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Vegetarian Penne Pasta with Butternut Squash, Mushrooms, Scallions, and Goat Cheese

(Makes 4-6 servings; recipe created by Kalyn.)


  • 8 oz. brown Crimini Mushrooms (also called Baby Bellas or Baby Portobellas)
  • 1 T + 1 T olive oil
  • 1 lb butternut squash, cut into pieces about 3/4 inches square (they don’t all need to be the same size and shape)
  • 1/2 tsp. Vege-Sal or salt plus freshly ground black pepper to taste, to season the squash as it cooks
  • 2 cups Penne or other similar pasta shape (I used Dreamfields Penne, which is a low-carb pasta)
  • 1/2 cup diagonal sliced scallions (green onions), green part only
  • generous amount salt for pasta cooking water, at least 1 tsp. (The pasta doesn’t absorb all that salt, but it will taste flat without it.)
  • 2 oz. goat cheese, or slightly more (You can use Feta if you’re not a fan of the more pungent goat cheese.)
    freshly-grated Parmesan for serving, optional


Cut the Butternut squash into cubes (or buy the precut if you wish)

Wash the mushrooms and cut into thick slices. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, add mushrooms, and saute until they’re nicely browned, about 6-8 minutes. While mushrooms cook start the pasta water boiling. adding a generous amount of salt, and measure out 2 cups of pasta. Cut the butternut squash into cubes about 3/4 inches square or slightly larger.

When the mushrooms are nicely browned, remove them to a bowl. Add the other tablespoon of olive oil and when it’s hot add the butternut squash and cook, turning every few minutes, until the squash is nicely browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season squash with the Vege-Sal (or salt) and freshly ground black pepper as it cooks. (Depending on how hot your stove is, you may need to turn the heat to medium.) Add the pasta to the boiling water when you start cooking the squash. Cook pasta 10 minutes from the time it comes to a boil.

While the squash cooks, diagonally slice the scallions and measure out 2 oz. goat cheese. When the squash is browned and cooked through, add the mushrooms back into the frying pan, along with any accumulate liquid. Turn heat to low to keep it warm without cooking more.

When the pasta is cooked to al-dente (still slightly chewy), scoop out 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and then drain pasta into a colander placed in the sink.  Put drained pasta back into the pot you cooked it in, stir in the goat cheese, and let it melt for about a minute.  Add some of the pasta water, as much as you need to feel like the cheese had made kind of a sauce.  When cheese is melted, gently stir the cheese-coated pasta into the squash and mushrooms. (You can add the rest of the pasta water at this point if you think you need it; I thought it was “saucy” enough without any more water.)  Gently stir in sliced scallions and serve hot, with Parmesan cheese to add at the table if desired.

Pesto + Mushroom Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Originally published Killing Thyme

Enjoy Italian flavors and hearty mushrooms in this delicious low-carb meal. It’s also great reheated!Spaghetti Squash



  • 1 spaghetti squash approx. 2.5lbs
  • 3 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 5.5 oz baby bella mushrooms sliced
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan or pecorino romano
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste


Optional garnishes:


  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Fresh basil


Cooking the squash:


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Lightly oil a baking sheet.
  • Carefully slice the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.
  • Drizzle each half with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Place squash, open-side down, onto the prepared baking dish.
  • Roast in the oven until tender, about 30 minutes. (While the squash roasts, you can prepare the filling to save time.)
  • Remove squash from oven and let rest until cool enough to handle, or handle it while wearing oven mitts.
  • Scrape the flesh with a fork to create strands.




  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet.
  • add the garlic and onions and simmer until garlic is fragrant, approx. 2 minutes. Stir often to prevent the garlic from browning.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook until tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Dump the spaghetti squash strands into the skillet.
  • Add the pesto, tomato sauce and shredded parm.
  • Stir to coat the squash.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Evenly redistribute the squash mixture into each squash bowl.
  • If topping with mozzarella, do so, and give the squash broil until mozzarella melts


  1. Garnish with fresh basil and serve.

Vegetarian Cassoulet

This recipe is from SMITTEN KITCHEN

A hearty fall dish

Serves 4-6

Ingredients from Vegetarian Cassoulet:

  • 3 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 4 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch-wide pieces
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch-wide pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 parsley sprigs
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 3 cans cannellini beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, with their juice
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 quart stock

For garlic crumbs:

  • 4 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs from a baguette
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


Halve leeks lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces, then wash well and pat dry.

