One Pot Vegan Spaghetti

12 oz. whole wheat spaghetti or GF spaghetti (we like quinoa or rice)
1 small can sliced black olives
1 can cooked chickpeas
2 T capers
1/2 large white or yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 T. oregano
1 t. basil
1/2 t thyme
1/2 t red pepper flakes
S+P to taste
3 c. vegetable broth or water


Add all ingredients to a medium-large sauce pot or large fry pan. Make sure the pasta is covered by the broth (may need to break it in half). Bring the broth to a boil and then simmer on low-med heat until the pasta is cooked through.

This dish is not only great for its one-pot simplicity, but the technique of cooking the whole meal in the pasta water actually creates a creamy sauce that is delicious!

I found this recipe on Yup Its Vegan. The original recipe also has artichokes, but we aren’t huge fans so we leave them out. Hop on over to the original recipe for more details on this dish including great photos and some special notes, and to find some other delicious dinner options!



Garlic Chicken & Pasta


3 T olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
4 -6 chicken pieces (I usually use thighs) with bones
1 bulb garlic, peeled
1 cup white wine
3 T chopped fresh parsley or 1 T dried
1 fresh spring rosemary or 1-2 T dried
Pasta of choice (linguine or shells work well; you can also use rice if preferred)


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cooking over medium heat, brown the chicken on both sides. Add garlic cloves to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until golden; about 3 minutes. Slowly add wine to the skillet. Stir in parsley and add rosemary. Cover and continue to cook over medium-low heat for 15- 20 minutes. Add more wine if needed. While chicken is cooking, boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta and place in large dish. Place chicken on top of pasta and pour sauce over chicken & pasta.

I found this recipe via pinterest and it quickly became a favorite. It is very easy to make, and the sauce has a great flavor without any dairy.The flavors would also pair well with mushrooms. From the DietHood blog. Check it out for lots of other tasty recipes!



Pasta Salad

1 box whole wheat penne or rotini
3 stalks celery, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 6-8 oz container crumbled feta cheese
1 small onion, diced (optional)
salt & pepper
3/4 – 1 c vidalia onion dressing (I usually buy this, but you can make your own here)

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and rinse in cool water and let cool. While pasta is cooking, chop vegetables. Mix cooked pasta, veggies, and feta in large bowl and season with vidalia onion dressing, salt and pepper to taste. I use a lot of dressing as it soaks into the pasta. Can be served immediately, but tastes best after sitting to allow the dressing to absorb.

This is a great recipe for summer BBQs, potlucks, or just as lunches during the summer when cooking a hot meal doesn’t sound appealing.

Castellane Pasta with Marscapone and Grape Tomatoes


2 pints grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 lb castellane pasta or medium (regular) shells
1 1/4 cups mascarpone cheese (from a 1-lb container)
2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)
1/4 cup minced fresh chives

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large shallow baking pan with foil and butter foil.

Arrange tomatoes, cut sides up, in pan and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Roast until slightly plumped, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water , stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 12 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking water, then drain pasta well and transfer to a large bowl. Add mascarpone and stir until melted. Add reserved cooking water, tomatoes, half of parmesan, 3 tablespoons chives, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and toss well, then cool to warm.

Butter a 3-quart (13- by 9-inch) gratin or other shallow baking dish. Toss pasta mixture again, then spoon into gratin dish. Sprinkle remaining parmesan over top. Bake pasta until golden and bubbly, 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon chives.

I got this recipe from Laura Beals. It is a great recipe when you are having dinner guests because you can make ahead and have everything cleaned up before your guests arrive. Plus it is absolutely delicious! I’ve never been able to find Castellane pasta, so I just use small shells. Also you can substitute a mixture of cream cheese and sour cream if you can’t find marscapone cheese. The original recipe can be found here.

