Corn, Zucchini, and Avocado Pasta Salad

Simple Roasted Corn, Zucchini, and Avocado Pasta Salad

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Ronzoni, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #RonzoniSummer 

A super simple and healthy roasted corn, zucchini, and avocado pasta salad. A great summer take along pasta salad that takes minutes to whip up!

Roasted Corn, Zucchini, and Avocado Pasta Salad

How was your weekend? And Father’s Day? Here’s a belated wish to all the Father’s for a wonderful Father’s Day and to know how grateful we are for you! Especially my own dad, my father-in-law, and my husband — the father of my little one (and a half!)

My cute sister-in-law came over this weekend and I taught her how to ice (royal icing) sugar cookies this week. It totally ignited in my the royal icing bug and on Saturday I decorated a ton of Father’s Day cookies — ties, wrenches, hammers, saws, and pliers. You can see a picture of how they turned out here!… 

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Simple Greek Couscous

Healthy skillet Greek couscous

An easy weeknight meal: 20-minute Greek couscous packed with veggies and protein. This vegetarian meal is hearty, filling, and packed with flavor.

Simple and HEALTHY Greek CouscousWith seven kids growing up, pleasing everyone for dinner proved quite the challenge for my mom. Inevitably there would always be someone that wouldn’t like something that she put in one of her dishes.

There were so many of us with so many varied preferences that it was extremely hard for her to keep track. That, and, she didn’t believe in making too many special adaptations for meals – what she made is what we ate. Obviously her mindset wasn’t something I always appreciated, but now, I definitely do. I’ll eat pretty much everything and enjoy trying new things…. 

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Slow Cooker Southwestern Fajita Quinoa

Crockpot Southwest Quinoa and Veggies2

Throw everything in a crockpot and forget about it! A super easy and healthy crockpot quinoa and veggie dish with southwestern fajita flavors. Chicken or ground beef can easily be added into the dish.

Easy crockpot southwestern quinoa - tasty and healthy!

I am seriously convinced this is the easiest meal to prepare! It’s one of those throw stuff in a crockpot and a few hours later a super tasty and healthy dinner is ready.

Plus the flavors on this one – WOWZAs. A little bit of a kick and a lot of flavor. Don’t be too worried about the kick though – it can easily be avoided if you aren’t a fan of that kind of thing. And on the opposite side, it can definitely be intensified! :)… 

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Easy Tomato Basil Pasta with Veggies

Simple Tomato Basil Pasta and Veggies -- One pot!

Special thanks to Bertolli for sponsoring this post and creating the BEST tomato-basil sauce for this dish! A simple dinner that is ready in under thirty minutes! This pasta dish with a creamy tomato-basil sauce is packed with vegetables such as zucchini, mushroom, and sweet bell peppers.


Simple Tomato Basil Pasta and Veggies -- One pot!The little guy goes absolutely crazy for two foods. Thankfully both foods are a lot healthier than candy and I swear he’d pick ’em over dessert any day.

The first is quinoa. Which, if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know probably can sense that about half of my dinner recipes include quinoa. Because it’s literally his favorite thing to eat and the rest of us really love it too. And the second is any kind of pasta with a red sauce. Give that boy some spaghetti and he will out-eat anyone. It’s pretty amazing really…. 

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Creamy Tortellini Vegetable Bake

Creamy Tortellini and Veggie Bake

A creamy tortellini bake filled with summer veggies! This bake is sure to be a crowd pleaser!Creamy Tortellini and Veggie Bake2I can not believe it is June already. Where has this ENTIRE year gone?! Time goes by way too quickly!

HOWEVER… it is nice to be here at summer and already enjoying some very summery foods :) I broke out the healthy zucchini bread last week along with a few frozen desserts (this lemon berry slush being my favorite!) already. I’m in full-blown summer mode now!

And the babe is loving summer. He’s outside pretty much all the time and loves exploring AKA throwing dirt and rocks everywhere. We’ve also got to babysit my in-laws little dog (Mazie) while they are vacationing and he’s absolutely crazy about her. Even if the affection is not quite returned… In fact, poor Mazie is terrified of little Grey…. 

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Slow Cooker Quinoa Minestrone

The BEST Crockpot Quinoa Minestrone #crockpot #quinoa #vegetarian

A simple quinoa minestrone packed with good-for-you veggies and made easy thanks to the crockpot!

The BEST Crockpot Quinoa Minestrone #crockpot #quinoa #vegetarian

I know what you are thinking…soup in the middle to end of April? I know, I know. But you guys, it SNOWED this last week. Like a few inches of snow! We had the craziest wind ever and next thing it was raining and then it turned to snow and before we knew it there were a couple of inches on our deck outside.

And anytime it snows, I have a seriously craving for soup. The good news is, this isn’t a super “winter-y” soup. It’s totally perfect for Spring and even for Summer because it’s packed with delicious seasonal vegetables.

But of course when it gets super cold outside and turns into winter and you are still craving this soup (I know I will be!) the vegetables can easily be changed out for what’s in season. This soup is highly adaptable – to seasonal need or personal preferences!… 

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Easy Chopped Mediterranean Kale Salad


A quick & light Mediterranean Salad with simple Homemade Sun-dried Tomato Dressing. Packed full with juicy tomatoes, warm roasted cauliflower, crispy chickpeas, crisp cucumbers, tangy Feta cheese, all on a bed of kale greens. Perfect for Meatless Monday!


Hi again to all our Chelsea’s Messy Apron friends! We are Jen and Emily, the mother-daughter blogging duo over on Layers of Happiness, and we are so happy to be back sharing this easy Mediterranean Salad with you today. It’s my new favorite easy dinner!

