Chop, Dump and Sautee…

I like the kind of dishes that you can make over and over again without a lot of effort or thought. The kinds that you can make with different ingredients, but it’s the same idea. This meal is like that. I’ve made it lots of different ways, but it’s the same main idea… like hash.Days like yesterday where it RAINS ALL DAY, the kids are restless and trying to break everything in your house, just to keep their hands preoccupied (seriously, me finding my little boy every few minutes, with his hands busy doing something he SHOULD NOT) and it takes everything in me to just MAKE DINNER. That was last night. But… I made dinner! I grabbed a bunch of ingredients out of my fridge, chopped them up, dumped them all in the skillet, added some seasonings, and SERVED. That’s it. Done. And Delicious. There’s a few ways to do it too, depending on what meats and ingredients you have! I’ll give you the alternatives in the ingredients list. Get creative with it!

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Ingredients

  • 4-6 chicken tenderloins chopped (You can also use kielbasa, or leftover rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 large carrots diced (you can also use frozen, even mixed veggies if you want!)
  • 1-2 small to medium zucchini cut however you’d like
  • 4 small red potatoes diced (I partially peel them)OR you can use sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 TB butter
  • 1/4 cup white wine for deglazing pan and helping to soften carrots and potatoes (can use chicken broth instead!)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon herbs de provence (or Italian seasoning… herbs de provence recipe)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic (or use garlic powder)
  • You can garnish with Parmesan cheese, parsley, dried pepper flakes, basil, whatever!!

 

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Instructions

Chicken:
    1. Preheat skillet with the olive oil
    2. Add onions, carrots and potatoes
    3. Then add chicken, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste and herbs de provence (or seasonings of your choice!).
    4. After everything has browned (turn chicken over when browned on 1 side) add the white wine (or chicken broth) and butter.
    5. Cook for 8-10 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
    6. Add the chopped zucchini towards the end so it’s not too mushy.
    7. Transfer to a plate and garnish and EAT!

 

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And now, for the song of the day:

 

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Quick Leftover Rice – Chicken Fried Rice

So, I’m sitting on my back screened-in porch, watching my kids play in the sprinklers, and watching our little “home-made” terrarium filled with tadpoles…. while I food-blog. Honestly? Pretty good day! We collected tadpoles for a home-school science project to document the frog’s life-cycle. It has been so much fun! We’ve only had them almost a week, but they’ve already grown! Watching my kids want to check on them as SOON as they wake up has been really fun. It’s also been pretty cool for me! The funniest was when we went to catch them, and my daughter decided that she wanted to hold a tadpole. I said, if you can catch one, and not squish it, you can hold one. So, she sets out determined to catch one. I give her a couple of tips and she catches one! She holds out her hand SQUEALING at the top of lungs at me “I GOT ONE, I GOT ONE, I GOT ONE”, with her little hand shaking violently over the rocky ground. Out of pure thought for the poor tadpole, I told her to quickly put the tadpole back into the puddle before she drops it out of excitement onto the ground! She, luckily, properly followed instructions and the tadpole lived to see another day… at least, if a bird didn’t find that puddle later that day… 😉 My daughter doesn’t have to know that though. 🙂 I will honestly try my very best to always remember that high-pitched squeal, her excited face, and her shaking hand with that slimy little tadpole in it! Brings a smile to my face just thinking about it! So Much Fun!

So… later that night, after ALL OF THAT EXCITEMENT and trying to haul WAY to much water from the tadpole’s “home” back to our house… I did not have a lot of energy to cook dinner. BUT, I did have leftover rice from the other nights dinner. And you know what is perfect for leftover white rice? (Especially leftover from chinese takeout). Fried Rice!!!!!! This recipe is quick, easy and delicious!!!

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3-4 Servings… depending on how hungry you are!

