Whole wheat tomato rotini with grilled zucchini, tomato and red pepper

Didn’t know what I was going to make for dinner tonight and then remembered that I haven’t had pasta in far too long. And then I remembered the zucchini, tomato and red pepper I had in the fridge and my mind was made. I whipped up this extremely delicious pasta dish in just about half an hour! SO simple to make – AND DELICIOUS!

Whole wheat tomato rotini with grilled zucchini, tomato and red pepper

  • Half a well scrubbed zucchini cut into 1 cm discs
  • Half a red pepper seeded and quartered
  • 1 plum tomato seeded and quartered
  • 1 small onion cut into thick discs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat rotini
  • 1/2 – 1 cup tomato sauce, to taste
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • Tablespoon of butter
  • Salt, pepper and basil to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil mixed with 2 extra minced cloves garlic and salt and pepper to taste
  1. Fill a large pot with at least 6 cups salted water and bring to a boil.
  2. Preheat grill and arrange zucchini discs, red pepper and tomato quarters. Spread with extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Leave zucchini and red pepper on grill when finished cooking to keep warm!
  3. Meanwhile melt butter in fry pan and saute onions. When onions are almost done add a clove or two of garlic, to taste. Pour in tomato sauce, salt, pepper and basil. Add tomatoes ONLY from grill.
  4. Boil pasta according to directions on box. After 8-9 minutes remove a piece and test how tender it is, this is really the only way to see if it is done! Drain pasta but DO NOT rinse with water. Check out this recipe by Michael Smith as he explains the best way to cook pasta. (Rinsing the pasta removes starch that the tomatoes stick to, doing so will make your sauce slip right off your noodles.)
  5. Toss drained pasta with tomato sauce and put on plate. Cut red pepper into smaller portions and arrange on pasta with zucchini.
Quick & Easy pasta dish

Quick & Easy pasta dish

For this batch of pasta I added the tomato, as well as the red pepper and zucchini to the sauce and tossed with the noodles. Both ways are equally as delicious, it just depends what kind of presentation our are going for!

Another batch of this yummy pasta!

Another batch of this yummy pasta!

I paired this delicious pasta with a few slices of garlic bread. I didn’t have any good french or italian bread so I took a very sharp knife and sliced a couple slices of regular loaf bread top to bottom to produce two very thin slices. I topped these thin slices with garlic butter and cheese and set under a broiler on high for 3-4 minutes (or until cheese is melted).

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Zucchini bread and muffins

Chris has been bugging me for a couple weeks now to make him some zucchini bread because of an episode of ‘How I met your Mother’ that we watched. In the episode one of the main characters Marshall goes for Brunch with another guy and has some zucchini bread that he exclaims is “ridonkulous”.  If you haven’t seen the show yet I would definitely recommend it. It’s almost like a funnier, cruder version of Friends, except they hang out in a bar instead of a coffee shop.

Sorry, off topic 😛 Anyways, I wanted to ‘Feed two birds with one scone’, so to speak, and make Chris some easy to transport zucchini muffins, and a delicious [healthy] loaf that I could bring for dinner to our friends house the following evening.

The muffins and loaf were such a huge success that I’m not going to change the recipe AT ALL. I even got a certain someone who “doesn’t like zucchini or any vegetables” to reach for seconds!!!

I started with a recipe that I found on allrecipes.com and went from there. I wanted to make the recipe as healthy as possible so I used apple sauce in place of half the oil. I used a ground flax seed mixture in place of the eggs which made the loaf and muffins even lighter, whole wheat flour instead of all purpose and added some freshly grated nutmeg. I filled my bread pan first and then started on the muffin cups and near the end of the batter I threw in a few chocolate chips so we could test what those would taste like as well! That’s the beauty of muffins, you don’t have to have 12 of the same thing as it is really easy to portion your batter and add different optional ingredients to each.

So moist, fluffy and delicious… and gone already. I think I might have to make another batch this weekend!

Healthy Zucchini Bread & Muffins

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg (yum)
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seed mixed with 9 tablespoons water, let stand 3-5 minutes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups grated zucchini (around 3 zucchinis)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • optional: chocolate chips, raisins, an additional 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  1. Grease and flour one bread ban and line muffin pan with paper cups.
  2. Sift flour, EXTRA ground flax seed, salt, baking powder, baking soda, grated nutmeg and cinnamon in large bowl.
  3. Beat ground flax seed mixture with, oil, apple sauce, vanilla and sugars together in another large bowl.
  4. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared bread pan.
  5. I poured about 6 regular muffins and then added some chocolate chips and filled the rest of the cups.
  6. Bake loaf for around 50-60 minutes depending on your oven [when a toothpick inserted deep into the middle comes out clean] and muffins for 15-20 minutes [or until toothpick inserted comes out clean].
  7. Cool on racks.


Delicious zucchini loaf

Delicious zucchini loaf

Delicious Zucchini Loaf

Delicious Zucchini Loaf

Delicious zucchini bread slices

Delicious zucchini bread slices

Delicious zicchini muffins

Delicious zucchini muffins