious!

Now that you’ve gathered your ingredients, get the water ready to boil your pasta so that it will be ready when you need it. Once it’s boiling, go ahead and prepare your pasta Continue reading