Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Bread Crumbs and Parmesan. R
This recipe for garlic roasted cherry tomatoes just couldn’t be easier, and will make your entire house smell incredible as it bakes! It makes a wonderful side dish, although I sometimes just eat a big whole of it for dinner! If you remove the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, you could easily use these as a delicious mix in for pasta.

Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Bread Crumbs and Parmesan. R
Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Bread Crumbs and Parmesan. R
Garlic, basil, olive oil and salt mixture.
Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Bread Crumbs and Parmesan. R
Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Bread Crumbs and Parmesan. R
Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Bread Crumbs and Parmesan. R
Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Bread Crumbs and Parmesan. R
Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Bread Crumbs and Parmesan. R

Garlic and Parmesan Roasted Cherry Tomatoes [ Recipe by ]

20 oz cherry tomatoes, washed and sliced
2 tablespoons garlic olive oil (regular olive oil will work as well)
4 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp chopped basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Wash and slice cherry tomatoes and place into large mixing bowl. In a separate, small bowl, mix together the garlic, basil, garlic olive oil, and salt. Toss mixture with tomatoes. Mix in bread crumbs and parmesan and toss well.

Pour tomato mixture onto baking sheet, in a single layer.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, removing from the oven once around the 20 minute mark to move the tomatoes around a bit, and rotate the baking sheet. Keep checking tomatoes frequently at the end to make sure none of them are burning. Remove and serve!

Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Bread Crumbs and Parmesan. R

Vegetarian Creamy & Spicy Black Bean Burritos

Vegetarian black bean burrito recipe
These burritos are easy, delicious, creamy, spicy, and of course, vegetarian! They are so simple and quick to whip up, and the sauce will make your kitchen smell amazing while it cooks! Actually, just putting this blog post together is making me want to run downstairs and warm up my leftovers! But, before I do that, here is the recipe:

Vegetarian black bean burrito recipe
Vegetarian black bean burrito recipe
Vegetarian black bean burrito recipe
Vegetarian black bean burrito recipe
Vegetarian black bean burrito recipe
Vegetarian black bean burrito recipe
Creamy & Spicy Black Bean Burritos [ Recipe by ]

6-8 whole wheat tortillas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 boxes or cans of cooked black beans, drained and rinsed (About 14 oz each)
1 cup salsa (I use mild, but if you’d like to be really spicy, use medium or spicy salsa)
6 oz of cream cheese, cubed
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 oz shredded cheddar cheese

In a large pot, warm up olive oil, and then sauté onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Next, add the beans, salsa, and salt. Stirring mixture frequently, let it come to a boil. Keep stirring (at least a few times per minute), and continue to let the mixture boil for roughly 3 more minutes. Turn off the heat, and add in the cubed cream cheese. Stir well until the cream cheese has all melted. Set mixture aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On each tortilla, layer the bean mixture, followed by a couple tablespoons of shredded cheese. Roll up the tortillas, and place them all together on the baking sheet. Top all of the burritos with a light layer of shredded cheese, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

There are so many things you could add on to these burritos. You could top with some greek yogurt, add in some corn, avocado, or chopped jalapeños!

Vegetarian black bean burrito recipe

Parmesan Crusted, Oven Baked Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese

This parmesan-crusted, oven baked grilled cheese made with cheddar and green apple slices is the ultimate last-minute, total comfort food, dinner. It is as easy to make as it is delicious, and because it’s baked in the oven, you can put together as many as you need for your friends or family, pop them in the oven, and move on to other things — as opposed to making them all individually on the stove. The sweetness of the green apple is a perfect combination with the sharp cheddar cheese.


Parmesan Crusted, Oven Baked, Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese [ Recipe by ]

6 slices of whole grain bread
3 tablespoons butter
6 slices of sharp cheddar cheese
1 large green apple
6 tablespoons grated or shredded parmesan (I use grated)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat butter up in the microwave to soften (about 10-20 seconds, depending on your microwave). Butter one side of each slice of bread. Lay them all down (on a plate or directly onto the parchment paper), buttered side down. On each slice of bread, lay down one slice of cheddar cheese.

