Tag Archives: vegetarian recipe

Creamy Pasta Shells with Mushrooms, Green Beans & Pine Nuts


Last week as I was flipping through my cookbooks looking for some inspiration while meal planning, I came across a recipe in my Essential Vegetarian book that caught my eye. It was a recipe for fettuccine with creamy mushroom and bean sauce. I decided to use whole wheat pasta shells and altered some of the ingredients, and the meal came out pretty delicious if I do say so myself!



Creamy Pasta Shells with Mushrooms, Green Beans & Pine Nuts
Serves: 6
  • 12 oz [whole wheat] small pasta shells
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • ¼ onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large portobello mushroom cap, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 6 oz green beans, trimmed and thinly sliced diagonally
  • 3 TBSP chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup grated pecorino romano
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Cook the pasta according to directions. Drain and return to the pot.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened. Add the portobello slices and string beans and cook for about 5 minutes or until the veggies are slightly tender, stirring often.
  3. Pour in the white wine, veggie stock and cream. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Mix the sauce in with the pasta. Add basil, pine nuts, grated cheese, and sun-dried tomato slices and toss to combine well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 480, Fat: 23 g, Carbohydrates: 51 g, Fiber: 7 g, Protein: 11 g

Plum Tomato & Goat Cheese Quiche

I love to experiment in the kitchen, but sometimes life gets just too hectic to spend a lot of time playing around creating meals. This was certainly the case the past couple of weeks with preparing to move, and now, getting all unpacked. When you’re not sure where your plates are or have to go digging through boxes to find a knife to work with, meals tend to be pretty simple.


That’s why lately my dinners have included some quick, staple meals – including brown rice with veggie quesadillas, salad with pasta, and grilled cheese  & homemade sweet potato fries. I can’t wait to get all settled in so that I have the tools and energy to be more creative in the kitchen again. Just another day or two and I’ll be there!

Even when I don’t have a big life happening going on like a move, some days just get really busy and I need to whip up dinner easily and without much thought. That’s where my go-to meal ideas come in handy. While some of them aren’t quite as simple as a grilled cheese, they all require minimal prep work, and I know I can count of them to be tasty. This brings me to today’s recipe:


This quiche takes about 10 minutes to prep, then you can get things done around the house, squeeze an at-home workout in, or perhaps relax with a glass of wine while it bakes in the oven. Quiches are also great as leftovers – whether it be for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Plum Tomato & Goat Cheese Quiche
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 1 frozen deep dish pie crust
  • 5 plum tomatoes
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ TSP fresh basil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup [low-fat] milk
  • ¼ TSP salt
  • ¼ TSP pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Place the pie crust on a large baking sheet.
  3. Thinly slice the tomatoes, then arrange evenly around the bottom of the crust.
  4. Evenly sprinkle the goat cheese over the tomatoes.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the milk and eggs. Whisk to combine well, then pour into crust.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Bake until lightly browned, 35-45 minutes.
  8. Allow to slightly cool, then cut into 8 slices.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice, Calories: 170, Fat: 9 g, Saturated fat: 4 g, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Protein: 7 g


Sunday Night Dinner: Mexican Casserole

As usual, the weekend has zipped by and Sunday night is already here. I’m hanging out with my little family in my living room this evening, watching football with our Christmas tree lit. I’ve had so many winter-themed candles  burning today, it smells like a mix of peppermint, sugar cookies, mocha and pumpkin in my house — quite a yummy combo! My hubby and I just enjoyed this meal…

Can you tell that I’m in a Christmas kind of mood? 😉

I’ve had a package of veggie protein crumbles (aka the vegetarian version of ground beef) in my fridge for a bit, waiting for a recipe idea to come to mind to use it for.

I found that inspiration in a recipe for vegan enchilada casserole on the Oh She Glows website. I adapted her recipe to make my own casserole creation. This dish is the perfect meal for a healthy Mexican-themed dinner night!

