Vegetarian Leftover Pasta Frittata

Vegetarian Leftover Pasta FrittataFridge odds and ends, meet leftover pasta. Leftover pasta, meet frittata. And that’s how Vegetarian Leftover Pasta Frittata is born. This is a take on Just a Taste’s Leftover Pasta Frittata in which whatever leftover pasta you have from the night before is transformed into today’s heavenly breakfast packed with protein, veggies and carbohydrates. This dish is perfect after a long run or bike ride. In fact, my husband and I devoured the entire panful following our Tuesday morning calorie-crushing long run.

This recipe is a base to work from. So grab whatever veggies are on the brink of no return, whatever cheese is lingering in your cheese drawer (everyone has one of those, right?! A drawer that is so chalk full to the brim with cheese that a bag always catches when opening and closing it?!), and last night’s pasta and get ready to devour your own take on Kelly’s masterpiece!

ingredients for vegetarian leftover pasta frittata

Vegetarian Leftover Pasta Frittata
Here’s what you’ll need (Remember this is just a base to work from, get creative!):

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup orange bell pepper, diced
1 roma tomato, diced
2 large baby bella mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup green onion, diced
1 small handful spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup leftover pasta from last night (any pasta will do; we used angel hair)
2 eggs
¾ cup egg whites
¼ cup feta cheese
Italian seasoning (or whatever you typically season your eggs with)
sea salt
black pepper

Makes one medium skillet full; about 4 servings

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg whites until combined. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Add the extra virgin olive oil to a medium skillet and heat on medium-high. Once hot, add all of your veggies except the spinach. Season veggies with Italian seasoning to taste. Cook until just slightly tender. Now add the spinach and pasta and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Note: If using a stringy pasta like angel hair or spaghetti, “fluff” the pasta before adding to the skillet so it isn’t one big clump in the center of your frittata.
  3. Pour the eggs into the pan. As the eggs begin to set, slightly lift the mixture up at the edges to ensure any uncooked egg flows to the bottom. Cover and continue to cook until the eggs are well set and the bottom has slightly browned.
  4. Remove the frittata using a rubber spatula and transfer to a plate. Sprinkle with feta cheese and cut into slices to devour!

Buon Appetito! 💜

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Eggs in Purgatory

eggs in purgatorySimple, healthy, and delicious—the three criteria I live by for creating or following a recipe. Eggs in purgatory hit all of those marks. Plus, this dish whips up in no time!

The main ingredient is cauliflower, but don’t let that deter you from making this dish if you don’t usually like it. In fact, you probably won’t even realize that you’re eating cauliflower. That’s because its beautifully masked by the spicy crushed tomatoes and other ingredients.

I tried to find the origin of eggs in purgatory, or shakshuka as its called in North Africa and the Middle East, but apparently several cultures have laid claim to its creation. Although its origins may be a bit murky, whoever invented it sure did us all a favor! 😉

This is a perfect dish to make on a Saturday or Sunday morning, for brunch or even dinner—heck, anytime of day is perfect for making and devouring this dish! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 💜

Eggs in Purgatory
Here’s what you’ll need:

1 small (or ½ of a medium) head of cauliflower, cut into ½-inch pieces
fine-grain sea salt
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with peppers, onions, and garlic—salsa style
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 eggs
marjoram leaves for garnish
(optional—for spice lovers) red pepper flakes

Makes one large skillet full; about 2-4 servings.

  1. In a large pot, boil the cauliflower in salted water (a dash of sea salt will do) for one minute. Cauliflower should be barely tender.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the flour. Drain cauliflower, shaking off any excess water, and toss with the flour in your medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet (a cast iron skillet is ideal, but not necessary), heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Take the floured cauliflower, tapping off extra flour, and place into the skillet being careful not to burn yourself. Arrange in a single layer and cook until golden, 4-5 minutes, flipping from time to time to evenly cook and make golden.
  4. Stir in tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer. (Spice lovers: sprinkle red pepper flakes all over cauliflower and sauce mixture. Keep in mind a little goes a long way!)
  5. Using a spoon, make small pockets for the eggs near the outer edges of the skillet. Break eggs into the pockets you just made and place a cover over skillet. Cook until the eggs are set (4-5 minutes). Serve immediately, garnishing with the marjoram.


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This dish was inspired by Heidi Swanson’s recipe in her book, Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel.

Follow me on Twitter: @LibbeyC and Instagram: @ironwomandiaries

Vegan Pumpkin Soup [from scratch]

Vegan pumpkin soupWeather in Wisconsin the last few days has been dreary. Thankfully we have a glorious wood stove that takes the chill out of these cold fall nights. Better yet on these dreary and cold nights, is a bowl of homemade soup to warm the body and soul from the inside out. I have to admit, I was a bit intimidated by the thought of making pumpkin soup totally from scratch but, after just recently mastering the skill of baking spaghetti squash, I felt up to the challenge. (Never cooked spaghetti squash before? Watch this super helpful video and see how easy it actually is!)

