quinoa, tuna and corn salad

Marin Mama lunch, meatless meals, Quinoa, salads, side dishes, vegetarian 13 Comments

quinoa, corn and tuna salad

Quinoa, quinoa, quinoa.  I’m sure you’re seeing that word everywhere these days and that some of you are tired of seeing recipes with quinoa, but here’s another recipe just incase you’re not tired of it yet.  I admit I did go on a hiatus from cold quinoa dishes for about a year, as I was tired of eating it day after day.  I discovered new and unique ways to enjoy quinoa like sautéed in a patty or cheesy cake, perfect for lunch or as a side dish to your favorite soup or salad.  I also discovered I liked quinoa in the morning mixed in with some steel-cut oats or quinoa flakes mixed with goji berries.  In fact I’m having a bowl …

Israeli couscous salad

Marin Mama breads and grains, dinner, lunch, meatless meals, Pastas, salads, side dishes, vegetarian 22 Comments

israeli couscous salad (1 of 1)

I love it when I find new salads or summer side dishes that can be made ahead to marinate all day or made on the fly to eat up right then and there. This salad is one of those salads that tastes great either way. This is the perfect salad to bring to a potluck, picnic or to serve up in your own backyard. It’s full of summer flavor from the fresh mint, parsley and cherry tomatoes. We love pairing this salad with chicken drumsticks and one of my kale salads for a family backyard dinner. You can really make this a year round salad by adding seasonal ingredients to the mixture, like asparagus in the spring, cauliflower or broccoli in the …

grilled bruschetta with heirloom tomatoes

Marin Mama breads and grains, dinner, family favorites, lunch, marin mama's favorites, meatless meals, sandwiches, side dishes, vegetarian 15 Comments

grilled bruschetta with heirloom tomatoes

I’m sure you’ve all seen the cover for the July/August edition of Martha Stewart Living in either a book store or your grocery store. If you’ve seen it, then you know why I just had to run out and make up this bread. I opened up my mailbox last week and saw the cover showcasing this beautiful assortment of heirloom tomatoes on top of this toasted bread. I immediately went to the grocery store, bought me some heirlooms and made this up for lunch. I have to say that I was in food heaven. This bread is crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside from the juicy heirlooms and olive oil. The crunchy sea salt and fresh basil …

one-pan pasta

Marin Mama dinner, meatless meals, most popular recipes, Pastas, weeknight dinners 126 Comments

one-pan pasta

Isn’t this above picture just beautiful and doesn’t it make you want to try a batch of this pasta tonight?  I mean look at all of those fresh ingredients and all that color. I saw a photo similar to this in the most recent edition of Martha Stewart living and it looked so cool and challenging to me. I mean a one-pan pasta, who had ever heard of that (not me)? I seriously wondered how it was all going to work, and I have to say that I was a bit skeptical. I will also admit that the first time I made this pasta up, it didn’t turn out so great, as the pasta was overcooked. I was under the assumption …

asparagus and gruyere cheese pizza

Marin Mama dinner, meatless meals, pizza 17 Comments

asparagus and gruyere cheese pizza

We’re bringing back pizza Friday in the Grandy house, at least for the summer anyway. I just love pizza Fridays. We all hang in the kitchen, I make a big salad while the kid’s roll out the dough and assemble their pizza while talking about their week. I unwind with a glass of wine and watch them (just kidding, I do help). The kids usually create their own pizza, usually just a jar of Trader Joe’s red sauce, some pepperoni and some mozzarella cheese, easy peasy and kid friendly. John and I like a more adult pizza so I like to experiment with different combinations. I created this one night as I had tons of asparagus in the house and thought …

sweet potato and chipotle soup

Marin Mama dinner, lunch, meatless meals, most popular recipes, Soups 29 Comments

sweet potato and chipotle soup

I know it’s not exactly soup season anymore as spring is in full swing and summer is around the corner, but for me, it’s soup season anytime of year. I mean, my all time favorite soup is my heirloom tomato soup, which is basically a summer and early fall soup. I make batches upon batches of that soup and don’t mind making it in 90-degree heat, because it’s that good. I wasn’t planning on posting anymore soup recipes for the season, but I saw this recipe in Gwyneth’s new cookbook and I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I made it up, and was happy that I did. This soup is wonderfully creamy, but without the cream, as it’s dairy free …

quinoa cakes

Marin Mama burgers & patties, meatless meals, most popular recipes, Quinoa, side dishes, veggie burgers and patties 84 Comments

quinoa cakes (1 of 1)