I enjoyed the casserole with some tortilla chips + sour cream:

Mexican Casserole
Serves: 6
  • 1 package of Lightline Smart Ground Veggie Protein Crumbles
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 TBSP taco seasoning
  • 1-14 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 TSP olive oil
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup green onion
  • ½ red onion
  • ½ TSP salt
  • ¼ TSP pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mince red onion and green onion. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, chop bell peppers and jalapeno. Add the veggies to the skillet. Crumble the veggie crumbles into the pan and pour the diced tomatoes in.
  4. Add the taco seasoning to the mixture and mix together well. Let it cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Combine the rice with the veggie/crumbles mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Evenly distribute into an 8x11 baking pan. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.
  7. Allow the casserole to cook until the cheese bubbles, 15-20 minutes. In the mean time, dice the avocado.
  8. When the casserole is done cooking, remove from the oven and top the mixture with avocado chunks.
  9. Enjoy the dish with sour cream, salsa, tortilla chips, etc.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 280, Fat: 9 g, Carbohydrates: 33 g, Sugar: 3 g, Fiber: 7 g, Protein: 19 g

Election Night Fare: Spinach & Red Pepper Quiche

Happy Election Day! Like a lot of people in the U.S. this evening, I’ve been tuning in to my television watching the projections and stats for the presidential race. I was so distracted with election coverage, I forgot to photograph tonight’s dinner until we had eaten half of it….

When I’m preoccupied with other things, like watching a game or in this case, an election, a quiche is a great meal to make. This is because there’s little prep time, and once I pop it in the oven, I can just let it bake while paying little attention to it. Tonight’s quiche centered around a bag of fresh spinach I had on hand.

Spinach & Red Pepper Quiche
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 1 frozen pie crust
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 6-oz bag of fresh raw spinach
  • 1½ cups of shredded mozzarella, provolone, fontina or Italian mix cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of low-fat milk
  • ½ TBSP olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ onion, minced
  • ¼ TSP salt
  • ⅛ TSP pepper
  • ¼ TSP Italian seasoning
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the red pepper and spinach to the mix, a few handfuls at a time. Cook until spinach is wilted.
  4. Meanwhile, combine milk, eggs, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning in a medium bowl. Whisk together well.
  5. Sprinkle ½ cup of the cheese on the bottom of the pie crust. Add the spinach mixture, pour the milk mixture over top, then sprinkle the rest of the cheese evenly on top.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the foil, and continue to bake until quiche is lightly browned on top, around 15 minutes.
  8. Let quiche cool, then cut into 8 slices.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 204, Fat: 12 g, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Protein: 10 g

Back to my television to wait and see who will be our next president. Good night!

Heirloom & Avocado Bruschetta on Focaccia

My favorite kind of weekends are those that have a good balance of busyness and relaxation. These past few days were just the right mix of things. Highlights of the weekend include mountain biking, checking out the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival, house hunting (yes, we’re looking!), hanging out at the beach for a couple hours and watching football.

I also completely unplugged from my computer for a full 24 hours. Between working from home, blogging, and social media, I feel like I’m always on my laptop. It’s nice to have a day every so often when I don’t even turn my Mac on!

Another fun part of my weekend was the NY Giants bandana I ordered for Harley arriving. She completely hates it and keeps biting it, but I can’t stop cracking up at how funny she looks with it on:

Seriously, how can that not make you laugh? I decided I’ll only torture her with it on game days.

This weekend I didn’t spend much time in the kitchen, but tonight’s dinner creation is one definitely worth sharing:

I spotted asiago and garlic focaccia at the farmer’s market a few days ago, and decided to nab it and see what I could come up with. When I later came upon some heirloom tomatoes and avocado, I knew they’d be a perfect pairing with the focaccia, and so I made a tasty bruschetta dish with an avocado twist. While bruschetta is most often an appetizer, these focaccia were the main event of my dinner.

