Baby, it’s hot outside – cool down with sun-dried tomato and tuna pasta salad


Here in Minnesota,  we are not used to heat like this.  Usually, while other parts of the country are sweltering,  we get warm and head for the lake.  We are starting our second week of oppressive heat,  with high humidity and high heat indices, well above normal.

This pasta salad is just the ticket to cool down and not use the oven…because using the oven heats the house something fierce.

courtesy of To Live & Diet in LAwpid-20150726_152401-1.jpg


  • 2 cups whole wheat rotini noodles, cooked
  • 2 cans Bumble Bee Solid Albacore Tuna, in water
  • 1 cup yellow corn
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes,  chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. Chop basil and sun-dried tomatoes.
  3. Toss all ingredients together.

Lunches this Week – Baked Summer Squash


Hello happy people!

I hope this Sunday finds you well. The last couple of weeks I’ve been on kind of a chickpea kick. Well, this week I’m mixing it up a little bit,  walking on the wild side, throwing caution to the wind!

Indeed, no chickpeas! It helped that I got a huge zucchini from a woman at work!  But here’s a wonderful baked summer squash.

courtesy of the kitchnwpid-20150726_164644-1.jpg


  • 2 pounds summer squash (zucchini,  pattypan, yellow crookneck)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Remove the stem ends and slice the squash cross-post in 1/4″ thick rounds.  Toss with olive oil.
  3. Arrange the squash in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs,  parmesan, salt, and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the squash.
  6. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes until the top is bubbly and crispy.

Sandie’s Upside-down Pizza


Whoa!  That is a whole lotta pizza goodness. My mother-in-law was a great cook. Her meals were simple,  but very tasty. This recipe is so easy and so good.  The best part… it isn’t full of preservatives and additives.


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb sweet Italian turkey sausage,  casings removed
  • 1 onion,  chopped
  • 1 red pepper,  chopped
  • 8 oz  mushrooms,  sliced
  • 1 cup pasta sauce
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup sliced black olives, as preferred
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp  salt
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese,  grated


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat.  Add sausage and cook until browned and cooked through, breaking up meat as it cooks with a wooden spoon. Drain fat,  if needed.
  3. Add onion, pepper,  and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes,  until soft.
  4. Add pasta sauce, pizza sauce, and olives and bring to a simmer.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer sauce to the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and 1 Tbsp olive oil until blended. Whisk in flour and salt until well blended.
  7. Pou flour mixture over sauce in pan. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger casserole

Hello, hello!

Let me start by saying “I love cheeseburgers”! Any kind of cheeseburger.  Bleu cheese, Gruyere cheese, Swiss cheese, cheese gumbo,  cheese curds,  cheese, cheese, cheese….wpid-20150718_173950.jpg

But I digress, this casserole is so easy to bring together,  and so delicious.  I mean, you can taste all the cheeseburger goodness in every bite!

slightly adapted from Skinnytaste wpid-20150718_180021-1.jpg


  • 2 cups uncooked rotini pasta (I used whole grain)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 onion,  finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove,  minced
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 cups reduced fat grated cheddar cheese
  • 1-2 dill pickles,  roughly chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large pot of boiling water cook pasta according to package. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat.  Add onions and cook until soft.
  4. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Stir in the turkey and cook until browned.  Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Stir in tomato paste, and then add diced tomatoes and mustard. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  7. Toss the meat mixture with the pasta and then spread into prepared pan.
  8. Top with cheddar cheese.
  9. Sprinkle dill pickle pieces.
  10. Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Cucumbers, artichoke hearts, and olives, oh my! – lunches this week

One word, YUM!

My mouth was watering the entire time I was making this salad.  C’mon on lunch time!

adapted from Naturally Ella

Mediterranean Chickpea Saladwpid-20150719_152121-1.jpg


  • 15 oz can chickpeas
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes,  quartered
  • 1 cucumber,  diced
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts,  diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup freshly minced parsley
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1/4 parmesan cheese,  shredded


  1. Chickpeas in a large bowl.
  2. Add all ingredients through almonds.  Gently mix.
  3. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over salad.
  4. Serve with cooked quinoa or pita.

lunches this week – Jamaican chickpea stew

Hello friendly faces

I hope your Sunday finds you well. I hope you like my lunches this week.  It’s Oh My Veggies, Jamaican Chickpea Stew. This dish is real easy and packed full of flavor. Perfect for a quick dinner or an easy healthy lunch!

courtesy of Oh My Veggieswpid-20150712_184209-1.jpg


  • 1  Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic,  minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp  dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup red wine (I substituted vegetable broth)
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz can chickpeas,  drained and rinsed
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes


  1.  Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and garlic and saute until onion is translucent. About 5 minutes.
  2. Add the curry powder,  thyme,  allspice, and red pepper flakes.  Cook until fragrant,  about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in red wine (vegetable broth), black beans, chickpeas, and Tomatoes.  Bring to a full boil, and then reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Serve over brown rice.

Crockpot Italian Sloppy Joe

Hello happy people!

I hope you had a wonderful and a safe Forth of July! Mine was pretty good,  relaxing and productive.

Here’s an easy and tasty recipe from Gina over at Skinnytaste. I made my own hamburger buns and added baby spinach and provolone cheese.  I really liked the taste explosion in my mouth! wpid-20150706_171104-1.jpg


  • 1 lb Italian turkey sausage, removed from casing
  • 1/2 cup  chopped onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic,  minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 green  bell pepper, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 1/3 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper,  to taste
  • Baby spinach
  • Provolone cheese slices


  1. In a medium skillet, over medium-high heat,  cook the sausage, breaking it up as it cooks.
  2. Transfer to crockpot and add onions,  peppers,  garlic,  crushed tomatoes,  rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cook on low for 4 to 4.5 hours.
  4. Serve on bun with spinachand provolone cheese.

Easy Chicken Salad with Grapes

Hello happy people!

At work today, yes I have a real job as a technical writer, I had back to back meetings that started at 9 and finished up at 3:30, with an hour for lunch and an hour to answer emails and put out fires. Just a typical Wednesday, they happen every week never fail. Obviously,  it’s my busy day.

The last thing I want to do is make a complicated dinner or any dinner at all.  I just want to get home,  slip into my M & M sleeping pants,  and veg out watching TV.

This chicken salad is so simple and delicious. You can make it in the morning,  and let it chill in the refrigerator until dinner.  Yum!

Adapted from Barbara Bakes



  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless,  skinless chicken breasts,  cooked and diced small
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup red grapes, quartered
  • Potato buns


  1. In a large bowl,  mix together mayonnaise,  sour cream, lemon juice, green onions, celery, and grapes. Mix well.
  2. Add diced chicken,  gently toss.
  3. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
  4. Serve on potato buns. Add extras like spinach, cheese, and or tomato, if desired.