Grilled Vegetable Pasta



This grilled vegetable pasta is a hearty dinner that doesn’t take too long to make. You can make this with so many different kinds of grilled vegetables. Use whatever you have on hand.

First, you want to grill your vegetables. Heat your grill to a medium heat.

Grilled Vegetables

  • 1 pgk of baby portabella mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 cup of red and yellow cherry tomatoes
  • Olive Oil, to coat
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Clean your veggies. Cut the eggplant lengthwise, slice the onion into “circles” and cut any large mushrooms in half (I left smaller mushrooms whole.) Put everything but the tomatoes in a bowl and pour in olive oil, salt and garlic powder. Using tongs, toss to mix


Once you put the veggies on the grill, add the tomatoes to the bowl and toss with the remaining oil mixture and set to the side. Grill everything but the tomatoes for about 8-10 minutes on each side, or until done.Take them off of the grill and put them aside.


While your grill is still hot, put on the tomatoes. Flip them around. You just want them to blister and pop. This will take probably less than 1 minute. Cut the eggplant into 1/2″ pieces when they are cool enough to touch.


Now, it’s time to put everything together.



Grilled Vegetables (see above)

1/2 lb pasta (I used Gemelli)

1/4 C. Olive Oil

6-8 leaves of basil, sliced into long, thin ribbons

grated parmesan cheese, to taste

salt & pepper, to taste



Grill the vegetables, as indicated above.

Add pasta to salted boiling water until done. Drain and return to pot. Add in oil, veggies, basil, salt and pepper. Toss. Top with grated parmesan.



Tomato & Cucumber Salad

tomato and cucumber salad

tomato cucumber salad


Juicy tomatoes combined with crispy cucumbers are the basis of this simple and easy salad. The addition of black olives and basil bring this salad together just perfectly.   Some people refer to this type of salad as an Italian Tomato Salad.

This is a perfect summer salad, because you can use what you have in the garden or get at the farmers market. If you have a garden, then this is very inexpensive to make.

After combining all of the ingredients, the oil and vinegar “juice” at the bottom is great to dip a nice Italian bread. Mmmm. So delicious! I wasn’t in the mood, but some people add onions to this. Another great addition would be fresh mozzarella.

This tomato & cucumber salad is one of those recipes where there’s no exact science. You can add more or less of the ingredients to your liking.


tomato and cucumber salad

Tomato & Cucumber Salad
  • This recipe can be adapted to your liking, so there's no exact amount to use of each ingredient.
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • ½-1 cucumber
  • ½ can black olives, drained
  • 3-5 basil leaves
  • about ⅓-1/4 C. olive oil (I used canola oil, but olive oil is preferred)
  • ¼ C. red wine vinegar
  • ½-1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Roughly chop tomatoes and cucumbers to about ½-1 inch cubes and add to bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and combine.
  3. Keep in mind the black olives are nicely salted, so you may not want to add that much salt.
  4. Serve immediately, or put in the refrigerator to marinate.

Yellow Summer Squash Fritters

stacked summer squash fritters final

stacked summer squash fritters final

I wanted to make a zucchini recipe but realized I already used all of the green zucchini. I had a nice sized yellow zucchini I forgot about and that’s when my “ah ha” moment came. I need to make fritters!

Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk about this name thing. I’ve always called the yellow squash that I get “yellow zucchini”. A little researched showed that what I was using was actually a yellow summer squash and not a yellow zucchini. Check out this post on Examiner to tell the difference between yellow summer squash and yellow zucchini.

Ok, now back to the fritters.

Yellow Summer Squash Fritters 2

This yellow summer squash fritters recipe tastes just as good cold as it does warm. You can add these as a side dish to so many different meals. They are vegetarian, but not vegan, as they do contain egg.

squash collage

All of my taste-testers gave them two thumbs up. One said that it needed to be dipped into something. (Stay tuned for a dip recipe!) My two-year old taste-tester ate one with a smile!

Summer Squash Fritters
  • 21/2 C shredded yellow summer squash
  • ¼ C all-purpose flour
  • ¼ C corn meal
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp olive oil, to bind (more or less, to bind ingredients)
  • canola oil, for frying
  1. Add canola oil to your frying pan and put on medium heat. I used enough where it was about 2 inches of oil.
  2. Using a dish towel, squeeze as much liquid out of the squash as you can.
  3. Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon until combined.
  4. Take about 1 Tbs of mixture and flatten into a disc shape. Add to your heated oil. Fry until golden brown and flip. (about 4-5 minutes per side.)
  5. Drain on paper towel or napkin lined dish.
  6. Makes about 10 fritters, depending on size you make.

 Yellow Summer Squash Fritters

Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil Sandwich

tomato mozzarella basil sandwich

tomato mozzarella basil sandwich

 The perfect summer sandwich: cold, fresh, and easy.

