Roasted Cauliflower & Mushrooms

Roasted Cauliflower & Mushrooms


This is a great side dish, or vegetarian meal for fall. I used baby Bella and Shiitake, but any variety of mushrooms would be wonderful.







1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
16 oz mushrooms (button, wild, any of the smaller variety), cut into thick slices
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbs. thyme, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
3-4 slices of rustic bread, thickly sliced and torn into chunks
5 oz shredded gruyere cheese


Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place cauliflower in a large mixing bowl and toss with olive oil to coat. Place on unlined baking sheet. Roast cauliflower for about 15 minutes.

Place mushrooms on an unlined baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.

Remove cauliflower and mushrooms from oven. Combine into one baking sheet.
Add bread chunks and sprinkle with cheese. Roast for another 10 minutes.

NOTE: You could also substitute Parmesan for the Gruyere.


Zucchini, Sweet Potato, Avocado Rolls

Zucchini, Sweet Potato, Avocado Rolls


I was inspired by a recipe posted a couple of years ago on a blog I love,
I love roasted sweet potato and these make wonderful appetizers as well as a side dish. I am going to try a version with goat cheese, because everything is good with cheese. These are super easy. I used a grill pan for the zucchini but you could use them directly on the gill or in a grill pan on the stove top. NOTE: I think next time I will also make the sweet potato “fries”a little shorter.






  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil, divided
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • smoked paprika
  • course sea salt and pepper


  1. Slice zucchini into long thin strips, then lay out on fresh paper towels and coat with layer of salt, then let them sit for about 15 minutes. This helps to sweat the water out. After the 15 minutes, apply pressure with a paper towel to remove some of that moisture.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees, peel sweet potatoes and chop into small stubby fries, approx 1-1.5 inches long.
  3. Line a baking sheet with tin foil, lay sweet potatoes flat, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with the salt, pepper and smoked paprika  and bake 15-20 minutes.
  4. Once the zucchini has “sweat” for approximately 15 minutes, brush lightly with a little olive oil.
  5. Grill zucchini slices on an indoor grill pan {stove top} or outdoor grill until soft (approx 3-4 minutes each side). Sprinkle with salt and pepper {you may want to blot the cooked zucchini with a dry paper towel to remove any extra moisture}.
  6. Add sweet potato wedges and avocado slices to zucchini pieces and roll up.
Chilled Corn Yogurt Soup

Chilled Corn Yogurt Soup


I love sweet corn in just about every variation you can come up with. This was a yummy vegetarian side dish that I served with a Mahi burger, but would be a good main dish with a salad. I was inspired by a recipe in Runner’s world but I roasted the pepper and squash and added some caramelized onions and made a couple of my own tweaks. It would be great warm as well if you don’t have time to chill it. I could not get it smooth enough in a food processor so I used a blender.




3 ears of corn, shucked and the kernels sliced off
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow squash, cut into chunks
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 sweet onion, sliced thin
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (for onion)
1 carton greek yogurt (8 oz)
3/4 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste


Heat oven to 400, Place pepper and squash chunks on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and a bit of sea salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, heat olive oil in a large pan. Cook onions until golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a food processor or blender (I ended up using the Vitamix) add all ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl, cover and chill until cool, about 2 hours.

This would be good with a little pesto on top for a garnish.


Roasted Cauliflower and Onion Soup

Roasted Cauliflower and Onion Soup


I served this as a main dish with a mixed greens, pear and walnut salad, but it would make a great first course, too. I used an immersion blender but I think I might try a food processor or blender to make the soup a bit smoother. The taste was wonderful and it was very easy to put together on a weeknight.


1 head cauliflower
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
smoked sea salt
1 small onion, sliced thin
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper



Pre-heat the oven to 400.

Remove the leaves and thick core from the cauliflower and chop into chunks.

Line a baking sheet with tinfoil, spread cauliflower onto it in a single layer. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for about 15 minutes until tender and just starting to brown.

While the cauliflower is roasting, heat the olive oil in a large saucepanover medium heat and add the onion. Cook until golden brown and caramelized, about 10-15 minutes.

Add the roasted cauliflower and stock to the onions and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is very soft and falling apart, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and, using a hand held immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth, or puree in small batches in a food processor or blender and return it to the pot.

Add the Parmesan and stir until smooth.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with pepper.


Pasta Pie with Greens

Pasta Pie with Greens


This is an interesting way to serve pasta. I adapted this from a Smitten Kitchen Recipe. This is great as a main meal with a salad or as a side dish.



2 packages of Spinach with stems removed (you could also use kale or swiss chard)
1 pound dried spaghetti or cappellini
1 1/2 cups milk
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons water
2 to 3 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 Cup aged pecorino cheese, shredded, divided
1 Cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 Cup grated parmesan
1/2 Cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon paprika
1 pat of butter




Heat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a (or use a non-stick) 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the outside of the springform, focusing on the places where the ring meets the base, tightly in aluminum foil. Set aside. This is very important as there will be some leakage from the pan and it will make a mess if you don’t!

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until (this is also important) 2 minutes shy of done, so very al dente, as the spaghetti will continue cooking in the oven. Drain well and let cool slightly.

In a frying pan add the 2 tablespoons of water and cook spinach over low heat until wilted. Drain well. I use a mesh strainer and press all the water out.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and milk together with salt and pepper. Stir in all but 1/2 cup of each cheese and spinach, if using. Add pasta and toss to coat.