Ingredients:

3-4 cups of leftover rice (or just cooked…)
1/2 cup of leftover chicken cut into 1/2 to 1″ cubes (rotisserie works GREAT!) or cook up a couple of chicken tenderloins and slice
1 cup frozen mixed veggies (I used the peas, carrots, corn and beans mix)
1/4 of a yellow sweet onion sliced and chopped fine
1 TB olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 eggs
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
3 TB coconut or soy aminos (or soy sauce) (or more, depending on your preference)
2 green onions

 

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Directions:

  1. If you do not have leftover rice, go ahead and start to prepare it in your rice cooker or stove top pan now.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
  3. Add onion, garlic, and frozen vegetables into the heated oil. Stir fry until tender.
  4. Add the rice and chicken and stir until incorporated. Add the sesame oil and stir again.
  5. Bring all of the rice to the side and crack your 2 eggs  into the pan (as you see above) and scramble the eggs. Once cooked, stir and incorporate throughout the rest of the rice dish.
  6. Add soy sauce to pan. Stir in soy sauce and remove from heat.
  7. Garnish with some sliced green onion and ENJOY!

 

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And now, for the quote of the day:

Slow Cooker Short Ribs and Carrots with Creamy Rosemary Mashed Sweet potatoes

For those of you with little boys… how do you keep clothing on them? And… if you can keep clothing on them, how do you keep shoes on them!?!?!?! It’s CRAZY! Every time I turn around, there is a trail of my son’s clothing from one room to another… and there he is, NAKED. Sometimes he’s in his underwear… but often naked. The other option is that he will use the restroom, and put on everything BUT his underwear… so I’ll go into the bathroom and find at least 1 pair of underwear on the floor by the toilet. WHY?! Girls are just a completely different species than boys! I’m so grateful for my little sister who has little boys… I can call her and tell her the crazy things my little boy is doing, she’ll laugh and say “oh, mine did that the other day too… completely normal!”. Ha! Thank goodness for other people to relate to!

So, chasing after my little boy and putting his clothes on seems to take up more time than it should… and so the other night, I put THIS in the crockpot on a yucky and RAINY day.

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Slow-Cooker Short Ribs with Carrots and Mashed Rosemary Sweet Potato Mash

Ingredients

Short Ribs

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4 to 6 beef short ribs (about 3 1/4 pounds)
Salt and pepper
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 TB fresh chopped rosemary
3/4 cup dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
1 cup beef broth
5 carrots diced

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

4 Sweet Potatoes
2 TB butter
1/4 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 TB chopped fresh rosemary

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Directions

In a large skillet, place 1 TB butter and heat to med-high heat until butter is melted. In the mean-time season beef with salt and pepper. Add beef to skillet and brown all sides, trying to render most of the fat off of the side of the short ribs, about 8 minutes. (Brown beef in batches, if necessary.) Transfer to the crock pot. Add red wine and beef broth, onions and carrots and all seasonings. Turn crockpot to high for 4-6 hours and LOW for 8-10 hours..

When you are about 30-45 minutes from serving your meal, wash, peel and dice the sweet potatoes. Boil in a pan with the water JUST covering the potatoes. Boil for 10-15 minutes, or until soft and then drain. Place softened and cooked potatoes into a large bowl and whip in the remaining potato ingredients (cream, butter, etc) with a hand mixer until mashed and creamy.

Once everything is done and put together, SERVE AND ENJOY!

This is comfort food, delicious… and strangely… low carb!

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And now, for the quote of the day:

"A fear of the unknown keeps a lot of people from leaving bad situations." - Kathie Lee Gifford

Spicy Beans and Rice with Kielbasa

My husband, who has a love of all things Mexican/spicy/taco related… LOVES beans and rice. Especially red beans and rice. I, personally, am kind of picky when it comes to beans. I’m all about a certain texture. Some  beans have a “weirder” texture than others. Black beans are ones that I actually like/tolerate better than others. SO… when I decided to make this dish, I had to swap out a few ingredients… and then I spiced it up a bit! Usually rice and beans is quite mild, but I thought… let’s make it a bit spicy for my hubby! It turned out delicious too! I will give options for those who do NOT want the extra heat in the dish and prefer their beans and rice on the milder side.

This dish… literally… took me 15 minutes to cook. That’s it. Start to finish. 15 minutes, DONE.  My husband took the kids and the dog on a walk, when they got back, dinner was done! That’s not hard, right?! Who needs a processed and prepackaged voila meal when you can make something like this so quickly?! AND you know all of the ingredients and sodium etc. content, because you put it in there! (Except for the kielbasa… but I get the cleanest, most natural kind I can possibly find… and the Turkey version!). So… give this one a try, you busy busy families! You won’t regret it!