To start, I preheated my oven to 350 and popped the focaccia in the oven to bake until golden brown. Meanwhile, I cubed my avocado and chopped my tomatoes and red onion:

I combined everything in a large bowl, added fresh basil, salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, and tossed it all together:

Once the focaccia was done, I removed it from the oven and cut into 6 slices. I then spooned the tomato mixture onto each focaccia slice evenly, sprinkling with additional salt and pepper, then enjoying! The precise recipe is below:

Heirloom & Avocado Bruschetta on Focaccia
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 1 large focaccia bread (55 g), I used an asiago & garlic flavored one
  • 6 medium heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • ¼ small red onion
  • 2 TBSP fresh basil leaves
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • ½ TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ TSP salt, plus more for sprinkling to taste
  • ⅛ TSP pepper, plus more for sprinkling to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place the focaccia on a large baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, around 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, chop tomatoes and red onion and cube avocado. Place everything in a large bowl.
  4. Roughly chop basil and add to the bowl. Add salt and pepper, and drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar in. Toss well to combine.
  5. Once focaccia is done baking, remove from oven and slice into 6 pieces.
  6. Spoon the tomato mixture onto each slice evenly. Sprinkle additional salt and pepper to taste.
If you don't have focaccia available, you can swap it for sliced Italian bread. The focaccia I used serves 6 and has the following nutrition info per slice: 170 calories, 8 g fat, 21 g carbs, 5 g protein.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 piece, Calories: 250, Fat: 14 g, Carbohydrates: 29 g Protein: 6 g

Pesto with a Twist

Happy Saturday! My morning was spent hiking with my hubby and dog; then my afternoon consisted of relaxing on the beach in Del Mar. It was a gorgeous day and I’m happy I got to spend most of it outside. Pretty nice weekend I’m having so far!

Moving onto food…

I’m not a huge pesto sauce fan. I don’t dislike it, but I don’t go crazy for it either. Yet for some reason this week I was in the mood to eat pasta with pesto. Sadly my basil plant is coming to an end (and I need to get another one very soon!), so during this week’s food store trip, I nabbed a big container of fresh basil.

While I wasn’t looking to change up a classic pesto sauce too much, I did want to try to decrease the amount of oil I used. As I peered around my kitchen, I spotted wine and thought This could be a good idea! And so, a pesto wine sauce was born:

Fettuccine with Pesto Wine Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 12 oz fettuccine
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 TBSP white wine
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 cups of packed basil
  • 2 cloves basil
  • ⅛ TSP pepper, plus more for sprinkling
  • ¼ TSP salt, plus more for sprinkling
  1. Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. Meanwhile, combine basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a food processor. Pulse until well combined.
  3. Gradually add parmesan cheese and wine, scraping the sauce from the sides of the processor. Pulse until everything is mixed together well.
  4. Once pasta is cooked al dente, drain and return back to pot.
  5. Add pesto to the fettuccine, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix together evenly, and enjoy while it's hot!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 oz pasta + ¼ sauce, Calories: 515, Fat: 22 g, Carbohydrates: 67 g Protein: 13 g

I’m off to spend the rest of my Saturday enjoying a glass of wine and a movie with my little family. Good night!

Loaded Veggie Fajitas

If you’d read my blog before, you know that I love to cook. Though my hubby is a meat-eater and I’m a vegetarian, I’m lucky to be married to a guy who is not a picky eater. However, the dinners I make with my Marine around can be pretty different from the ones I put together when I’m on my own.

You see, I can eat a nice salad or a simple dish of beans and brown rice for my evening meal and be content. For Adam, that’s not so much the case. He needs to eat a heavier dinner (and at least twice as much as me!), and so sometimes it can be a bit of a challenge to continuously come up with good dinner ideas that’ll work for both of us. I love my pasta and carbs, but I definitely shouldn’t make that for us every night, and he’s not at all into protein pancakes for dinner as I am. 😉

I have my staple dinner ideas that I know will always work for us, but since I get bored easily with eating the same things all the time, I’m constantly on the prowl for new dinner recipes. I like to do a combo of things – between flipping through my cookbooks and checking out recipes in magazines and online, to concocting dishes in my head as I walk through the grocery store (and sometimes when I’m laying in bed, working out or walking my dog!).