I don’t know about you guys, but it has been snowing like crazy here in Virginia where we live! So much so that we had a snow week last week. Yes you read that right, we didn’t just have a snow day, but no school all week because of snow. It was pretty awesome.

On one of our snow days, my mom decided to come home for lunch. We never got to grocery store before the snow storm, but I managed to pull this salad together for us before she got home, and let me just say – it totally blew me away! So much so that I made it again the next day for lunch and photographed it that time.

It was out of this world! Full of juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, warm roasted cauliflower, crispy chickpeas all on a bed of kale greens, I didn’t think it could get any better. But then, it did.

I tossed on bits of tangy Feta cheese I crumbled and then drizzled it with a quick sundried tomato pesto dressing.


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Basil-Lime Orzo Pasta

Basil Lime Orzo Pasta packed with Veggies

A simple and vegetable-packed orzo pasta dish with a basil-lime flavor. A meatless meal or easy side-dish.

Basil Lime Orzo Pasta

So I’ve heard the States have had some pretty crazy weather – or at least some of the states? I still have my old home (the city) on my weather app on my phone and I check it all the time.

I’m not sure why, but I have an obsession with knowing what the weather is each day before I get dressed or really do anything for the day. First I check the weather where I’m at and then I’ll quickly check Ohio because it’s just one swipe on the weather app to see. And although we are LOVING Australia, I’m still missing Ohio like crazy (some days more than others). So truthfully, it kind of makes me feel better that there is negative degrees and no sun there. Almost like that will make me miss it less, right?

Unfortunately, it’s the people there and our old place that I miss not the weather, so convincing myself I don’t miss it as much because of cold weather ends up being less effective than hoped…. 

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Cheesy Jalapeño Corn Dip Nachos


Crispy tortilla chips combined with creamy, cheesy, jalapeño corn dip is the ultimate comfort snack food. Perfect for Super-Bowl snacking!

Cheesy Corn Dip and Jalapeno Nachos - perfect for the #SuperBowl

Hi again to all my Chelsea’s Messy Apron friends! We are Jen and Emily, the mother-daughter blogging duo over on Layers of Happiness, and we are so happy to be back sharing these nachos with you today. Cheesy Jalapeño Corn Dip Nachos to be exact.… 

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Warm Skillet Cheesy Bread with Baked Spaghetti


Best ever (no-rise) homemade cheesy rolls with the hearty baked spaghetti smothered with melty mozzarella cheese. AMAZING and a great family-favorite meal!

Baked Spaghetti AND Garlic Bread all baked in the same skillet!

Hi to all you awesome Chelsea’s Messy Apron readers! I am Emily from Layers of Happiness and I am super excited to get the opportunity to share some delicious food with all of you fun food-loving friends. Today I am sharing a super comforting and delicious Warm Skillet Garlic Bread with Baked Spaghetti recipe with you.

Yeah you read that right, garlic bread baked WITH the spaghetti. It’s only our first recipe we are sharing with you and you probably already think I’m crazy. But let me tell you, there is actually nothing crazy/complicated about this dish – it’s actually super simple and quick, thanks to the no-rise dough used for the cheesy bread!… 

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{One Skillet} Cheesy Taco Quinoa

Taco Quinoa in One Skillet

An incredibly easy (one skillet needed) + super healthy cheesy taco quinoa dish. This dish is kid-friendly, veggie-filled, and a perfect meatless meal. Meat can easily be added and still be done in one skillet.

One Skillet EASY and healthy cheesy taco quinoa

In between our move from Ohio to Australia, we were able to visit our family in Utah for a couple of weeks. One of the nights we were there my mom asked me to make a dinner — one that required very little dish clean-up was somewhere in that request. I decided to do her one better and use only ONE dish, because you all know how much I like my one dish dinners. You do know, right? Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2, Exhibit 3, Exhibit 4…bored yet?

The tricky part of this one-dish dinner was making sure to please everyone. With 8 people around the house, there are plenty of preferences to be met. Luckily my entire family is pretty health conscious and enjoy veggie-filled meals. That being said, there are the big meat-eaters too and making a meatless meal was a bit of a gamble…. 

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{Easy, One Skillet} Southwest Quinoa Chili

One Skillet Southwest Quinoa Chili with Sweet Potato #meatlessmonday

A delicious and well-seasoned southwest quinoa chili made easy in one skillet. This meatless dish will have your whole family (meat lovers included!) begging for more!

One Skillet Southwest Quinoa Chili with Sweet Potato #meatlessmondayOkay disclaimer time. I had NO clue what to name this recipe! Sometimes naming recipes can be hard, or, at least for me it can be. I’m just throwing together ingredients and tasting it as I go and all of the sudden I have something amazing (or not, but that’s a discussion for another day). But then comes the part where I have to (in so many words) try to describe the amazing taste or say what it is I’ve created.

This dish was one I totally struggled with naming. One skillet and easy – well those words came easily because it perfectly describes the dish. This is done all in one skillet and is VERY easy! So easy in fact that it’s been lunch or dinner way too many times since I developed it. I’m talking like 4-5 times. Luckily no complaints yet; I guess it’s just that good :) That and I have a baby that can’t complain yet and one hecka great husband.

The rest of the name however, I didn’t know. It definitely has some chili flavors and chili beans, but I don’t know how much of a real “chili” this is. So I’m very sorry if you are expecting a traditional chili with this recipe, but it’s not so traditional. And then southwest – well there is some cilantro, fresh lime juice, and I added loads of sour cream (MUST DO!) so it definitely has a bit of a southwest kick to it.

After struggling with the name for some time, I just decided to go with what my husband named it after he had taken a few bites. He told me to call it a southwestern quinoa chili. So, if you don’t like the name, all blame goes to him ;)… 

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