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Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 package (14 ounce) All Natural Turkey (or regular) kielbasa, sliced
  • 1/2 small sweet yellow onion diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups water
  • 1 can (14 ounce) black beans, rinsed well
  • 2 mini sweet yellow peppers diced (OR half of a bell pepper)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder (SKIP if you want MILD rice and beans)
  • 1/2 tsp cajun seasoning like: Emeril’s Bayou Blast (IF you want MILD, try using 1/4 tsp of turmeric!! Beautiful color and MILD taste!)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilis (Rotel or similar) — for mild, use the diced tomatoes w/out the chilis
  • salt and pepper, to taste

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Directions
  1. Start the rice in a pan or the rice cooker. RINSE your rise until the water runs clear. I use a mesh colander. Place the rice into a pan, or rice cooker, and fill until the water covers the rice and rises to the first crease on your finger if you are BARELY touching the top of the rice…. Make sense?? If not, follow the directions on the bag. 🙂 Press COOK on the rice cooker if you have one… and move on. Otherwise, follow rice instructions on the bag.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high. Add the kielbasa and onion; sauté until onions become soft and translucent (about 3 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add in the garlic, beans and peppers and stir for about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in the cooked rice and a dash of salt and pepper. Stir until well incorporated.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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This was full of heat, and flavor, and makes my mouth water thinking about it!!

YUM! The leftovers definitely were enjoyed!!

And now, for the quote of the day:

The Dalai Lama has a Message for You. {13 Quotes to Steer your Life by} | elephant journal

Sauteed Summer Veggies and Bacon over Cheese Grits

Leftovers… seems to be the theme this week! I guess that’s not a bad thing, right?! Who wants to throw out the leftover bits of food in their fridge? Not me! I like to try to use it here and there before it goes bad! I freeze a lot of leftovers so I have time to use it. Sometimes on the weekend I copy what my mom used to do. I remember, when growing up, we used to have 1 day a week where all of the leftovers would come out of the fridge or freezer, be heated up, and that was our lunch or dinner. We didn’t want to waste good food! So these past few recipes have been me using up food from previous recipes this month. Works well!

This one I actually made for lunch! And I was able to whip it up really quick since I used leftovers!!

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Ingredients:

3/4 to 1 cup of leftover (or fresh!) cheesy corn grits (or leftover polenta!)
1 small zucchini
1 large carrot
1 piece of bacon
handful of chopped baby spinach
1-2 TB unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
optional topping of parmesan cheese
1 TB chopped onion (I used some leftover onion I had storing in my freezer)

 

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Directions:

Start out by chopping your carrots, and zucchini. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add your zucchini and carrots first. After they start to cook, add the onions and bacon and let the onions caramelize. While this is cooking, heat up your grits, either by cooking from scratch, or if you have leftovers  you add 2-3 TB of water (because the grits absorbs all of the liquid when it’s stored in the fridge) and microwave for 1-2 minutes until it is smooth and creamy again. Place the grits into a small bowl or onto a small plate and set aside. At the last minute, when the veggies are slightly browned, but still have a bit of a crunch, toss the chopped spinach into the pan and let just slightly wilt. Pour the veggies over the grits and add parmesan cheese if so desired and serve (or eat!) immediately! Enjoy!

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This dish is bright, colorful, crunchy, creamy and filling! Give this quick dish a try today!

And now, for the quote of the day:

#inspirational #quotes

Chicken and Veggie Parmesan Skillet

I can’t believe I forgot to post this last night! This one was so fresh… and the veggies added a nice crunch! We did eat a bit later last night though.
This one took me about 20 minutes. It’s quick, easy, low carb (unless you have bread as a side like I did… haha) fresh and summery! Perfect quick dish on a weeknight!
My mom had my daughter last night, so I had just my son when I was making dinner. Isn’t it strange how when you go from 2 kids (or however many you have) to 1 less… the world suddenly seems so easy? Everything is simple all of a sudden . Butterflies are everywhere, birds are chirping, you can smell the roses… lol. But seriously. I sat and talked with him and had time to give him my full attention… and he LOVED IT! I’ve gotta do that more. Have focused one on one time with each of them. They just BLOOM (only term that seemed to properly describe it) in that time. I learn new stuff about them, they talk and just snuggle into me. I cherished it. 🙂
Ok, back to food.

