Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

House update: we were outbid on the house we liked. Womp, womp.

I’m trying to comfort myself by reminding myself of all the negatives. Like, the super pink early-90s kitchen and the extra bathrooms to clean. I’m also trying to relish the fact I no longer have to worry about showings – which means I can actually do some meal planning! And after all the fast food I’m excited about all the vegetables.

This spaghetti squash version of pad thai has been one of my favorite Lenten dinners so far. If you’re a slow chopper like me, this will take a bit to prep – but it’s flavorful and the contrast of the cooked squash with the other raw veggies is great!

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
(adapted from Tasty)
Serves 2

1 spaghetti squash
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp.  sesame oil
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. Sriracha
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large cucumber, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, coin-sliced
1 red bell, diced
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 onion, diced

Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the water, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, lime juice, Sriracha, peanut butter, and garlic to make the sauce.

When the spaghetti squash is done, shred the inside with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the sauce and remaining ingredients until well combined. Serve immediately.

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai



Barbecue Turkey Sloppy Joes

I hit on this dinner a few weeks ago and it was a smashing success. I’ve made it twice so far. Leftovers have been served over baked sweet potatoes for lunch. And then I made the barbecue sauce again to go over meatloaf another night.  Considering how often I repeat recipes (read: not very!) the fact that this keeps popping up is a testament to how much we’re enjoying it.

This really couldn’t be easier to pull off on a week night – mix everything for the sauce together, brown up the meat and veggies, combine them and done! It also reheats really well so it’s great to make ahead for nights when you literately just have time to microwave something.

Barbecue Turkey Sloppy Joes

Barbecue Turkey Sloppy Joes
(from The Foodie and the Fix)
Makes 5

1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
2/3 cup water
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 tsp. pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. liquid smoke

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste
Whole wheat buns, for serving

In a bowl, whisk together the first 9 ingredients – tomato paste to liquid smoke.

In a large non-stick skillet, brown together the turkey, bell pepper, and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Break up the turkey as it cooks. When the turkey is cooked through and the vegetables are soft, stir in the sauce and cook until heated through. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve on rolls.

Barbecue Turkey Sloppy Joes


Egg Roll in a Bowl

My friends have been raving about this recipe and now that I’ve tried it I totally understand why. This is super simple – but super good.

The idea here is that you make egg roll filling, but don’t go through actually wrapping it up – which is kind of brilliant. I’ve made egg rolls before, but they’re time consuming and deep fried, so they’re not something I make on the regular. This version is lighter and perfect for a weeknight!

Egg Roll in a Bowl

Egg Roll in a Bowl
(adapted from Mostly Homemade Mom)
Serves 4

1 lb. ground pork
1 bag coleslaw mix
1/2 cup soy sauce
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. Chinese five spice
1/2 tsp. sesame oil

In a large skillet, brown the ground pork, breaking up as it cooks. Once cooked, stir in the coleslaw mix.

Stir together remaining ingredients in a small bowl then add to the pan. Toss to coat. Cook for five more minutes, to let flavors combine.

Egg Roll in a Bowl



Eggplant and Garlic Pizza

You know those recipes you have pinned forever and when you finally make them you’re like, why did I wait so long?! This was one of those.

My kids love pizza of all kinds – and I loved the idea of the eggplant – so this was a win all around for us. It was gobbled up in record time.

It is, admittedly, a bit more time consuming than the pizzas I normally make, but it was totally worth the extra effort. The eggplant and garlic combo on pizza is amazing. I can’t wait to make this with fresh-from-the-garden eggplant this summer!


Eggplant and Garlic Pizza
(slightly adapted from A Family Feast)
Makes 1 12″ pie

1/2 lb. pizza dough at room temp
1/2 eggplant, thinly sliced
1 tsp. salt + additional for sprinkling
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
Enough vegetable oil to fill a skillet 1/2″
1/3 cup pizza sauce
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
3 cloves minced garlice
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
Olive oil, for drizzle

Lay eggplant slices in a single layer and salt liberally. Let sit for 30 minutes, then rinse.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper. Coat each eggplant slice in the flour, shaking off excess.

Heat the vegetable oil in skillet. Fry the eggplant slices for three minutes, flipping once. Remove to a paper towel to drain.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Roll dough out into a 12-14″ circle.

Spread the sauce over the dough and top with 1/2 cup mozzarella. Sprinkle the garlic, basil and oregano over, then lay the eggplant slices on top. Top with remaining cheese. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for about 7 minutes, until the bottom of the crust is browned.



(Leftover) Turkey and Cranberry BBQ Sauce Pizza #ThanksgivingLeftovers

Leftover turkey + leftover cranberry sauce = pizza night, of course.

I’ve always preferred to reimagine my turkey leftovers into non-Thanksgiving fare – like Turkey Cranchiladas or Turkey and Chorizo Hash – and this pizza fits right in. The cranberry sauce gives you a slightly sweet, slightly tart edge to your barbecue sauce – and it pairs awesome with the turkey and cheese.

This is a great dish to make at the end of the weekend when your turkey and stuffing sandwiches are getting tired!


(Leftover) Turkey and Cranberry BBQ Sauce Pizza
(slightly adapted from Recipe Runner)
Makes 1 12″ Pizza

1/2 lb. pizza dough
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
3 Tbsp. barbecue sauce
1 cup turkey, shredded
1 1/2 cups mozzarella
2 Tbsp. red onion, thinly sliced
Chopped cilantro, to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Roll out the pizza dough and place on the prepared baking sheet.

In a small bowl, stir together the cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce and spread over the crust. Top with turkey, cheese, and red onion.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is golden.

Top with cilantro and serve.