Last night’s dinner was a new meal: healthy veggie-loaded fajitas. Though I’ve made tacos and fajitas before, I had never made them quite like this. Both my hubby and I had happy, full bellies afterwards!

Loaded Veggie Fajitas
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
  • 2 small red potatoes
  • ¼ red onion, minced
  • ½ green bell pepper, cut into slices
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into slices
  • ½ large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into thin slices
  • 1 TSP vegetable oil
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ TBSP dried thyme
  • ½ TSP salt
  • ¼ TSP pepper
  • ¼ TSP paprika
  • Flour tortillas & your toppings of choice: salsa, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, etc.
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes. Remove and cut into thick slices. Note: Potatoes should not be completely cooked yet.
  3. Combine oil, lemon juice, white wine, basil, thyme, and paprika in a food processor. Pulse until well blended.
  4. Put sliced potatoes, peppers, onion, and zucchini a large bowl.
  5. Pour the marinade over the veggies, and toss to mix thoroughly.
  6. Arrange the veggies on a sprayed large baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.
  7. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned. Half way through the baking time, flip all the veggies over.
  8. Serve with all your favorite toppings and flour tortillas.
*These fajitas are highly customizable, so use GF corn tortillas to make em gluten free, or you can leave out the cheese or use vegan cheese to keep it dairy free. Whatever works for you!*
Nutrition Information
Serving size: for ⅓ of veggies: Calories: 130, Fat: 2 g, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Protein: 4 g

Red Wine Portobello Calzones

Hi friends! It’s been another football filled Thursday night in my house, and my New York Giants just killed it and crushed the Panthers! 🙂

Before I get to food, here’s a cute puppy picture:

I spent some time with this 10-week old cutie volunteering last night at the Humane Society. I doubt I’ll ever see him again, as he’ll probably be adopted by the time I get back there next week. Such a sweetie!

The recipe I’m sharing with you tonight is adapted from the Skinny Bitch cookbook:  

Calzones remind me of my grandma’s house. Sometimes when I hung out there growing up, we used to order food from this local Italian joint, and I frequently would get a mozzarella & ricotta calzone. I first made this recipe when I had a craving for one of those calzones. They definitely satisfy a restaurant calzone yen, but include more veggies and leave out an excessive amount of calories!

Red Wine Portobello Mushroom Calzones
Serves: 4
  • 1 TBSP safflower oil
  • 2 large portobello mushroom caps, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ yellow onion, minced
  • 1 TBSP dried oregano
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 whole wheat pizza dough (I buy Trader Joe's)
  • 6 servings of fresh mozzarella, cut into bite sized chunks
  • ¼ TSP of each salt and pepper, or to taste
  • Flour for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic, onion, and portobello mushrooms and cook until veggies are tender, around 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes into the mix and season mixture with salt, pepper and oregano.
  5. Pour the wine into the saute pan, and bring to a boil. Let the mixture cook at a slow boil until it appears the liquid has reduced by half.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium-low and partially cover the pan. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Working on a flour-dusted surface with a rolling pin, roll out the pizza dough into 4 equally sized circles.
  8. Place dough on a large lightly greased baking sheet.
  9. Put a quarter of the veggie mixture on half of each crust. Evenly divide mozzarella among each dough.
  10. Fold the dough over to cover the filling and pinch the edges to seal.
  11. Cut a small incision on the top of each calzone to allow steam to escape.
  12. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
*I find it hard to seal the dough edges in a pretty manner, so don't worry if you can't get it to look perfect. It'll still taste great!*
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 calzone, Calories: 435, Fat: 17 g, Carbohydrates: 52 g, Protein: 21 g


Portobello Goat Cheese Burgers

Before I get to my delicious dinner creation tonight, here’s a recap of my eats today. As I discussed in yesterday’s post about eating ample amounts of goodness to help me get over this dreaded cold, I ate a lot of fruits and veggies today:

Breakfast this morning was a chopped Granny Smith apple sprinkled with cinnamon, topped with a Stonyfield Greek caramel yogurt + 1/2 serving of cashew pieces:

I had a lunch date with a girlfriend I haven’t seen in awhile. We had a fun time catching up at PF Chang’s, where I munched on a mixed greens salad + steamed vegetable dumplings:

After lunch, I headed to the Marine Corps base to watch a ceremony that my hubby was in. Being that it was 90 degrees outside today (which feels pretty damn hot when you’ve been spoiled living in San Diego!), I came home craving a cold snack, so I had a Yasso strawberry frozen Greek yogurt bar…

… and then I felt like I needed some more protein, so I had a serving of cottage cheese along with a nectarine:

For dinner tonight, I wanted to use the portobello mushrooms I’ve had sitting in my fridge. I came up with a burger creation that is definitely worth sharing with you!

Portobello Goat Cheese Burgers

Serves 2 


  • 2 large raw portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 2 oz creamy goat cheese
  • 2 handfuls of raw spinach
  • 2 whole wheat burger buns (Nature’s Own)
  • 1 vine ripe tomato, cut into thick slices
  • 2 TBSP white cooking wine
  • 1/4 TSP garlic powder
  • 1/4 TSP dried basil leaves
  • Pinch of sea salt & pepper

Heat your grill to 350. Warm cooking wine in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add spinach and cook just until wilted, then set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, basil, salt and pepper. Cut the stems off the mushrooms, then brush the balsamic mix on both sides of each one.

Place portobellos on the grill stem side down, and cook for about 8 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender.

Flip mushrooms over, and brush them again with the balsamic mixture. Cook 5 minutes more.

Spread 1 oz of goat cheese on each portobello, then top each with tomato slices and wilted spinach. Let them cook for 2-3 minutes longer, then remove from heat. Place on burger buns and enjoy!

Nutrition stats per burger: 300 calories, 15 g fat, 13 g protein, 31 g carbs

Last on my list of eats for the day, my snack tonight was a treat. My parents sent Adam and me a gift…

Chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements! Tonight I ate a chocolate covered apple, banana and strawberry:

And on that delicious note, I’m off to enjoy the rest of my Friday night. Hope your weekend is off to a good start!

Broccoli Red Pepper Quiche

Adam running down a bike trail hill

Yesterday marked my first mountain biking excursion of the year.

Biking on a rocky, mountainous trail is both exhilarating and scary. One of the things I love about San Diego is that we have access to so many things in such a short distance — from the beach and wineries, to mountains and countryside. The place where Adam and I went biking yesterday is just a couple minutes away, yet it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. It was a lot of fun and a nice workout.

Speaking of bikes, this weekend my hubby got another kind of bike:

That’s right, I suppose I’m going to be a biker babe now! Adam has been wanting a motorcycle, and what better time than soon after he returned home from a deployment, right?! He’s in the process of getting his motorcycle license, and soon we’ll be cruising around town together.

Moving onto food, today’s recipe is a tasty dish that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner…

Broccoli & Red Pepper Quiche

Makes 8 Servings


  • 1 deep dish frozen pie crust
  • 2 c chopped broccoli
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 c milk (I use almond or cow’s milk)
  • 1 1/2 c shredded mozzarella, cheddar, or other cheese of choice
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP butter or olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Heat the butter/oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.

Add onions, garlic, broccoli and bell pepper. Cook until veggies are soft, stirring occasionally.

Place your pie crust on a baking sheet. Spoon veggies into the crust, then spread the cheese on top.

In a bowl, combine the eggs and milk, whisking to combine. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Pour the egg mixture over the veggies and cheese. Bake for around 35 minutes, until quiche is lightly browned.

Nutrition stats per slice: 190 calories, 11 g fat, 8 g protein, 15 g carbs