Wash, peel, and slice the apple into thin slices. Split the apple slices three ways and layer them onto three of the pieces of bread. Put the sandwiches together, with the buttered sides both facing out, and place sandwiches onto the parchment paper (if you’ve prepared them on a plate).

Sprinkle about a tablespoon of parmesan onto the tops of the sandwiches. Use a spoon to press the parmesan into the butter.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, flip the sandwiches over, and sprinkle another tablespoon of parmesan onto the tops of the sandwiches, and again, use a spoon to press until the butter. Rotate the pan, and put back into the oven. Bake for another 8 minutes, remove and serve!

This recipe makes 3 grilled cheeses. If you are making more or less than 3 sandwiches, keep in mind that you will need about 1 apple per 2-3 sandwiches.


Quick & Easy Chunky Vegetable Tomato Basil Soup with Cannellini Beans

This is my go-to healthy, hearty, quick & easy soup — it fits all my requirements: super simple, very little preparation, healthy and full of nutrients, and a delicious, filling meal for my family. A soup like this traditionally has potatoes — however, I substitute in cannellini beans, which is a great source of iron, folate, and protein. The only vegetables that need chopping in this soup are the onion and carrots — the rest of the veggies are frozen, which means that you can make a healthy, filling, totally scrumptious soup in about 45 minutes, with very little washing, peeling, and chopping. I also love this soup because you make it without a blender. This means fewer dishes to clean, which makes this busy Mama very happy!

Another thing that speeds up this dish — Dorot frozen chopped garlic and basil! You can buy them from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, and they make this dish even speedier. You just pop them out, a teaspoon at a time, and they add so much to the soup.

Chop your onion and carrots and drain and rinse your cannellini beans — that’s all you need to prepare for this healthy and hearty soup!


Quick and Easy Chunky Vegetable Tomato Basil Soup with Cannellini Beans [ Recipe by ]

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
4 teaspoons chopped garlic
4 carrots, washed, peeled and chopped into 1/4″ slices
4 cups (32oz) low sodium vegetable broth
1 jar (25 oz) marinara sauce
1 bag mixed veggies with no salt/seasoning added (I use Whole Foods organic green beans, peas, carrots, and corn)
2 teaspoons chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box or can of pre-cooked Cannellini beans
Grated parmesan (optional)

Wash, peel and chop carrots and onion.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the onions and sauté them for about 5 minutes. While they are cooking, continue stirring occasionally, and drain and rinse the cannellini beans well.

Add your garlic to the pot and sauté for another 2 minutes. Then, add in the chopped carrots, vegetable broth, tomato sauce, and beans. Simmer for about 20 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Add the bag of frozen veggies directly into the soup, as well as the basil and salt. Simmer for about 15 more minutes.

Allow soup to cool for a few minutes and serve! Top each bowl with a couple tablespoons of grated parmesan if desired. Or, leave it off for a delicious and hearty vegan soup.

I use Dorot frozen garlic and basil cubes for this recipe, which speeds up the cooking process quite a bit for me.

You could add in lots of different vegetables to this dish! However, I think it works best if you make sure to use at least the onions, garlic, chopped carrots, and corn. The corn gives it a great sweet taste and balances out the heartiness of the soup. But, that’s just my personal opinion — if you find a great combination, please let me know in the comments!

I included this recipe in my “Toddler Approved” section because my son LOVES this soup — however, if you are going to serve this to your toddler, please make sure to chop the larger pieces of veggies into smaller pieces. The carrots and green beans especially may need finer chopping for the little ones.


Healthy Baked Ziti and Garlic Lemon Broccoli

neshikot-healthy-baked-ziti-garlic-lemon-broccoli-008My husband requests this at least once a week — and I’m always happy to make it, because it’s so easy, delicious, and makes TONS of leftovers, so it feeds the family for a least a couple of days. Baked Ziti is a total comfort food, and this is my way of making it a little healthier. It’s still pasta, but is made with whole wheat noodles instead of white noodles, and uses greek yogurt instead of sour cream or ricotta. The garlic lemon broccoli is a side that I add on to dinner at least 2-3 nights per week — it’s got the perfect mix of garlic and sour from the lemon.