Homemade Granola


4 C old-fashioned oatmeal
2 C sweetened shredded coconut **
2 C sliced almonds
1 1/2 C dried craisins, chopped ** (can use dried cherries)
1/2 C vegetable oil (like Canola — not olive oil)
1/3 C good quality honey
2 t. ground cinnamon (I used 3 heaping teaspoons)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 large cookie sheets with foil.
** I ADDED THE CRAISINS/CHERRIES AND COCONUT DURING LAST 10 mins of baking time.  Otherwise, they get too hard in the granola mix.
Toss the oats, coconut, almonds and craisins together in a large bowl.  Pour the vegetable oil and honey over the mixture.  Add the cinnamon and stir with a wooden spoon until all oats and nuts are well coated with the liquids.  Pour onto cookie sheets.  Bake, stirring every 10 minutes with a spatula until the mixture turns a nice, even golden brown.  About 25-30 mins.  (my batches are done in 25 mins.)
Remove from oven and allow to completely cool.  Store in airtight containers.
You could always divide this to make less!

This recipe was introduced to me by Janis George, better known as Marmee. It originally comes from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, who always has fabulous recipes.

Eggs, Beans, Avocado, & Cous Cous


1 c. cous cous
1 c. chicken broth (or water)
1 avocado, sliced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tomato, diced
2 eggs, fried

Boil chicken broth and add cous cous. Stir, remove from heat and let set. Fry eggs in pan. They are great a little runny.
Divide cous cous on plates, then add black beans, avocado, tomatos. Top with fried egg and serve warm.

This recipe is great as breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Another quick and easy meal.

Traditional Chadian Meal

1.5 kg (3.3 lbs.) of fresh beef (steak)
2 bags of chopped spinach
1 16oz container of organic creamy peanut butter w hint of salt (Maranatha brand is the best)
peanut oil for cooking
1-2 beef bouillon cubes
2 t salt
4 – 5 garlic cloves
2 large onions
1 – 2 jalapeno hot pepper
3 c jasmine rice
1 c rice flour

Rinse 3 cups of jasmine rice in cold water and let it sit
Cut fresh beef into small pieces
Chop 2 large size onions and 4-5 gloves of garlic: mix both thoroughly
Pour 3-4 table spoons peanut oil in a cooking pot on medium heat
Add chopped onion and garlic and stir until caramel color
Add pieces of beef and stir into the onion-garlic mix for 10 minutes
Add 2 tea-spoon of salt to the mix
Turn heat down to low add 1 -2 jalapeno pepper into the mix and put the lid over the cooking pot and
check every 5-minutes to ensure nothing is burning (water from onion and meat should be sufficient to
keep this cooking for 45 minutes)
Meanwhile, bring 6 – 8 cups water to a boil and add rinsed rice. Cook until soft enough to be mashed into a paste.
While rice is cooking, and after stew has cooked for 45 minutes, add 2-3 cups of water and turn heat to medium for 25 minutes
At this phase put 1-2 bouillon cubes into water glass filled to about ¼ and let them dilute or use a fork to
do the job.
Empty approximately half of creamy peanut butter into a bowl and add about 2 cups of water. Use
a fork to stir until you obtain a creamy mush.
Add both bouillon cube and peanut butter solution to the meat stew, stir thoroughly.
Add chopped spinach to the mix and stir thoroughly and then put the lid back on and wait for about 15
minutes before turning off the heat. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

When rice has finished cooking, add 1 cup of rice flour. Put the lid back on and let the mix stay on warm for 10-20 minutes
Use a wooden spoon to stir and make a mashed-potato-like paste.
Once mixture is hardened yet soft enough to cut with fork or spoon empty it into a plate
Let the rice paste cool down for about 10 minutes.

Serve you spinach sauce over rice boule just like you would gravy over mashed potato.

We have a great friend Nanga from Chad. This is a meal he shared with us during his celebration of becoming a U.S. citizen. It was delicious! This is definitely a meal that can be made in the crock pot or simmered all day long to increase the flavors.