Southwestern Vegetarian Pasta

It’s been a while since I posted some “real food”…I figured you guys probably couldn’t live very well off of solely cupcakes, cookies, and brownies.

Southwestern Pasta | Beautiful Disasters

This here is one of my favorite dishes I have ever put together. It’s one of those vegetarian meals that you don’t even realize there is no meat in there. Pasta is always a great meal choice for vegetarians because it is filling and you can throw in all kinds of veggies to get your vitamins and nutrients in.

Southwestern Pasta | Beautiful Disasters

This dish is one of my favorites because it is a great break from the traditional pasta dishes. Sure vodka sauce is delicious, red sauce is easy, Alfredo is rich and decadent, but this one just spices it up and brings a new meal and new tastes to the table. All the veggies mixes with the black beans and spices fill you up while giving you that Southwestern vibe with the flavors.

Southwestern Pasta | Beautiful Disasters

Southwestern Vegetarian Pasta

(Serves 6-8)

1 package (1 lb.) pasta, I used farfalle and it was perfect!

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 Tablespoons chili powder

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 onion, diced

29 oz. petite diced tomatoes

15 oz. black beans

about 1 cup corn

  1. Heat 1-2 Tablespoons of oil in a large, deep skillet. Saute onion, green pepper, garlic, chili powder and cumin. Add in tomatoes, black beans, and corn. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for about 11 minutes (or according to package directions for al dente); drain.
  3. Combine pasta and sauce. Enjoy!!

Southwestern Pasta | Beautiful Disasters

Layered Zucchini Parmesan

I have to say, zucchini has shocked me. I never fully appreciated zucchini until recently.

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Zucchini is an awesome and super beneficial vegetable that is low in calories, aids in digestion, maintains low blood sugar, curbs overeating, provides fiber for your diet, has plenty of vitamins A and C which act as powerful antioxidants, and provides you with loads of potassium. Zucchini can be easily “sneaked” into baked breads and whatnot, aaaand it also tastes great in savory dishes like the one I’m sharing with you all today.

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You will fall in love with this zucchini parmesan. You’re going to want to make a big dish of this if you are serving it for your family. It is a good idea to double the recipe if you are planning on serving this as a meal with a salad and bread. We ate this as a side with ravioli and bread, but I will for sure enjoy it again in the future as the main dish, doubling the recipe.

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Remember, when you double the recipe, you need to double the baking time!

Layered Zucchini Parmesan

(as a side, serves 3)

1 1/2 medium zucchinis

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 cup colby jack cheese

1/4 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs

3/4 cup pasta sauce

olive oil

cooking spray

salt

pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a cooking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Slice zucchinis into about 1/3 inch slices, try your best to make them uniform size. Place slices in a medium size bowl and lightly coat with about 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Set aside
  3. In a medium-small bowl, mix together bread crumbs and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon each is good)
  4. Coat zucchini slices in breadcrumb mixtures, then lay flat on sprayed cooking sheet. Coat all zucchini slices, and once all of them are placed on cooking sheet, bake in preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Watch carefully and be sure they don’t burn!
  5. Remove zucchini slices from oven, and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, coat the bottom of a baking dish, I used a round casserole dish (about 8 inches in diameter) with a layer of pasta sauce. Next, lay a layer of the baked zucchini slices on top of the pasta sauce, use about half of them. Then layer a mixture of the colby jack and parmesan cheese on top of the zucchini slices. Layer again with pasta sauce, then zucchini, then cheese, until everything is used up. You should end with a layer of cheese on top. At this point, you may cover the dish and place it in the fridge to bake the next day, or you may bake it now if you plan on eating it right away.
  6. Heat oven to 400 degrees F and bake uncovered dish for about 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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Random Fact of the Day: 7-11 sells 10,000 pots of coffee an hour, every hour, every day.

Healthy Start to the New Year

So many people always make that “I’m gonna be healthier this year” New Year’s resolution, so I thought I’d give y’all a little push in the right direction, because we all know I will be posting many cookie, cupcakes, and brownie recipes soon. So here are some recipes on more of the health[ier] side.

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1. Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta

2. BL(S)T Pasta Salad

3. Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

4. Veggie Lasagna

5. Healthy Pumpkin Streusel Bread

6. Healthy Baby Pumpkin Breads

7. Super Secret Cookie Dough

8. Fiesta Quinoa Salad

9. Low-Fat Banana Bread

10. One-Ingredient Creamy Dreamy Ice Cream

11. High Protein Energy Balls

12. Mexican Flair Wraps

13. Broccoli Cheddar Soup

14. Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

15. Southwest Chicken Salad

Random Fact of the Day: Israel’s Dead Sea is 1,312 feet below sea level.

Popeye’s Pasta

I’ve realized it has been quite a while since I shared a non-dessert recipe! I’m not sure if I even want to know what you guys think of my eating habits. I swear I’m not addicted to sugar and butter! (at least that I know of)

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So to give you a break from all the sweets, I’m sharing with you all one of my absolute favorite pasta dinner dishes. I have used many different types of noodles for this. Penne, fusilli, farfelle, are all great, basically whatever floats your boat.

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One of my favorite combinations in savory dishes is parmesan cheese, spinach, and bacon and this pasta dish combines all of those!

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This is one of those easy and quick to prepare dinners that really satisfies and is comforting and warming in this winter season. So when you want to take a break from all the cookies and cupcakes, fix up yourself a nice dish of popeye’s pasta.

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Wondering why it’s called Popeye‘s Pasta? Click here! :)

Popeye’s Pasta

1 box pasta

1/4 cup unsalted butte or margarine

2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 (9 oz.) bag of spinach

1/4 cup bacon bits

  1. Prepare pasta as directed on box, drain, place pasta back into large pot. Add butter (or margarine), cheese, spinach, and bacon bits to pasta. Mix and stir over the lowest heat until cheese is melted, spinach is wilted, and everything is thoroughly combined. Serve and enjoy!

Random Fact of the Day: There are 92 known cases of nuclear bombs lost at sea.

And the winner is…

After using a random number generator that I have heard good things about from other blogs, the lucky winner was the 5th comment…

The  lucky winner is Cathy from the Reinvented Lass! Congratulations Cathy!! I hope you enjoy your new cutting board, apron, eco-friendly kitchen towel, and coupons for free Buitoni pasta! I have already e-mailed you, letting you know about your lucky day :-)

Thank you all for your entries, this was super fun hosting my first giveaway and I can’t wait to do another!