Also… I totally know this is technically a “baked penne” dish. I haven’t been able to find whole wheat ziti, so I either use regular white ziti pasta, or whole wheat penne when I want to go with the healthier version. I call it “baked ziti” either way!


Healthy Baked Ziti and Garlic Lemon Broccoli [ Recipe by ]

1 pound of whole wheat pasta (I used penne)
2 jars of marinara sauce (24 oz each)
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (I use Dorot frozen garlic)
1 teaspoon salt
6 oz provolone cheese
2 individual sized cups of Greek Yogurt (6 oz each)
8 oz shredded mozzarella
A few tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese

For the broccoli:
1 bag of frozen broccoli (I use Whole Foods Organic frozen broccoli)
2 tablespoons garlic olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Boil pasta according to directions, subtract about a minute from the cooking time in order to cook the pasta al dente. Drain pasta and pour into large mixing bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix in all of the marinara sauce, garlic and salt in with the cooked pasta.

Butter a 13×9″ baking dish. Layer the ingredients as follows:
1. Half of the pasta mixture
2. All of the provolone (you can rip up a few pieces in order to fit the whole pan)
3. All of the greek yogurt, spread out evenly over the provolone
4. The rest of the pasta
5. All of the mozzarella
6. A few tablespoons of shredded parmesan

Cover dish with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, then remove tin foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes uncovered, or until your desired consistency. You can rotate your pan once during baking to ensure even cooking.

While ziti is baking, steam broccoli according to directions. While broccoli is steaming, use a small bowl to mix together the garlic olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic powder, and whisk it together. When broccoli is done, drain and pour in olive oil mixture.

Serve baked ziti with a side of broccoli, and enjoy!

Inspired by:
Colleen B. Smith


Brown Sugar & Vanilla Glazed Carrot Coins

neshikot-vanilla-brown-sugar-glazed-carrots-05These carrot coins are glazed in brown sugar, butter, and vanilla, making it something between a vegetable dish and a dessert! They are super quick and easy to whip up, and pleasing to the adult in you (carrots! So healthy!) and the kid in you (sugar! butter! oh my!). And since it uses only one pot, you’ll be done with dishes and enjoying your sweeeeet glazed carrots in no time.

Brown Sugar & Vanilla Glazed Carrots [ Recipe by ]

6 medium sized carrots
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Wash, peel, and chop carrots into coins.

Place carrots in pan, cover with about 1″ of water, and bring to a boil. Cover, and boil for about 10 minutes, or until carrots have reached your desired consistency. Drain carrots and set aside.

In the same pan, put the butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Turn the heat back on, to low-medium heat, and continue stirring until butter is melted. Then, pour the cooked carrots back into the pan and continue cooking for another few minutes, while the carrots soak up the glaze. Pour glazed carrots into bowl and serve!


Asparagus Garlic-Lemon Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Roasted Chickpeas

Asparagus Pasta with Tomatoes and Roasted Chickpeas
My theory on pasta is — if you are going to eat it, might as well mix in lots of veggies and healthy add-ons! I’ve had a bag of frozen asparagus in my freezer for awhile, and I’ve been looking for a way to use it. Then I happened to see this Asparagus Pasta Salad from Just a Taste and the bow-tie pasta looked oh-so-delicious with the bright green asparagus! I wanted to add some protein to the pasta, and use a different sauce, and I ended up with this recipe, which we will be making again and again! Asparagus Garlic-Lemon Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Roasted Chickpeas.

Asparagus Pasta with Tomatoes and Roasted Chickpeas
Draining, rinsing, and drying the chickpeas.

