Zucchini with Lemon and Walnuts

I can’t tell you how much I love this “recipe.”  Honestly this had barely made it to the plate before I was tucking into it.  It’s a classic Italian veggie dish that is definitely a crowd-pleaser… Plus it’s gorgeous and takes five minutes to make–chop, plate, enjoy!  This is about to be one of the dishes you’ll make every week.

photo 2 (5)photo 1 (5)

-2 small zucchinis

-juice of 1/2 of a lemon

-1/4 c walnuts, roasted and chopped

-1 Tbsp olive oil

-salt and pepper to taste

Cut off the ends of the zucchinis and slice them paper thin–I like using my mandolin for this part.  Arrange the ribbons of zucchini on a platter, squeeze the lemon juice over, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and finish with the walnuts.  Wasn’t that fast?!  Enjoy!


Tuesday’s Table – Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Shrimp Fra Diavolo is something I am always drawn to at Italian places but I never know quite what it is or how to pronounce it.

After a little research (thanks, Google!) I know now that Fra Diavolo means “angry brother” in Itlaian, and it is traditionally a spicy tomato and seafood pasta dish. No wonder I am drawn to it!

I was trying to make something that didn’t require a grocery run, and this is what I came up with because I had cherry tomatoes, canned peeled whole tomatoes, and good frozen shrimp. All I needed to add was spices, herbs, onion, garlic, lemon, and olive oil, and I had this easy and delicious Italian dish!

Mine went over roasted spaghetti squash (I will give my tricks and tips for roasting spaghetti squash at the end of this post). Grant politely requested pasta after a long weekend and hard day of work his wish was granted. 

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

1 Lb. Shrimp

1 can of diced tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes with juice (that need to then be diced)

2 Tbs. Olive oil separated

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

1/2 Large Vidallia Onion diced

2 Cloves of Garlic, minced

1/2 – 1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

1/4 tsp. Salt

Basil & Oregano (fresh, dried or both)

Cherry Tomatoes (optional, but if you have them use them!)

Spaghetti Squash or Your Favorite Pasta

Directions – 

While boiling water for pasta or roasting your squash, heat skillet with 1 Tbs. olive oil and add shrimp; sauté for 1-2 minutes per side (do not over cook and they do not have to be cooked through the whole way because you add them back in at the end). Take shrimp out of skillet once almost cooked through and set aside. Add your diced onion to the skillet for 3-4 minutes until it starts to soften then add garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and stir fairly constantly for 3 minutes-ish.
Add canned tomatoes with juice to skillet, as well as lemon juice, remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and salt.

Let this simmer for 5-10 minutes before adding your shrimp back in for an additional minute before serving over “pasta.”

Side note – I added cherry tomatoes to the baking sheet in the oven for the last 20 minutes so they roasted along with my squash.

Top with fresh basil and enjoy!!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash:

Cut your spaghetti squash in half

Remove seeds

Drizzle inside with olive oil, salt, and pepper

Place face side down (so that it steams inside) on an aluminum covered baking sheet at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes. The key to good spaghetti squash is to roast it for what most people think is too long.

Once it’s done you should be able to stick your fork in it and it immediately turns to spaghetti like strands. If that’s not the case flip it back over and roast a little longer.

Easy as pie.


Tuesday’s Table – Italian Chicken

This is a recipe that my best friend recommended to me years ago. It is simple, healthy and comforting. Great week night meal with lots of veggies.

Italian Chicken

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts 
Tomatoes – cherry, Roma, on the vine (great acidity when good summer tomatoes aren’t available)
Fresh Mushrooms (white, button, baby bellas) – 1 container, chopped
Artichoke Hearts – quartered, drained and rinsed 
3 minced cloves of garlic
1 1/2 Tbs. Corn Starch, could substitute for flour
3 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Salt (split between veggies and chicken breast)
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
1 cup – Shredded Mozzarella
Fresh herbs – Any that you have, basil, flat leaf parsley, oregano. If you are buying them just stick with fresh basil.
Noodles of your choice – Spaghetti Squash is our go to noodle, but we have had with  your standard angel hair pasta and that’s delicious too.


Who knew adding mushrooms would add B Vitamins and Antioxidants?! Yes, please.

 Quick Tip: Always cut your tomatoes with a serrated knife.

In a 9×13 baker combine chopped vegetables, garlic, corn starch, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Add chicken breast on top of the veggie mixture and season with salt and pepper, bury them slightly in vegetable mixture.
Bake at 350. I used convection and my chicken breast were thinly sliced so I baked for 20 minutes, but adjust according to your oven and chicken.
Take out of oven, top each chicken breast with mozzarella and fresh herbs. 
Place back in oven for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is starting to brown and bubble.
Serve on top of your “noodles” with a simple green salad.


I’ve been on a simple salad kick – Spring Greens with only a squeeze of lemon and teeny bit of olive oil (like 1/2 tsp) with salt and pepper.
Fresh, health, easy! 

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce

This is really the only type of spaghetti we have at our house anymore. In fact I would almost like to have it weekly. It is so easy, cheap, and healthy. Plus you can keep most of the ingredients on hand. It is guy approved, and I would assume kids would like it too.

This is one of those recipes that can be as homemade as you want.,. Or as Sandra Lee would call it, “semi-homemade” and pair it with a dumb cocktail… Pairing with red wine works just fine.

Start by roasting your spaghetti squash (see recipe from previous post)

While squash is roasting, take your meatballs out of the freezer or make your own. I have done both. Making your own meatballs is fun and not hard at all but just takes a little bit more time and ingredients. Great Sunday afternoon project for sure!!

When you are short on time use frozen turkey meatballs. I always get mine from Trader Joe’s but most grocery stores will have great versions of these as well.

Now onto the spaghetti sauce.  This again is something you can make yourself or doctor up your favorite jarred version. In order to doctor jarred sauce, I saute garlic and onion, add the sauce to the pan, then toss in chopped in fresh herbs and black pepper.

Add the meatballs and cook for about 20 minutes or as directed on packaging.

Once your squash is roasted (takes about 40 minutes at 400), turn into spaghetti and top with your sauce and meatballs, add a bit of grated fresh parm and basil to finish.

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs

1 spaghetti squash

1 package of frozen turkey meatballs (or make your own)

1 jar of spaghetti sauce (or make your own)

1/2 chopped sweet onion

2 cloves minced garlic

Fresh basil (and any other fresh herbs on hand)

Fresh Parmesan