Mediterranean Pasta {Gluten Free}

If you follow the blog on Instagram you may have seen this pasta dish I posted last Friday night as part of Catelli’s #GlutenFreeFridays. Easy, healthy & delicious, check, check, and check- YEEHAW! May is Celiac Awareness Month, and even though no- one in our family is Celiac, having strong gluten intolerances pretty much means we eat as though we do. That means we seek out gluten- free options for everything from bread and sauces to pasta. Thankfully this has been one staple of our diet we have been able to continue enjoying without much change (thank goodness because we’re all pasta fiends!). With the warmer weather I like to shake things up a bit and cook lighter meals, but that are still full of flavour and satisfying (for another yummy gluten free pasta recipe, check out this one by my friend Andria over on The Cheerio Diaries). Mediterranean- inspired dishes are perfect for this and I love a good vegetarian meal every now and then. I’ve made a few different versions of this dish and each time have been really happy with how it’s turned out, so I thought it was time to share it. Gluten free or not, it’s delicious and if you can, top it off with a little butter and fresh parmesan. 
Makes 4 servings
Ingredients:
– gluten free pasta of your choice (for this I used Catelli’s gluten free spaghetti)
– 1/2 each of a red and yellow bell pepper, cut into slices
– 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin
– 1 tomato, diced
– 1/2 zucchini, chopped
– 1/2 cup artichoke hearts (I’ve also made a version with sun dried tomatoes that’s delicious)
– 1 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
– 1 tsp fresh parsley to garnish
– olive oil (and/ or a tbsp butter)
– salt & pepper to taste
– fresh parmesan (optional)
Directions:
1. Set your oven to broil and bring a pot of water to boil while you wait
2. In a baking dish, toss the veggies (minus the artichoke hearts and herbs) in a little olive oil and salt and pepper; put under the broiler for approx 10 minutes, or until the veggies begin to char (also great to pop them in a foil pouch on the bbq)
3. Pop the pasta in the boiling water and while it cooks, heat up a tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Once the veggies have been broiled, toss them along with the artichoke hearts, herbs and a little more oil/ butter if desired. Reduce to low/ medium heat.
4. When pasta is cooked, drain and toss in with the veggies. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley (and parmesan if you love some cheese on your pasta!)
5. Serve & enjoy!
For more information about Catelli gluten free pasta and more recipe ideas, visit the Catelli website.
#CatelliFamilies

Pizza Night at Lombardo’s {+GIVEAWAY}

I recently enjoyed a mouth- watering meal with a group of other bloggers at Lombardo’s Pizzeria and Restaurant, a local favourite on Commercial Drive in Vancouver offering up what is probably the best pizza I’ve tasted. Family owned and operated since 1986, the restaurant serves up thin- crust Napolateana style pizza using local ingredients cooked to perfection in a wood burning oven. And while the pizza is a must- try, the pasta and other menu items shouldn’t be ignored if you visit. 
We enjoyed an evening of conversation and fun over the generous portions the restaurant and it’s friendly staff served us. For starters there was calamari, focaccia bread and salad, followed by a course of pasta and gluten- free gnocchi (AMAZING!). Then. Came. The. Pizza. Words can’t do this food justice so I’ll leave it to the photos below to try and help you understand how amazing it was. We tried three of their most popular varieties including their Salmone Calzone, stuffed with wild BC smoked salmon, capers, onions, dill, garlic oil, quark, and mozzarella. Need I say more? Finally we enjoyed coffee and tea served with a canoli- style dessert which left us happy, full, and content. If you’ve been searching for a pizza that tastes right out of Italy, Lombardo’s is the place to go. And if I have your tummy grumbling and your mouth watering (sorry/ not sorry! 😉 ) Lombardo’s has teamed up with the group of bloggers who attended to offer up a $100 gift card to the restaurant! See below to enter. 

Giveaway Time!
How would you like to enjoy a night out at Lombardo’s? Enter below for your chance to win a $150 gift card. Now you just have to decide what you’ll order. 😉
Visit the Lombardo’s website to view their full menu & more info. You can also find them on social media: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 
Photos courtesy of Lombardo’s & Popcorn Media
Logo courtesy of Lombardo’s

December posts sponsored by

Yummy Mummy Monday: Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese

Usually I share recipes that are healthy & allergy- friendly, but today is all about comfort food & satisfying cravings. And really, what meal does this better than mac & cheese? When I go to my parents I usually take the opportunity to indulge in some gluten/ dairy and my Dad’s mac & cheese is one of those meals that I can’t make at home for my fam anymore, so I made a special request a few weeks ago when I visited. My Dad came through and his mac & cheese hit the spot. YUM. So I thought I’d share this yummy take on a classic for those days when comfort food is what you’re craving. 

 Yummy Mummy Recipe: Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese 

Ingredients:
4 cups macaroni noodles (uncooked amount)
3 cups milk
2- 3 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp mustard (regular yellow or dijon are delicious)
4 cups grated cheddar cheese (old/ sharp is best)
1/2 cup cream cheese
2 tbsp butter
2 cups broccoli florets cut into 1″ pieces
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & bring a pot of water to a boil. When bubbling pop the macaroni in the pot & steam the broccoli above the pasta as it cooks.
2. In a separate pot heat milk until it’s almost at a boil; reduce heat to maintain temperature. In a cup mix cornstarch with water to form a paste and whisk into milk, followed by Worcestershire sauce and mustard.
3. When combined, add 3 cups of the grated cheddar and all of the cream cheese to the milk mixture and whisk until combined and creamy.
4. When macaroni & broccoli are ready remove from heat. Set broccoli aside; drain & rinse pasta well then add to the cheese mixture. Mix until combined & add salt & pepper to taste.
5. In a large baking dish (or individual dishes) layer the pasta/ cheese mixture followed by some of the broccoli florets and grated cheddar; repeat this for a second layer, topping with grated cheese to melt on top.
6. Bake for approx. 10 minutes or until cheese has melted. Serve immediately & enjoy.