Asparagus Pasta with Tomatoes and Roasted Chickpeas
Asparagus Pasta with Tomatoes and Roasted Chickpeas
Asparagus Pasta with Tomatoes and Roasted Chickpeas
Asparagus Pasta with Tomatoes and Roasted Chickpeas
Look at these healthy little beans, packed with protein!
Asparagus Pasta with Tomatoes and Roasted Chickpeas
Juicy cherry tomatoes, which give the dish the perfect amount of sweetness.Asparagus Pasta with Tomatoes and Roasted Chickpeas
Asparagus Pasta with Tomatoes and Roasted Chickpeas
Asparagus Garlic-Lemon Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Roasted Chickpeas [ Recipe by ]

1 lb Farfalle pasta
2 boxes of precooked Chickpeas (I use Whole Foods organic chick peas, 13 oz each)
1 bag of frozen asparagus (I use Whole Foods organic frozen asparagus, 12 oz bag)
1 container cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup garlic olive oil
1 cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoons lemon juice
A few tablespoons shredded parmesan (optional)
For the roasted chickpeas:
1.5 teaspoons garlic olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
A dash of garlic salt

Drain the chickpeas and rinse well. Transfer chickpeas to a large plate, covered in paper towels. Use another paper towel to blot the chickpeas dry. You may need to do this many times, in order to get them dry. During this process, the peels of the chickpeas will start to come off. You can either remove them (which I do) or you can leave them on (which my Mom does!). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, toss the chickpeas with garlic olive oil, garlic powder, and a dash of garlic salt. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and lay the chickpeas on the sheet in one layer. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. You can continue baking longer, if you would prefer them to be crunchier.

Cook pasta according to the directions. While pasta is cooking, rinse the cherry tomatoes and slice in half. Cook the frozen asparagus according to the directions, and chop each stalk into 3 even pieces.

When pasta is done, drain and pour into a large bowl. While pasta is still hot, mix in the garlic olive oil, lemon juice and grated parmesan cheese, making sure all of the pasta has been coated. Then, mix in the roasted chickpeas, the cherry tomatoes, and the apparatus. Top with a few tablespoons of shredded parmesan cheese.

Inspired by:
Just a Taste and Chop Suey/AllRecipes

Asparagus Pasta with Tomatoes and Roasted Chickpeas
Asparagus Pasta with Tomatoes and Roasted Chickpeas
Asparagus Pasta with Tomatoes and Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Onions and Cranberries

This dish is delicious because of the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes, carrots and cranberries. It’s *almost* like eating dessert for dinner, and it’s filled with so many great nutrients, you don’t have to feel guilty! Between the sweet potatoes and the carrots, it is filled with Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, iron, Vitamin A and many more. It definitely feels like a fall-inspired dish, but I love making it all year round.

You know this has to be good for you when you see how bright and beautiful your orange veggies are!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, and Cranberries [ Recipe by ]

2 large sweet potatoes (I find them easier to chop if I look for long, thin sweet potatoes)
4 large carrots
1 onion (medium)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup garlic olive oil (regular olive oil will work as well)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Dash of garlic salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash, peel, and chop sweet potatoes, carrots and onion. Chop the sweet potatoes into slices roughly 2″ x 1″, and try to make them all roughly the same size. Chop the carrots into pieces roughly 1″ x 1″, again aiming to make each piece roughly the same size. Chop the onion into large slices, about 2″ x 1″. Place them all in a large bowl, and pour in the dried cranberries.

In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic powder, lemon juice and garlic salt. Pour mixture over potatoes, carrots, onions, and cranberries. Mix well to ensure all of the veggies are coated.

Lightly oil a 13×9″ baking dish and pour everything into the dish. Cover with tin foil, and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove foil from dish and bake another 15-20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes and carrots are cooked and beginning to look golden, checking regularly to make sure they aren’t burning.

Inspired by:
How Stuff Works and In Sonnet’s Kitchen


Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries

Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
I feel like one of the only people on earth who doesn’t like fries. Everyone seems to love fries and ketchup, but they have truly never appealed to me. Until now! I had never heard of carrot fries, until I passed by a giant bag of delicious, bright orange organic carrots at the grocery, and had so many extra that I had to find something to do with them! I couldn’t be happier that carrot fries are now part of the regular rotation in our house! They are sweet and salty all at the same time. They are nutritious, and make the whole house smell amazing as they bake! Even my toddler loves them, which is a huge bonus for me.

Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Chopping the carrots into 4″ sticks.Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Lining the carrots on a cookie sheet, ready to go in the oven.
Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Ready to eat!
Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Garlic Parmesan Baked Carrot Fries [ Recipe by ]

6 carrots (medium to large)
2 teaspoons garlic olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Wash and peel carrots. Chop them in half lengthwise, and then into 4″ sticks (I got roughly 8-12 sticks out of each carrot), making sure they are roughly the same size. Place carrots into a bowl and toss with olive oil, garlic powder, and garlic salt.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and place carrot sticks on the paper, making sure there is no overlap. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then remove from oven. Flip each carrot over (be careful, they will be hot). Rotate cookie sheet, so they carrots that were originally baking in the front are now baking in the back. Bake for another 15 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure they are not burning.

Sprinkle fries with grated parmesan as soon as they are removed from the oven. Or, don’t use the parmesan, and these make a delicious vegan snack!

Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries

One Pot Mac + Cheese + Peas

neshikot-one-pot-mac-and-cheese-peas-009I love this dish because it is: easy, fast, and only requires one pot (unless you make your peas on the stove, like me! Then you will use 1 pot for the mac and cheese and 1 pot for the peas). It is a healthier, much more “real” alternative to everyone’s favorite mac-and-cheese-in-a-box (although I still use my Annie’s Bunnies in a pinch every now and then!) Rather than eating powdered cheese sauce from a box, this is made with organic sharp white cheddar, whole milk, and protein-packed peas. And the best part? It doesn’t take any more time than cooking up a box of processed mac and cheese.

The big difference between this easy peasy dish (get it?) and regular mac and cheese is that the pasta is cooked in whole milk, rather than water. That way, you skip time on draining the pasta, making the sauce in another pan, and then mixing it all together. You’ll first rinse the pasta, then into the pot, mix together: the pasta, the milk, and salt. Bring it to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and stir the mix and pasta mixture together until the pasta soaks up the milk and looks (and smells!) all delicious and creamy. (See recipe below for more specific directions on how to cook the pasta).


Easy Peasy One Pot Mac + Cheese + Peas [ Recipe by ]

2 cups macaroni elbow pasta
2 1/4 cups whole milk, plus more to add during cooking
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar (will work with many types of shredded cheese)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
1 bag of frozen peas (I used Whole Foods Organic Frozen Peas)

Rinse pasta in a strainer for about 30 seconds.

In a large pot, mix together: the pasta, the whole milk, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. When the milk starts to boil, lower the heat a bit, and continue cooking the pasta for another 10-15 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through and has soaked up most of the milk, leaving just a creamy sauce on the noodles. (See photo above for reference). If the pasta is not done cooking, and the milk has mostly evaporated and it seems like it might start to burn, pour in extra milk while it is cooking (roughly a couple tablespoons each time). Make sure to continue stirring pasta the entire time. It takes me about 10 minutes, and a couple splashes of extra milk, until my pasta is perfect.

When pasta is cooked, remove from heat, pour into a large bowl and immediately stir in cheeses. If the sauce feels too thick, add in some whole milk, a tablespoon or two at a time, to thin the sauce. Place a plate or lid over the bowl to keep it warm, and let it sit for around 10 minutes to help the pasta and milk sauce soak up all of the cheese.

Cook peas according to directions. I prefer to heat them up on the stove in a separate pot, but if you prefer the microwave, that will save on dishes, and will make this a “true” One Pot mac and cheese.

Mix peas in with pasta, sprinkle with some extra parmesan if desired, and serve!

It’s very important to continue stirring the pasta while it is cooking, and not to leave the pot unattended.

I kept this recipe on the simple side, because I frequently make this for my toddler! However, it is a great base to add your own touches — I think it would be excellent with some nutmeg, garlic powder, and you could come up with so many more combinations and flavors to make it your own.

Inspired by:
WhiteOnRiceCouple and HeavenlyHomemakers