Looking for more leftover ideas? I’ve teamed up with a bunch of great bloggers today to share lots of great ways to use up your leftovers:

Cranberry-Orange Brie Bites by Books n’ Cooks

Cranberry-Topped Baked Brie by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

(Leftover) Turkey and Cranberry BBQ Sauce Pizza by Kate’s Recipe Box

Prosciutto & Asiago Stuffed Mushrooms by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Spicy Turkey Quesadillas by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Thanksgiving Leftover Empanadas by The Redhead Baker

Turkey Croquettes by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Turkey Gumbo by Palatable Pastime

Turkey Pot Pie by Making Miracles


Lemon Pepper Chicken Kabobs

Despite the leaves starting to change, summer weather has been hanging on around here. We had several days in the 90s this week! I’ve been doing a little scrambling to get in some last-minute summer dishes on our weekly menu, because I know this won’t last.

I’m loving these afternoons where I can let the kids play in the backyard while I get dinner going on the grill. We’ve been eating on the deck a ton. I’m going to miss it terribly when the weather cools down.



Lemon Pepper Chicken Kabobs
(adapted slightly from The Gunny Sack)
Serves 4

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/4 cup vinegar
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning, divided
1 bunch of asparagus
1 lb. new potatoes
2 lemons

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, vinegar, and 2 Tbsp. of lemon pepper seasoning. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

While the chicken marinades, cut the asparagus into bite-sized pieces and add them to another bowl. Toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning.

Poke each potato with a fork and add to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. If the potatoes are larger than your chunks of chicken, cut in half once they’re cool enough to handle, then toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. lemon pepper.

Cut the lemon into wedges.

When the chicken is finished marinating, thread all the prepared ingredients onto skewers and grill over medium-high heat until the chicken is cooked through.


Quinoa Pizza Burgers with Garlic Bread Buns

I’m sure none of my long-time blog readers are surprised to see that pizza has made it’s way into the Lenten dinner series. I’m a pizza fan. It was bound to happen.

The beauty of these is – like pizza – you can top them however you want. If it wasn’t Lent, I would have added some pepperoni on top. Ham and pineapple would also be good. These are a great idea if you’re looking for a meal that will please both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike!


Quinoa Pizza Burgers with Garlic Bread Buns
(adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie)
Serves 6

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
2/3 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 tsp. oregano
3/4 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. basil
1 cup cooked or canned pinto beans, drained and mashed
6 burger buns
6 slices of mozzarella cheese
6 Tbsp. pizza sauce
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. garlic powder

In a small saucepan, combine quinoa, water, and salt. Bring to a boil and then turn heat to low and cook for 14 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
Combine cooked quinoa, tomato paste, spices, and mashed beans. When well  combined, divide into six equal parts and form into patties.
Spray a skillet with non-stick spray and cook patties over medium heat until both sides are browned and patties are heated through. Top with 1 Tbsp. pizza sauce each and a slice of mozzarella cheese. Cover and let cheese melt.
Meanwhile, spread melted butter over the cut side of the buns and sprinkle evenly with garlic powder. Broil until toasted.
Serve burgers on toasted buns immediately.

Cauliflower Nachos

A lot of my Lenten Friday dinners are recreated junk food or takeout fakeout. There’s a reason for that. By the time Friday rolls around, that’s really all I want. And I’m assuming I’m not alone in that since pizza is such a popular Lenten dinner.

So, here’s another option if you’re thinking of ordering pizza tonight.

No, you won’t be fooled into thinking the cauliflower is tortilla chips – but this is delicious in it’s own right. And you’ll feel more virtuous downing a whole plate!


Cauliflower Nachos
(from Delish)
Serves 2

1 large head cauliflower, chopped
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese
Your favorite nacho toppings – we used salsa, black beans, black olives, pickled jalapenos, and sour cream

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with olive oil. Sprinkle spices evenly over the cauliflower and toss to coat. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes, until golden and crispy.

Top with cheese and any other toppings you want warm and bake for 5 minutes more, until the cheese is melted.

Add remaining toppings and serve.


Skillet BBQ Chicken Pasta

‘Tis the season for comfort food. I’m not sure if it’s holiday stress or the weather getting colder but I now want all of my food to be warm and cheesy. Which totally does not agree with losing the baby weight. And knowing that I’m going to totally blow any good eating at holiday parties, I’ve been trying to be a little more careful with family dinners.

Luckily, I have some awesome blogger friends to lean on! This lightened-up comfort food dish from Prevention RD‘s cookbook totally hit the spot. This was warm and cheesy and perfect – without the guilt.


Skillet BBQ Chicken Pasta
(from Prevention RD’s Everyday Healthy Cooking)
Serves 4-6

1 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 red onion, diced
2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
12 oz. whole wheat penne
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/3 cup cheddar, shredded

Heat the oil in a large, non-stick skillet until shimmering. Add the chicken and onions and cook until chicken is cooking through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

In the same skillet, at the water, chicken broth, penne and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer 12-15 minutes, until liquid is mostly absorbed and pasta is tender. Stir in barbecue sauce and Greek yogurt. When well combined, stir in the cheeses and reserved chicken mixture. Cook until heated through. Serve immediately.


Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Roast

This meal was so easy! Are you sensing a theme around here? If it’s not quick and easy, I pretty much can’t handle it these days. Going forward, let’s just assume everything I post is quick and easy unless I say otherwise.

On top of being easy, this is freezer friendly. I prepped and popped it in the freezer – and then thawed the day before cooking. If you’re someone who likes to prep ahead, this is a fantastic option.


Slow Cooker Cranberry Onion Pork Roast
(adapted from New Leaf Wellness)
Serves 4

2 lbs. pork loin
15 oz. can whole cranberry sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dried minced onion

Place pork in the slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over pork. Cook on low for 6 hours.