What are your favourite comfort food meals? For more great recipe ideas hop over to the Yummy Mummy Recipe page!

April posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting

Yummy Mummy Monday: Homemade Pasta Sauce

Pasta has always been a favourite meal in our house and probably gets made at least once a week. Over the years I’ve found that store bought sauces are good in a pinch but I’m not a fan of how much salt and funky sounding ingredients there are in some of them. I also have to read the labels carefully to make sure there’s no gluten in the seasonings and/ or cheese added to the sauce. Will and I have also been spoiled because his Mom makes the best sauce from scratch and we haven’t found a store- bought option that even comes close. Luckily she’s happy to share her recipes (see this post for her amazing ribs- a great slow cooker meal) and we enjoy making the stuff up in double batches & freezing it. I’ll admit we have never got ours to taste quite as good as hers, but we’ve come pretty close! Skip the beef if you want a marina that’s more versatile or add in another protein (chorizo sausage is fantastic) to mix it up a little. Buon appetito!

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Homemade Pasta Sauce



Makes enough sauce for approx. 4- 6 full meals
Ingredients:
2- 3 lbs regular ground beef
5 cloves garlic, crushed
3 yellow onions, diced
3 green peppers, diced
2 zucchini, diced
3 tbsp Italian Seasoning (add more to taste)
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
4 tins crushed tomatoes (796mL)
1 tin diced tomatoes (796mL)
Add your other favourite veggies and/ or protein 
Directions:
1. On medium heat brown the ground beef & then drain out the fat. Add the garlic and onion; saute until onion is cooked.
2. Follow with green peppers & zucchini and any other veggies and/ or meat you’re adding, cook for a few minutes to soften.
3. Add seasonings & mix well, then add all 5 tins of tomatoes, stirring well as you add each tin.
4. Turn up to high heat and stir until sauce is bubbling, approx. 5 minutes.
5. Once sauce is bubbling and has been stirred well, reduce to low heat & simmer covered for 30 minutes- 1 hour. Stir & check the taste occasionally and add additional seasoning based on your taste preferences.
6. When ready, remove from heat & serve. Or allow to cool & scoop into freezer bags and freeze for an easy dinner for busy nights (we’ve cooked this sauce from frozen on many a lazy meal night). This sauce is great when enjoyed fresh and just as delish when frozen & thawed.

Have you ever made your own sauce? I’d love to hear what you put in yours! 🙂

And don’t forget to check out lots of other great foodie posts on our Yummy Mummy Recipes page!

Image source: Table for Two

March posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting

Yummy Mummy Monday: Zucchini ‘Noodle’ Lasagne

Have you been seeing all the great recipes for pasta made with zucchini ‘noodles’? We’ve been making spaghetti & lasagne out of these squash for a while and love it as a lighter, gluten free (and paleo) option. For a GF option, it’s great and there’s an additional nutritional punch (bonus!). 
One of my friends recently made this with her kids and they loved it. (It’s nice when kids help make dinner in addition to eating it!). She served hers in the classic way topped with cheese and with garlic bread, but you can easily adjust to suit your family’s needs. 🙂

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Zucchini ‘Noodle’ Lasagne
Serves 4
Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
3 zucchinis with the ends chopped off
Favourite pasta sauce*
1 large handful of spinach, washed & dried
2 cups grated cheese
Optional: Garlic bread 

Renee’s lil man helping out with dinner! 
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat; while waiting to bring up to temperature, slice zucchini thinly lengthways; you want the slices no thicker than 1/8″ (some cheese graters have a slicing side that works well; a mandolin is also a great tool for this)
The thinner the zucchini slices, the better
3. When cooking surface is warm, cook zucchini until softened, approx. 3 minutes on each side
4. In a 9″*13″ baking dish scoop enough sauce to coat the bottom, followed by a layer of zucchini slices; follow this with some spinach. Continue alternating layers until you’ve used up all your zucchini slices (if you’ve sliced them really thin, only add spinach to every other layer).
Renee added mushrooms, red peppers & extra cheese to her lasagne layers- yum!
5. Top with cheese and pop in the oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
The finished product!
Serve with your favourite sides & enjoy!
Renee made yummy garlic bread using Epicure’s Herb & Garlic Dip Mix

We skipped the cheese at our house and this is so tasty you really don’t miss it 🙂

* We love making our own sauce, for a recipe this size here’s what you’ll need:
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can crushed tomatoes

3 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
To make: Brown ground beef & set aside. Saute onion & green pepper until soft, stir in all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Taste as you go and add more seasoning as desired. Reduce to a simmer for 1- 2hours (this is great if you have the time to make ahead, if not using it right away is delicious too).
Thanks Renee for the photos and for helping with this post! For some delicious seasonings, spices, etc, check out her Epicure page on Facebook.
November posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique

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