Monthly Archives: October 2013

Italian spinach pasta salad

Even though it is turning cold outside we wanted a hearty salad for dinner last night.  I checked the contents of my fridge/pantry and this is what I created.

Italian spinach and pasta salad.

Italian spinach and pasta salad.


This is an Italian spinach pasta salad that will add some color to your table and make your taste buds spring back to life.  The flavors are intense enough to give this salad just what it needs to become your new favorite.  That is what happened for us last night anyway as we dug into second helpings of our dinner.  You can look at the ingredient list and get a pretty good idea for the huge flavor in this one.  Italian, a little tart, a little briny, and a lot of zing!

Don’t be intimidated by the longer ingredient list for this salad–I promise, you will have it on the table in 30 minutes or less!  Give it a go and see how it wakes up your dinner plate!

Cheers to eating well and loving every bite!

Make sure to scroll to the end of this post for a picture of our stray Quattro!  Isn’t she beautiful?

Italian spinach pasta salad

Servings 4-6

  • 1 – 8 oz box gluten free noodles, cooked al dente according to the package directions.  I used Ancient Quinoa Harvest Rotelle
  • 4-6 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2/3 c black olives, sliced into thirds
  • 1 c artichoke hearts in water, sliced in half
  • 1 – 14 oz can great northern white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes, in EVOO, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1-2 T Red Wine Vinegar, to taste
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 2 T fresh thyme or 2 t dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chipotle pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 c freshly grated, aged Parmesan cheese, optional

Mix together the EVOO, salt, pepper, chipotle pepper flakes, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, onion and let marinade for 15 or 20 minutes at room temp while you prep the other ingredients.

Add all of the other ingredients EXCEPT the spinach and cheese.  Allow to rest and marinade for a few minutes.  

Just before you serve the salad, add the spinach and cheese and toss to fully combine.  Garnish as you like–more cheese, some fresh herbs, a few fresh tomatoes, whatever you like!

Eat and ENJOY!

Shameless plug for our stray Quattro.

Shameless plug for our stray Quattro. Let me know if you would like to give her a forever home!




Organic yoga mat disinfectant spray

This simple spray will not just wipe out bacteria and fungus on your yoga mat, but it will make it smell soooo good! In fact, you may get into downward dog and never want to leave!

Spray it all over your house (think guest bath, linens), car, rugs, etc. to make your space even more relaxing and inviting!

I buy the oils (pure, organic) from Vitacost online, but I know you can get them (for a little more $$) from your local health food stores (Atkins, Momma Jeans).

Don’t be shy–spray away!

If you have a favorite homemade spray for disinfectant or even perfume, let me know your recipe!  I love these pure, organic scents!

Organic yoga mat disinfectant spray

  • 4 drops lavender oil
  • 3 drops tea tree oil
  • 3 drops grapefruit seed extract
  • 16-20 oz spray bottle filled with water.  

Shake and use liberally!  If you want your spray even more concentrated, just add a little more of the oil.  Play around with it–you will find the right balance for your specific needs.

Citrus Meets Fish

Citrus meets fish

Andy's portion

Andy’s portion

I love the smell of an orange or tangerine freshly zested.  A hit of zest will add a huge amount of flavor to almost any dish–sweet or savory!

I found some organic super sweet tangerines at Mama Jeans this week and have been adding them to just about everything coming out of my kitchen–smoothies, green juices, salads, sauces, and desserts. Last night I decided to try using some in our main dish. I dolled up a boring piece of cod with tangerine zest and boy was it good. The home grown grape tomatoes and red onion added some extra life to the dish. It made for an amazing dinner, served over a bed of sauteed spinach with a side of roasted brussels sprouts.  Check out this 488 original and let me know what you think about citrus meeting fish! 

Bon Appetit!

My portion

My portion

Citrus meets fish

Servings:  2

  • 2-3 cod steaks (fillets) or any wild caught fish that you like!
  • 1/2 t sweet paprika
  • 1/2 t kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t ground chipotle pepper flakes
  • 7-10cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • juice and zest from 1/2 orange or a couple of tangerines
  • 1-2 t butter or coconut oil, melted
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional), just a sprinkle.  You may sub a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for the parm.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the first 4 dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Set aside.

Pat the fish fillets dry with a paper towel.

Put the diced red onion in a roasting pan so it will set directly under the fish fillets.  Place the fillets on the onion.  Sprinkle fresh citrus juice on top of the fish.  Melt the butter and brush each fillet with butter.  Sprinkle the dry ingredient mix evenly over the 2 fillets and do the same with the zest.  Place the tomato slices on top of the fish to cover the entire surface of the fish.  Add a light sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast to the top of the tomatoes.

Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the fish.  Turn the oven up to broil and cook for another minute or two, just enough to lightly brown the top of the fish and cheese.

Serve over a bed of sauteed spinach or some seasoned quinoa and ENJOY!