Cook leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic in oil with herb sprigs, bay leaf, cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, then stock, and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes.

Make garlic crumbs while cassoulet simmers:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Toss bread crumbs with oil, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a bowl until well coated. Spread in a baking pan and toast in oven, stirring once halfway through, until crisp and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool crumbs in pan, then return to bowl and stir in parsley.

Finish the Vegetarian cassoulet:

Discard herb sprigs and bay leaf. Mash some of beans in pot with a potato masher or back of a spoon to thicken broth. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, sprinkle with garlic crumbs.


Vegetable Salad with Black Beans

End of summer vegetable salad with black beansVegetable Salad with Black Beans

serves 4-6

This Loaded Summer Vegetable and Black Bean Salad is a perfect way to use all that fresh summer produce that needs to be eaten!  It’s great as a side dish or with chips!

Ingredients for Vegetable Salad with Black Beans

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 small summer squash, diced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans,
  • 1 cup cooked corn kernels
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 small orange bell pepper, diced                  Vegetable Salad with Black Beans
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Directions for Vegetable Salad with Black Beans

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 teaspoon olive oil and diced zucchini and summer squash.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender and browning, 10 minutes.  Let cool for about 5-7 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl add the cooled zucchini and squash, black beans, corn and all the remaining veggies.
  3. Top with 2 teaspoons olive oil, lime juice, cumin, chili powder and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix until everything is combined.  Enjoy with as a dip for chips or as a side dish!

If you’re making this salad ahead of time, wait until serving to add the avocado.  Salad will stay good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.



Cauliflower is the star in this healthy lasagna, appearing in two roles-once when it’s blended into the ricotta cheese filling for texture, and a second time when it’s roasted and used in place of the traditional meatballs or sausage…

Ingredients   [ For 7 to 8 people ]    [   Preparation time : 22 minute  –  Cooking time : 35 minutes  ]

  • 8 cups cauliflower florets (from 1 head cauliflower; about 2 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for coating the lasagna noodles
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 (28-oz) can no-salt-added whole plum tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, 4 sliced and 1 chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 8 oz whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 10 noodles)
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Preparation Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  2. Toss the cauliflower in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Spread the florets in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast, tossing once, until tender and golden brown in spots, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool slightly.
  4. Put the tomatoes in a medium bowl and use your hands to crush them.
  5. Rinse the can with 1 1/2 cups water and add it to the bowl of tomatoes.
  6. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil with 4 cloves sliced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small Dutch oven over medium heat until the garlic begins to sizzle and becomes aromatic about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes.
  8. Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate, about 30 seconds.
  9. Add the crushed tomatoes with their juice and 4 large leaves of basil.
  10. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 40 minutes.
  11. You should have about 3 3/4 cups of sauce.
  12. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the lasagna noodles one at a time into the pot.
  13. Cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain the noodles in a colander.
  14. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons oil to the noodles, tossing to coat to prevent them from sticking, and drape over the side of a large bowl.
  15. Combine the ricotta, egg, 1 1/2 cups of the roasted cauliflower and 1 chopped clove garlic in a food processor and pulse until evenly pureed.
  16. Tear the remaining basil into small pieces, add to the food processor and pulse 3 to 4 more times to chop the basil finely, but not puree.
  17. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
  18. Assemble the lasagna: Spread a thin layer of sauce (around 1/4 cup) on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  19. Lay 4 of the noodles on the bottom, without overlapping, cutting to fit, if necessary.
  20. Spread with half of the cauliflower-ricotta mixture, followed by half of the roasted cauliflower, one-third of the tomato sauce, one-third of the mozzarella and one-third of the Parmesan. Loosely fit 3 more noodles on top of the cheese without overlapping.
  21. Spread with the remaining cauliflower-ricotta mixture, followed by the remaining roasted cauliflower, one-third more of the tomato sauce, one-third more of the mozzarella and one-third more of the Parmesan.
  22. Top with the remaining 4 lasagna noodles, cutting just to fit.
  23. Then add the remaining tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan.
  24. Cover with foil and bake until bubbly and hot, about 20 minutes.
  25. Remove the foil and cook until the cheese begins to brown, about 10 minutes more.
  26. Allow to rest for 10 minutes so the lasagna will cut more easily. Garnish with the parsley.