How about this. Fresh mozzarella combined with juicy tomatoes and aromatic basil layered between a good ciabatta bread. Take it to the next level with the addition of garlic powder, salt, pepper and a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. YUM!

Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil Sandwich
  • Loaf of ciabatta bread
  • fresh mozzarella
  • tomatoes
  • basil
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  1. The ingredients aren't exact, as you will use it to fit the size of the bread you have and the amount you want to add!
  2. Layer the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil on the bread. Drizzle with EVOO and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.


 This tomato, mozzarella and basil sandwich can be eaten as-is or you can even make it a gourmet.  Cook it on the stove just like a regular grilled cheese, use a panini press, or put it on the grill. It’s a simple, yet versatile Italian-inspired sandwich.

tomato mozzarella basil sandwich 2

tomato mozzerella basil leave no leftovers

Eat it alone or pair this sandwich with a soup or a salad. Try this Super Easy Bean Salad or Tri-Color Quinoa Salad.

Green Pancakes for St. Patrick’s Day

pancakes w choc chips w text

GREEN pancakes w blueberries w text


Nothing says St. Patrick’s Day like green! We see green bagels, green beer…and here are some green pancakes.  These pancakes can be made any day of the year, but with the addition of green food coloring, they’re perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

Kids will love these for breakfast. You can use shamrock shaped cookie cutters like I did and use both the shamrocks and the round pancake with the shamrock shaped hole. I stacked the pancakes and filled the “hole” with chocolate chips. I also filled some with blueberries.

Want to give your kids a little surprise? Fill the pancake with their favorite fruit or chocolate inside and top with one of the cut out shamrocks, to hide it.

If you do this, come back and let us know how it went!

pancakes w choc chips w text

Green Pancakes for St. Patrick's Day
Recipe type: Breakfast
  • 1½ C. Milk
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbs white sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 TBS canola oil
  • green food coloring
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk egg and milk. Add this to the flour mixture. Whisk until there are no lumps. Add green food coloring a few drops at a time, until desired green color is reached.
  3. Heat pan over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Pour batter onto heated pan, using more or less batter, depending on the size of the pancake you want. When bubbles form on the top of the pancake, it should be ready to flip. Check readiness by lifting an edge with a spatula and check if brown. Flip and cook until the other side is brown.


green pancake collage

st patty pancakes w text

Peanut Butter and Banana Stuffed French Toast

peanut butter banana french toast with text

peanut butter banana french toast with text

Peanut butter and banana and french toast fans unite! Better than plain old french toast, this stuffed french toast recipe is a unique combination of a peanut butter and banana sandwich and french toast. Wonder if Elvis would have like this? 😉

The filling has no added sugar, this way, you don’t overload on sugar if you use syrup. If you don’t want syrup but want a little extra sweetness, you can add a little dusting of powdered sugar on top.

If you don’t do peanut butter because of allergies or just don’t like it, you can try a nut butter that you like. Almond butter would be great with this!

If you like this recipe, be sure to pin it on pinterest! Just hover your mouse over the picture and click pin it!

peanut butter banana in process w text

Peanut Butter and Banana Stuffed French Toast
Recipe type: Breakfast
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp water
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ banana, sliced thin
  • 3-4 TBS creamy peanut butter
  1. Spread peanut butter on both slices of bread in a thin layer. Try to avoid getting close to the edges so it doesn’t spill out. Add banana slices on top of the one slice of bread and and top with other slice of bread.
  2. Preheat pan over medium heat. Melt butter.
  3. Whisk together egg, vanilla and water and put in a shallow dish, big enough to fit the bread.
  4. Coat both sides of the “sandwich” by dipping into the egg mixture.
  5. Cook for 2-3 minutes and flip over and cook the other side.

If you wanted a variation, you could add raisins, cinnamon, or even marshmallow fluff. Ooooh, maybe I should try that! Stay tuned…

peanut butter banana 2 with text

Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes w/ Avocado Buttercream Frosting

Avocado Cupcake

Avocado Cupcake

Avocado? In a cupcake? It may sound weird but if you are an avocado fan, you will be pleased.

Replacing the oil with avocado in the cupcakes makes it soft and fluffy.

The avocado taste in the frosting is subtle yet tasty. It lightly tints the frosting green so it’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

What do you think? Have you ever had avocado in a dessert? Let us know!

Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes w/ Avocado Buttercream Frosting
Recipe type: Dessert
  • Cupcakes
  • Ingredients:
  • Boxed chocolate cake mix and the ingredients it calls for minus oil
  • ⅓ C. Ripe avocado, mashed (to replace the ⅓ C. oil)
  • Frosting
  • Ingredients:
  • 5 Cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Stick of butter, softened
  • 1 Ripe avocado, mashed
  • 3 tbs milk
  1. Cupcakes
  2. Directions:
  3. Follow directions on box, omitting oil and replacing equal amount of mashed avocado. Reduce baking time by 5 minutes. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  4. Frosting
  5. Ingredients:
  6. Using a stand or electric mixer, beat butter and avocado until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar until combined adding milk, as necessary, to desired consistency.


Quick and Easy Black Bean Soup

easy black bean soup

quick and easy black bean soup

It was a cold and frosty day. I wanted something filling, but not too heavy. Not sure what I was in the mood for, I headed for the pantry. A can of black beans stared at me…hmm. Soup! Yes, creamy black bean soup! So I grabbed this and that and went to the stove to create my black bean soup from scratch.

It was so simple and easy to make. I had everything I needed right in my kitchen. I’m trying to be more mindful about what I eat. So, I used low-sodium black beans to make it even more healthy.

This soup doesn’t have too many ingredients. Besides the beans, there’s vegetable broth and onions. Fresh cilantro tied it all together. Yum. A great vegetarian and vegan soup.

This protein-packed soup would go well with a nice crusty piece of bread and a salad.

Quick and Easy Black Bean Soup
Recipe type: Soup
  • 3 15oz cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 20oz Vegetable Broth
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3-5 fresh cilantro leaves, optional
  1. in a pot, saute onion over medium heat until they start to turn translucent
  2. add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes, until heated through.
  3. Let cool a little and use hand/emersion blender to make a nice smooth soup.

easy black bean soup

Chunky Avocado Salsa

Chunky Avocado Salsa

chunky avocado salsa 2

This chunky avocado salsa recipe is a great meat-free alternative. It’s sure to please vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

Football season is among us and this would be the perfect dish to bring to a friend’s to snack on with some tortilla chips. This is a perfect Super Bowl party recipe.

When you combine the ingredients this salsa stays chunky, but also gets a little creamy from the avocado. The corn in this salsa recipe adds a nice sweet crunch.

I wasn’t in an onion-y mood when I made this, but this would be great with some diced red onion. Also, you can use a few minced garlic cloves instead of garlic powder to add a more fresh zingy garlic taste.

Serve this chunky avocado salsa with tortilla chips. The scoop kind is perfect to pick up this chunky salsa.

Chunky Avocado Salsa


Chunky Avocado Salsa
Recipe type: Dip, Appetizer
  • 3 Tomatoes, diced
  • 2 Avocados, diced
  • 1 C. Corn (I used Canned)
  • 1 C. Black beans
  • Handful of fresh cilantro (to your taste)
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • ¼-1/2 tsp salt (depending on how salty you like it)
  • pepper, to taste
  • 21/2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. In a medium bowl, add diced tomatoes and avocados and stir gently.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips. The scoop kind are great for this chunky dip.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pasta

roasted brussels sprouts with pasta

Brussel sprouts or Brussels sprouts?

…that is the question. When I pronounce it, it seems to come out sounding like “Brussel sprouts” but apparently the correct way is Brussels sprouts. According to, “Brussels sprouts are named after the fact that they were cultivated in Belgium in the 16th century. Knowing this little fact will also help you remember that it’s Brussels sprouts, not Brussel sprouts…”

So, there we have it. There’s an “s” at the end of Brussel. Now, that we have that out of the way, check out the delicious recipe below.

roasted brussels sprouts with pasta

I was not a big fan of Brussels sprout as a kid. Seems that’s normal. I don’t know when, but one day I realized that they are actually tasty. My favorite way to eat them is roasted, just like in this recipe. Roasting the Brussels sprouts first, caramelizes them adding a delicious richness. The only “sauce” on this dish is olive oil. It’s a simple, rustic, and comforting recipe. I like my Brussels sprouts a little more “well done”. So, they’re a bit darker in the pics than what yours may look like. This would be great with a creamy sauce like Alfredo.

roasted brussels sprouts with pasta 3

*Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pasta
Recipe type: Dinner
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Pasta
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  1. Roast the Brussels Sprouts:
  2. Preheat oven to 350*
  3. Wash and cut Brussels Sprouts. Drizzle a little olive oil on a non-stick baking sheet (tip:line with foil for easy clean up.) Put the brussels sprouts cut side down on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bake for 15 minutes and turn the brussels sprouts over, and cook for 15 minutes more.
  4. Choose your favorite pasta and cook according to package directions. Plate and top with brussels sprouts, drizzle with olive oil, add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese.

*When roasting the Brussels sprouts, you may have to adjust your time. They should be a nice deep brown color on the outside, and some leaves may even become crisp. The inside should be soft, but have a nice bite. Don’t let them burn.