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INGREDIENTS:

1/2 tsp garlic, minced
2 TB olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 TB)
6 chicken tenderloins (or 3 chicken breasts)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Dash cayenne pepper powder
1/4 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
2 TB butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 sweet mini peppers chopped
1/2 cup frozen broccoli florets
1 cup frozen veggies: carrots, green beans, etc. Your choice
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

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DIRECTIONS:

1. Cook garlic, carrots and onions in a large skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add chicken, salt and pepper, oregano, cayenne powder and lemon juice and the black pepper; cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until chicken is done (165º F.).

2. Add in the vegetables and white wine (or chicken broth) and butter; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

3. Sprinkle generously with the Parmesan cheese.

Serve! This makes 3 – 4 servings depending on the size of serving you take. I served it with a couple of slices of bread. You can do quinoa, pasta, or some fruit! Totally up to you! This one was amazing!

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And now, for the quote of the day:

 

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Comfort Food: Beef Stroganoff

It was rainy and cold today. I guess I should specify that “cold” was like 57 degrees, but still. So, I felt like eating comfort food. It has been about 4 days since I had pasta (which I think, besides when I did the South Beach Diet before my wedding, it’s the longest I’ve ever gone without having pasta!). So, I saw a recipe for Beef Stroganoff and I was absolutely craving it! It looked so delicious!

Earlier today we had one of my friends and her little baby come over. Don’t you just love the smell of babies? This sweet girl also very obviously loved her mommy. I so desperately wanted to take pictures of her sweet face, and every time she saw her mommy, she smiled REALLY big and put her face in her hands! Precious right? Hard to get a picture though… have a few cute blurs though! 🙂 So while she was over it was rainy and cruddy all morning. Luckily we were ok with being inside. But it definitely put me in the mood for one of my planned meals: Beef Stroganoff. So, here it is!

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Ingredients

3-4 servings

Inspired by: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/beef-stroganoff.html?soc=socialsharingpinterest&oc=linkback
Buttered Egg Noodles:
8 ounces Egg Noodles
1 tablespoons salted butter

Beef Stroganoff:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 TB butter
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 pound top sirloin steak, cut into small cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup red wine (your favorite) **optional
2 1/4 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons Corn Starch
1/4 cup FULL FAT Greek Yogurt PLAIN
Chopped fresh parsley, for serving

wpid-1429230708966.jpgDirections
For the buttered egg noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the egg noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

For the beef stroganoff: Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Add half the meat to the pan and brown it quickly (but don’t quite cook through). Remove the first batch and cook the rest of the meat. Remove and set aside with the first batch.

Add the olive oil to the skillet and cook the carrots, garlic and onions until lightly browned. Turn off the heat and add the wine and 2 cups of the beef stock. Turn the heat back on and reduce the liquid for 2 to 3 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with the remaining 1/4 cup stock, getting out all the lumps. Pour the slurry into the skillet and cook until the sauce thickens.

Turn off the heat. Stir in the sour cream, and beef. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

To finish the noodles, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the cooked egg noodles and toss to heat through and coat with the butter.

Serve the stroganoff with the noodles, and sprinkle with the parsley.

wpid-1429230825084.jpgThis seriously hit the spot. Rainy day? Want a filling and enjoyable meal made with whole and fresh ingredients? THIS IS IT! Delicious, seriously. I would have eaten more if I wasn’t so full. I had to keep myself out of the skillet with the leftovers. I, personally, am allergic to mushrooms… so if you notice that my Beef Stroganoff does not have any mushrooms… it’s because that was intentional. If you look at the original recipe, hers does. FYI. 🙂

And now, for the quote of the day:

One of the most SIMPLE and DOWN-TO-EARTH EXPLANATION of ministry that qualifies all of us.