Marinated Slow Roasted Onions

Marinated Slow Roasted Onionsmarinated onions

Serves 8


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes optional
  • 4 large white or yellow onions (See Note 1)
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped
  1. Blend marinade ingredients in small bowl and pour into a baking dish that will hold all 8 onion halves. I use 8×8″ baking pan or round 12″ baking stone (pictured) depending on size of onion.
  2. Trim the end of onions and cut horizontal (leaving skin on) and place wide side down in marinade. Marinate overnight covered in refrigerator.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Flip the onions over in the marinade, and lay on the flat bottom of each side. Top each onion with 1/2 tablespoon of butter and remaining teaspoon of rosemary.
  4. Roast in oven for 1 hour or until golden brown, basting once or twice during roasting. Remove from heat, spoon reduced sauce over and sprinkle with parsley or more fresh chopped rosemary. Remove from skins and serve.

Recipe Notes

  1. Trims ends off onions, slice in half horizontally, keeping the skin on to hold shape and protect the outside as it later roasts.

Onion Patties (an alternative to onion rings)


3/4 cup flour                                     1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon cornmeal                     2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons salt                                3/4 cup milk

2 1/2 cups chopped onions (about 2 small onions)

oil for frying

In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients, then add milk and stir. This will give you a thick batter.    Add onions and mix until well blended.

Heat 1/2 inch oil in skillet over medium high heat. Drop batter by tablespoons into the hot oil.     Flatten with the back of a spatula, then brown on both sides until crispy, golden brown.   Drain on paper towel, sprinkle salt to taste.

Pro Tip: You can make these even more craveworthy by adding in :1/4 cup green pepper, 1/4 cup cooked mushroom, or sprinkle cheddar on top after you’ve finished cooking. So. Delicious.

Greek Quinoa Salad

Another great SUMMER Salad!Greek Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 cup olives (I used a green/black mix)
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped fine
  • 2 ounces low fat feta
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  1. Place vegetable broth and quinoa in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil. Boil uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain in a fine metal colander.
  2. Rinse pot and bring two inches of water to a boil. Place quinoa in the metal colander over the water. Cover and steam for 10 minutes.
  3. While quinoa is steaming, combine chopped spinach, tomato and lemon zest in a small boil.
  4. When quinoa is cooked, drain the water. Rinse the pot and return the quinoa to it. Add the spinach mixture and cover. Allow to sit covered for 5 minutes or until spinach wilts.
  5. Add parsley and feta.
  6. In a small bowl, combine 1 T olive oil, 1 T balsamic vinegar and garlic. Toss with salad


Another great Summer recipe. Visit the Grand Ledge Farmer’s Market for all your summer vegetables!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredientsgrilled vegeables

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the grill
  • 1 each red and yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and quartered
  • 1 small red onion, cut into thick rings
  • 2 zucchini, thickly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 yellow squash, thickly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Oil grill grates, then preheat grill to medium high heat.
  • Working in batches, grill peppers, onions, zucchini and squash, flipping once, until just charred in parts and tender, 6 to 8 minutes total
  • Transfer to a large platter as done.
  • Set aside to let cool before cutting into bite-size pieces.
  • In a large bowl, combine grilled vegetables, garlic, vinegar, oil, basil, chickpeas, salt and pepper.
  • Garnish with Parmesan and serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve.

Texas Caviar Recipe

Summer time is time to enjoy salads!texas cavier


  • 1 cup sugar ( I use agave nectar and a little less than that)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup white cider vinegar
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion diced or a bunch of green onions sliced
  • 1 can corn (drained)
  • 1 can each black eyed peas  and black beans(rinsed and drained)

Mix well and enjoy.

Note from Dr C:  this is to me a basic recipe…I throw in whatever beans I like, I have added edamame/Chickpeas/kidney beans.  Also celery and shredded carrots have found their way into this mix and it keeps for a week in the fridge (if you are lucky).