Pour into prepared springform and sprinkle remaining cheese and bread crumbs on top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling and a knife inserted into the center of the pie and turned slightly will not release any loose egg batter into the center. If the top of your pie browns too quickly before the center is set, cover it with foil for the remaining cooking time.


Zucchini “Pasta” with Roasted Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Zucchini “Pasta” with Roasted Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

I just got a spiralizer for my birthday and I tried it out for the first time. Very easy to use. This was a great meal and we will be making this again. I kind of winged it on the ingredients but it makes a great vegetarian meal with little guilt and a lot of flavor. Might be good for after Thanksgiving…



  • 1 Head of cauliflower, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil (for drizzling on cauliflower)
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (or more)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp Sriracha (optional, adds a little kick)


  • 3 zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 package raw spinach, with stems removed
  • Fresh herbs to garnish



  1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower chunks on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  2. Place in oven and roast until tender and golden, about 20 minutes, cool slightly.
  3. In a food processor, add the cooked cauliflower, milk, salt, pepper, dried herbs and Sriracha. Blend until a smooth sauce forms, approx 30 seconds to a minute to ensure texture is smooth and creamy with no lumps! Place in a microwave safe bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, place zucchini in a medium-sized frying pan greased with coconut cooking spray and cook, while stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until zucchini takes on a cooked pasta texture. Careful not to overcook! About mid way through cooking the zucchini, add in the spinach and cook lightly until it is wilted.
  5. Warm the “Alfredo” sauce in the microwave for about a minute
  6. Place spinach/zucchini pasta in serving bowls and top with sauce.
  7. Garnish with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese.
Baked Orzo & Eggplant Casserole

Baked Orzo & Eggplant Casserole


Not everyone is a fan of eggplant. My husband is not.. however I sneak eggplant into our meals all the time and he really enjoyed this dish. This was great as a main meal but could be a great side dish as well. I started with a recipe from the Smitten Kitchen and tailored it to my taste and what I had in the pantry. I would like to try this with roasted tomatoes but my pantry was out so I used canned tomato sauce.



  • 1 large eggplant, cubed
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 8 ounces orzo, a rice-shaped pasta, rinsed
  • 1 ounce can of Tomato sauce (I used Hunts with garlic, basil & oregano)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped (you can also use dried)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest or more to taste, up to the zest of a whole lemon (optional)
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella (and extra for the top)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated




Sprinkle your eggplant generously with salt and let it drain in a colander or on paper towels for 30 minutes. I used this time to get the rest of my ingredients ready. After 30 minutes, rinse it well and pat it dry on towels.

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil and once the oil is shimmering, add the eggplant. Fry for 8 minutes, stirring pieces occasionally. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer them to paper towels to drain. Add celery and carrots to remaining oil and cook for 3 minutes before adding onion. Cook together for 5 more minutes on medium heat. Stir in the orzo and tomato sauce and cook for two minutes more. Off the heat, add the oregano, mozzarella, parmesan, tomatoes, fried eggplant, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon table salt, black pepper and the stock; mix well.

Sprinkle with additional Mozzarella cheese. Bread crumbs on top might be good also.

Transfer mixture to a 2 Quart ovenproof baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes, then bake 20 minutes without the foil.

Italian Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Italian Spaghetti Squash Casserole

This recipe idea came from a wonderful food blog I altered it and added more cheese. The recipe calls for 2 cups but you can use as much or as little as you want depending on how cheesy you like your casseroles. I am not here to judge. I LOVE cheese.
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 sweet onions, sliced thin
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 packages baby spinach
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce (I used Trader Joe’s traditional Marinara)
  • 2 cups part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded 
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp smoked Paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove all seeds and place on baking sheet face down. Bake for 40 minutes or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil, add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until they are golden and caramelized – about 20 minutes. Add red pepper and cook until tender. Add spinach and continue cooking another 2-3 minutes, or until spinach is cooked and wilted. Remove from heat.
  3. Once squash is cooked and cooled, use a fork to shred flesh into large bowl. At this point, increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  4. Add egg, Greek yogurt, chili flakes and half of bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Stir in the Squash mixture until combined.
  5. Pour 1 cup spaghetti sauce into 2 quart baking dish. Next, spoon spaghetti squash mixture over sauce and spread evenly. Sprinkle with 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese. Add another cup of spaghetti sauce, spread evenly then top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and remaining bread crumbs. Sprinkle smoked paprika over the bread crumbs.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  7. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired.
Quinoa Butternut Squash

Quinoa Butternut Squash

This is a great vegetarian dish or side dish. My wonderful sister in law Brenda sent me this recipe which originally called for Farro & dried cherries. I had neither item in the pantry so I came up with my own completely different version. My husband said he would eat this every night. Which is good because we are having it as a side dish with chicken and Swiss Chard tonight.



  • 2 Tsp olive oil
  • 1 Sweet Onion, sliced thin
  • 1 Tbs Pumpkin Balsamic Vinegar (you could substitute white wine)
  • 1/4 Butternut Squash, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 Cup golden raisins or cherries
  • salt and pepper to taste



  • 1 Cup white Quinoa (I love Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 Cups water
  • salt



  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until golden and caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. They do not have to be caramelized I just happen to love onions done this way.
  3. Drizzle the onions with the balsamic vinegar and stir to mix.
  4. Add the grated butternut squash, dried fruit and vegetable broth.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes. It will be a bit soupy.
  6. In the meantime, cook the Quinoa according to the directions.
  7. Combine the cooke Quinoa into the butternut squash mixture and simmer until any broth is soaked up.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.