I think you’ll find that the little extra work involved in making this soup is well worth it. Nothing can compare to the fresh taste of something made completely from scratch. This soup is creamy, oh-so-tasty, and packed with good-for-you ingredients. I guarantee you’ll love this dish as much as I did!

As a side note, I’m feeling a bit guilty that my food pictures aren’t always (if ever) spectacular (especially at home). Black countertops and poor lighting contribute to this, however really it comes down to time. I don’t have time to stage the perfect photo nor the equipment to do so. I hope you can look past that and see that the recipes are delicious and worthy of cooking/baking in your own kitchen. And, if you do, maybe you’ll share your (better) photos with me! 📷💜

Vegan Pumpkin Soup [from scratch]
Here’s what you’ll need:

2 pie pumpkins (also known as sugar pumpkins)
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups organic vegetable stock
1 13.66 fl. oz can of light coconut milk (or about 1.5 cups)
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
½ tsp. fine sea salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
ground black pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil

(Optional) Garnish with:
raw pepitas
pure maple syrup

Makes 4 large servings

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. With a large, sharp knife, cut off the tops of both pie pumpkins and then cut each in to halves. Use a large spoon with a pointier edge to spoon and scrape out the center of the pumpkin halves. Be sure to remove all of the seeds* and strings.
  3. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on the flesh of each pumpkin and place flesh-side down on the baking sheet. Bake 55-60 minutes. Note: if you use smaller pie pumpkins, your roasting time may be less. Similarly, if you use larger ones, you may need to roast slightly longer. You’ll know when the pumpkins are done when you can easily pierce the skin with a fork.roasted pie pumpkins
  4. When roasting is complete, remove tray and pumpkins from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Spoon out flesh (or peel off the skin, whichever you prefer) and place in a medium-sized bowl. Pumpkin puree
  5. In a medium stockpot (8 quart), add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic. Sauté over medium heat 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add vegetable stock, coconut milk, seasonings, and pumpkin to stockpot and bring to a simmer (keep at medium heat).
  7. Carefully transfer soup mixture to a blender to purée soup. Using a medium speed, blend until just creamy and smooth. Most likely you will need to blend the soup mixture in batches. While you do this process, transfer freshly blended soup into a pourable mixing bowl until all of the soup mixture has been puréed. Now pour soup back into the stockpot. Blender with pumpkin soup mixture
  8. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until soup is hot. Serve in your favorite soup bowl as is, or garnish with a bit of pure maple syrup and raw pepitas.

Bon appétit! 💜

*Don’t toss those seeds! Roast them for a delicious snack later. See this Roasted Pumpkin Seeds recipe.

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This recipe is my own, if you repurpose or share this recipe please link to this page and give IronwomanDiaries credit. Thanks!
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Zucchini Lasagna

zucchini lasgna_ironwomandiariesNo this recipe isn’t vegan like most of my recipes tend to be. I myself am not 100% vegan (I hate that we have to pigeonhole ourselves into what exactly we are, can’t we just say “healthy”! I do eat fish, mostly salmon and tuna, but I don’t drink milk or eat butter. I do indulge in the occasional slice of brie—I’m from Wisconsin, it’s nearly impossible to avoid cheese and I’ve tried giving it up, but I usually dabble in it now and again—the curse and blessing of being a true Wisconsinite. 😉 But I digress…)

Equipped with the largest zucchini I’ve ever seen—shout-out to my co-worker, Bekky, for thinking of and giving me the massive zucchini her friend grew—and my handy grill master/layering assistant extraordinaire (aka my husband), I set out to make an easy and healthy, but still delicious, zucchini lasagna. The result, an explosion of flavor your taste buds will thank you for.

Not only is this zucchini lasagna fairly easy to make, it also can be made with ingredients you probably already have on hand. In fact this recipe only has 10 ingredients! And I guarantee you already have at least half in your cupboard. So cook this lasagna tonight; your taste buds and your family will thank you. 💜

Zucchini lasagna
Here’s what you’ll need:

2 medium zucchini, washed and peeled
olive oil
½ small onion, chopped
15 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese
¾ 5.03 oz. (or similar weight) Bellavitano Merlot Cheese, shredded (or Parmesan, or another bold flavored, hard cheese. You can also use shredded mozzarella or, be creative and use whatever you have on hand!)
½ Tbsp. Italian seasoning
½ tsp. garlic salt with parsley (or just garlic salt—we always buy the kind with parsley added)
½-1 tsp. ground black pepper (I say ½-1 because it depends on how much pepper you like in your recipes. I personally tend to like more pepper because it adds extra flavor for me.)
14.5 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes

Makes one, 8×8 pan full (about 4 large servings)

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cut each zucchini length-wise in 1/8 inch thick pieces. Lay out on a large baking sheet or directly on to your counter top and lightly salt. Let stand for 10 minutes and pat dry with a paper towel. The salt will help remove some of the moisture from the zucchini, which will help ensure you don’t end up with soupy lasagna.
  3. Turn your grill on to medium high and allow to heat up while the zucchini is resting.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, ½ Bellavitano Merlot cheese that you’ve already shredded, Italian seasoning, garlic salt with parsley, and ground black pepper.
  5. Add olive oil and onion to a small saucepan and sauté over medium-high heat until the onion just begins to turn translucent.
  6. Add tomatoes to saucepan with onions and let boil for 2-3 minutes. Turn heat to low and simmer while you do step seven below. (Note: If your sauce is watery, drain excess liquid or use a spoon with slits when layering on lasagna.)
  7. Grill zucchini 1-2 minutes each side.
  8. In a 8×8 glass pan, spread, very lightly, some of the tomato sauce. Place grilled zucchini pieces on top, then spread cheese (about 2-3 large sized spoon fulls), and then spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce. Repeat this process until you’ve used up all of your ingredients.
  9. Sprinkle remaining amount of Bellavitano Merlot cheese on top. Wrap with tinfoil and place in oven. Cook covered 45 minutes. Remove the tinfoil and cook an additional 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into and devouring!

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This recipe is my own, if you repurpose or share this recipe please link to this page and give IronwomanDiaries credit. Thanks!
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Vegan Mexican Lettuce Wraps & Tangy Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

Whenever I’m creating recipes or baking messy kitchen-vegan mexican lettuce wrap prepI tend to make a mess. It seems no matter how hard I try and keep my kitchen from looking like a tornado has gone through it, it’s inevitable. Do you find yourself in this same situation? Or is it just me? Anyway, I think I’ll call it part of the creative process. The bigger the mess the tastier the dish! 😉 But this post isn’t about my messy creative process. It’s about my newest food addiction: Vegan Mexican Lettuce Wraps.

Packed with good-for-you ingredients and bursting with flavor, you’re sure to love these lettuce wraps just as much as I do. In fact I’m not sure what it is about these wraps that I love most. It might be the cinnamon and cumin black beans or the fire-roasted corn. Maybe it’s the avocado, so creamy and delicious against the flavors of the tangy cilantro-lime vinaigrette. Another plus about these wraps is that you can add more toppings (jalapeño peppers, black olives, etc.) or even omit the ones you don’t like. One thing I know for sure, these vegan Mexican lettuce wraps are out of this world!

So if you’re looking for a super delicious and healthy meal for tonight, this is it!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Lettuce wrap ingredients
½ cup quinoa (I mix equal parts white and red quinoa because I love the flavor of both)
1 ¼ cup watervegan Mexican lettuce wrap ingredients
1 (15 ounce) can no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. cumin
1 (14.75 ounce) can whole kernel fire-roasted corn blend
½ small red onion finely chopped
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 ripe mango, diced
1 small head red leaf lettuce (or something similar, like romaine or butter lettuce)
Salsa (optional)
Tangy cilantro-lime vinaigrette ingredients
½ cup firmly packed fresh cilantro
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp. orange juice
Dash of salt

Makes 6-8 wraps

  1. Combine quinoa and water in rice cooker and turn on. (You can also cook via the stovetop but it’s so much easier to use a rice cooker!)
  2. In a small saucepot combine the (drained and rinsed) black beans, salt, cinnamon, and cumin (omit the salt if your black beans already contains it). Turn heat to low to allow for beans to heat through while prepping your other ingredients, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a separate small saucepot pour the corn. As above, turn heat to low to allow for corn to heat through while prepping your other ingredients, stirring occasionally.
  4. Continue to prep your other ingredients: finely chopping the onion, dicing the avocado and mango, and grabbing your salsa.
  5. Now turn your attention to making the vinaigrette. In a blender, combine all ingredients from firmly packed fresh cilantro to dash of salt. Blend until well combined and smooth.
  6. Rinse and dry lettuce. Often the outer pieces aren’t as firm or can be torn; look for inner pieces that are somewhat “cup” shaped. Select the desired amount of leafs and place on plate.
  7. Load up the toppings, drizzle with the tangy cilantro-lime vinaigrette and salsa, and devour!

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Disfrute de su comida!

vegan mexican lettuce wrapsVegan Mexican Lettuce WrapsThis recipe is my own, if you repurpose or share this recipe please link to this page and give IronwomanDiaries credit. Thanks!
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.