Quick and Easy Skillet Cabbage with Kielbasa

Sunday night and I need a quick dinner that’s filling, but won’t make me regret it the next morning. When you think Sunday dinner, what do you normally think? I usually think Chinese takeout, pizza, popcorn, oh… the list of easy options where I don’t cook could go on for quite a while! But tonight, I am remembering that I am in a fitness challenge group, and that I will be posting a picture of what I am eating. This, in turn, helps me to keep accountable to eating healthier! So… Cabbage and turkey kielbasa it is!

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Ingredients

2 TB butter or margarine
1 small head of cabbage, chopped
1/2 small sweet onion, chopped
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced (I use all natural and nitrite/nitrate free turkey kilebasa)
4 TB olive oil for sauteing
Juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup or so) plus zest
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Dash (or more if you’d like!) Hot sauce

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Directions

Heat olive oil in the skillet on medium heat. Place chopped cabbage into the skillet. Add onion and garlic. Sautee until cabbage starts to get slightly more tender (about 3-5 minutes). Add lemon juice, zest and butter and sausage. Stir until cabbage is soft, bit still has a bit if crunch (unless you like it softer). Season with salt and pepper to taste  Serve with hot sauce or a bit of cheese if you’d like. It’s good as a main dish and also as a side dish! Quite filling too! Give this one a try if you want something to make with ingredients you most likely already have in your fridge and have no clue what to make! Isn’t that how great recipe are made?!

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Enjoy!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Baked Chicken Fajitas

This recipe is a very easy one! And it’s baked, not sauteed! You get protein and veggies! Also, if you want to save a bit of calories, you can eat it over a bed of spinach or a big green salad!
Today was a bit crazy. I homeschool my daughter and this morning we decided to start school as soon as she was done with breakfast instead of waiting until our normal start time. It actually started our day our marvelously! Then, my threenager made an appearance. Did you know that a feisty 3 year old can inhibit clear thinking school time? 5 time outs and many toys and privileges taken away later… school was over, and I told my kids they must need to play outside! Luckily, they agreed! 🙂
By the time dinner time rolled around I had very little sanity or energy left! So, fajitas is easy filling and also quite delicious! Try this quick one for sure!
My recipe took a total of about 25-30 min including prep and baking time.

This is for 4 servings :

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Ingredients

1/2 pound chicken tenderloins – sliced thinly
6 mini sweet peppers – multi color – sliced
1/2 onion – cut in thin slices
2 TB olive oil
1 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 lime plus lime zest
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper

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Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Place chicken, onions and peppers on a greased cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken and veggies.
In small bowl combine chili powder, cumin, cayenne powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Sprinkle dry ingredients over the chicken and veggies and toss together on a large cookie sheet with a lip on each side.
Spread out evenly.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until chicken is cooked and the veggies are soft with a crispy edge. Zest lime over top of chicken fajitas and serve with a lime wedge to squeeze over fajitas if desired.
Serve with tortillas, sour cream, avocado, salsa, and all your favorite fajita fixins!

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And now, an idea to have a little fun… a “quote” I saw online!

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Pasta Primavera

Today everyone wanted leftovers… taco leftovers that is, except for me. I wanted my favorite pasta… and since I have decided to only eat bread or pasta like carbs at dinner time, I was CRAVING those carbs! So, I made this!

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Ingredients

8-10 baby carrots cut into thin strips
1 large zucchini, cut into bite size pieces
1 yellow squash, cut into bite size pieces
1 onion sweet yellow onion thinly sliced
4 sweet mini peppers cut into thin strip (remove pith and seeds)
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp dried Italian Seasoning
1 tsp lemon zest
1 TB lemon juice
1 TB butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 pound small pasta – I used egg noodles – you can use farfalle, or fusilli
Optional: grape tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

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Directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a cake pan, or baking sheet toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain, and set aside in serving bowl with the 1 TB of butter stirred in to prevent sticking.

Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixture in a large bowl to combine. If desired, add tomatoes. Add lemon juice and zest at this time to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

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This one hit the SPOT! Lower in calories, a ton if veggies, and just enough pasta to curb that craving. DELISH!

And now… my ongoing problem where I’m the only person who knows where anything is deserves this quote:

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