ImageI just made my to-do list for work this week. There are five things on it. That’s right, five. For a whole week. And I already did one of them. So I guess that means there are really only four. I could probably come up with other things to do, but eh. What’s the point? Summers are slow around here. I feel like we bust our butts all year long, so once the fiscal year ends, I kind of just want to slow down and relax for a few weeks. I just wish I was slowing down and relaxing at the beach… not at my desk. 

Alas. Here I am. (sigh) I guess this means I have plenty of time to tell you about these quinoa stuffed peppers I made last night. Don’t let my sigh fool you– They were delish. I’m looking forward to leftovers tonight.

The only red bell peppers I could find in the store were GINORMOUS. Yet, I still had plenty of filling leftover, which tastes great on its own. So you could choose to stuff this in the peppers or… not. They were a little more time consuming than I thought they would be. It just took me a while to get all the ingredients together. Nevermind that I was distracted by the real housewives drama going on in the background… That Vicki is cray.




  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
  • 3-4 large red bell peppers
  • 1 cup of black beans
  • 1/2 cup of corn
  • 1/4 cup of green chiles
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of feta cheese crumbles
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of another shredded cheese of your choice (see note below)
  • 3/4 of a orange bell pepper, diced (optional, see note 2 below)
  • a big handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste


Cook quinoa according to package instructions. 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine quinoa, black beans, corn, chiles, jalapeno, feta, tomatoes, cilantro, shredded cheese, and orange pepper (if using) in a large bowl. Then go to town adding your cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper until the mix has a good flavor. 

Cut the tops of the red peppers off and scoop out the seeds and seams from the insides. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the red peppers until they are stuffed to the brim. Add some more shredded cheese to the top.

Set stuffed red peppers in a baking dish lined with aluminum foil and olive oil. Set the tops of the peppers back on as best you can. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until your red peppers are pretty soft and somewhat prune-y. Let cool for a few minutes before digging in. 

Note: I have this block of cheese that I keep using. But I threw away the original packaging so I don’t know what kind of cheese it is. If you have pepper jack or something that shreds nicely (vs. grating, like parmesan does), use that. 

Note 2: I had a bit of an orange pepper that I just threw in here b/c I needed to use it. If you aren’t serving the quinoa in a pepper, I definitely recommend adding the pepper. But since I served this in peppers, the extra pepper wasn’t needed. That’s why I said it’s optional. 


Spring Pasta with Tomatoes

ImageWell helloooo internet friends! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything on here. I wish I could say that I’ve been cooking and that I have lots of new recipes to share, but that would be a lie. Not only have I not had time to blog, I haven’t had time to cook. I can’t remember the last time I made anything other than grilled cheese or cereal. It’s been a busy spring. Good busy though! I’ve been over indulging in french fries, beers, chips and salsa, and peanut butter and jellies.

However, it’s time to get back in the kitchen and start eating clean again! I finally have a week with no plans so I went to Wegman’s yesterday, spent half my paycheck on produce and seafood and welp, now here I am. 

Tonight I made a delicious spring pasta dish that’s light and super easy to make. I was originally planning to make a salad with tilapia, but then I was like you know what. Maybe I shouldn’t rush into this whole healthy eating thing too quickly. Maybe I should ease myself back into it and meet in the middle with a nice comforting pasta. Just kidding. Really, I couldn’t handle the thought of my apartment smelling like fish for the rest of the night. 

Anyway, here’s the recipe. I’m trying to make this quick… I only have about 13 minutes until the Real Housewives of Orange County starts. Priorities, people! 




  • About 6 ounces of thin spaghetti, angel hair or capellini pasta (about half a box)
  • 2-3 plum tomatoes, diced 
  • 1/4 cup of chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup of chopped basil
  • 1-2 tbps of olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced (I used two but I think it was too much)
  • Salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and crushed red pepper (optional) to taste
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese to taste (optional)


Cook pasta according to package instructions. (I like to add a lot of salt and a little bit of olive oil to my water when I make pasta.) Drain well.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add more or less oil, cheese, salt and peppers as needed. Can be eaten warm or cold.


See, I told you it was easy! And I still have 5 minutes until RHOOC! #teamGretchen



pasta with spinach chickpeas feta and sun dried tomatoesGood morning, friends! As promised, here is the rest of my post from yesterday. I think the key to making this pasta delicious was cooking it in vegetable broth instead of water. It just gave it more flavor and kept it moist (I hate that word. I’m cringing.) until it was time to serve it. I made the pasta a little bit in advance of my guests’s arrival, put a lid on the pot, and kept giving it a good stir every now and then so it didn’t get dry or stick together in places.  Like I mentioned yesterday, when I ate the leftovers, I preferred them cold. I tried them both ways, but cold was definitely better for some reason. So you could serve this warm, at room temp, or a bit colder. The fresh basil was my favorite ingredient here. Yummmmm!


pasta with spinach chickpeas feta and sun dried tomatoes 2


For the pasta:

  • 1 box of whole wheat angel hair or thin spaghetti
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • A bit of crushed red pepper
  • A bit of salt and pepper

For the vegetables:

  • a bit of olive oil
  • 7-8 ounces of fresh baby spinach, washed
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, plus some of the oil
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • about 1 cup of feta cheese, crumbled


In a large saucepan or heavy pot, heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the vegetable broth, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Once your broth is boiling, add the pasta. Cook for roughly 8-10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender, stirring occasionaly. I noticed that the broth was disappearing after a while, but my pasta wasn’t finished cooking. So I added 2 cups of water and continued to cook. When it was done, the pasta was al dente and most of the liquid was gone. To keep warm until ready to serve, cover with a lid and stir occasionally.

In a large skillet, heat a bit of olive oil and the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Add the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes and saute for a few minutes, until the spinach begins to wilt. You don’t want it to become too wilted though. Add the chick peas, a dash of salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes until the chickpeas and tomatoes are warm and the spinach is cooked down and wilted.

Combine spinach, chickpeas, tomatoes and pasta in a large bowl. Right before serving, add the basil, parsley, and feta. (and more salt and pepper if you want. I added a lot of fresh cracked black pepper.) Mix well and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from MY BRAIN!