Ok, so remember when I was obsessed with kale and everything kale?  Well, I’m still pretty obsessed with kale, but now I’m obsessed with quinoa as well.  I have figured out my favorite way to eat quinoa, and that is warm, liked warmed up in patties or a cereal rather than cold like in a salad.  I’ve made more quinoa dishes in the last few months than I have in the past year that I’ve been blogging.  First, there were these quinoa patties.  Super yummy, easy to make and healthy. Then I tried quinoa for breakfast with steel-cut oats and goji berries. Say what, quinoa for breakfast?  Oh yes, try it!  It’s my new favorite way to start the day.  It’s …

spaghetti squash tacos

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, meatless meals, Mexican, tacos, weeknight dinners 34 Comments

spaghetti squash tacos

I know there are many of you who have been patiently waiting for this recipe ever since I showcased it in my weekly menu post last week. Thanks for being so patient and I hope that these tacos make your wait worthwhile. I love it when I find a new family approved and easy weeknight meatless dinner (that was a mouthful). It’s so nice because I try and strive to have at least 2-3 meatless dinners a week, if possible. I want to make meatless nights fun and tasty and full of variety for the family, not boring and something that no one looks forward to. I truly have found the best recipes since I started my meatless search, and …

how to cook spaghetti squash

Marin Mama dinner, how to, meatless meals, Pastas, Veggies 16 Comments

spaghetti squash with tomato sauce

Today’s post is sort of a recipe, but really more of a “how to” post. I’m going to show you all how to cook spaghetti squash.  I figured if I didn’t have a clue the first time I cooked one up, then there are those of you that are in the same boat. Spaghetti squash is a delicious and nutritious alternative to pasta.  It’s loaded with fiber, nutrients, vitamins and is high in potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, plus its fun to eat. When cooked, the inside of the squash shreds into long, thin noodle-like strands resembling spaghetti pasta.  I didn’t believe it until I actually made it and saw the transformation. The squash is pretty mild in flavor …

kale salad with delicata squash, almonds and aged cheddar

Marin Mama kale, kale salads, meatless meals, salads, Veggies 32 Comments

kale salad with delicata squash, almonds and aged cheddar

Ok, I must admit, I’m not a holiday recipe kind of food blogger. I don’t feature holiday recipes months before the holidays, unless it’s a recipe that can be used for any occasion, like this salad. I’m honestly not an expert when it comes to cooking turkey or stuffing. I make the same stuffing every year (sausage and chestnut stuffing) and John cooks the turkey, as cooking large birds sort of scare me. I also figure that most of you have family favorite Thanksgiving recipes that have been passed down through the generations. We actually have a family favorite cranberry sauce that John’s mom passed down to us, which John makes every year for Thanksgiving.  

quinoa patties

Marin Mama burgers & patties, meatless meals, most popular recipes, Quinoa, side dishes, veggie burgers and patties 44 Comments


Happy day after Halloween!  Are you all candied out?  Are you putting yourself on a diet of kale salads and quinoa dishes till Thanksgiving? I’m not going to go that far, but I do need some sort of cleanse from all the sugar I’ve been eating lately. It’s not candy that I need a break from, but baked goods. I have been baking way to many pumpkin muffins, cupcakes and bundt cakes lately, and I need to stop!  Maybe with all of this new candy in the house, I won’t be asked to bake anything. I think the trick-or-treat candy will give me about a week off before the kids start getting sick of it and start asking me what …

spaghetti with cheesy broiled tomatoes and basil

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, meatless meals, Pastas, vegetarian, weeknight dinners 13 Comments

spaghetti with cheesy broiled tomatoes and basil

Here’s an easy weeknight meal that the whole family will enjoy, and the best part is that you can have it on the table in less than 30 minutes.  Yes, you heard me right, dinner in under 30 minutes. What mom or dad doesn’t like that?  Another great thing about this pasta is that it’s made with fresh and whole ingredients, so you can feel good about feeding your family a quick and easy dinner. The heirloom tomatoes topped with parmesan and mozzarella taste like mini pizzas, but without the crust.  My kids even begged for thirds on the tomatoes.  I used heirloom tomatoes, but you can also use beefsteak, roma or vine-ripe tomatoes, whatever tomato strikes your fancy. These …

heirloom tomato soup

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, lunch, meatless meals, most popular recipes, Soups, summer meals 62 Comments

heirloom tomato soup

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and had one of those dishes that stands out so much that you remember it and still crave it years later? Well, this soup is one of those dishes. My girlfriends and I went to Calistoga for a girls weekend a few years back, and we stayed at the Solage resort in Calistoga.  It was such a luxurious and fun filled weekend. The resort’s restaurant, Solbar, is hands down amazing.  Everything on its menu is seasonal, local, organic and just overall scrumptious. We all enjoyed a cup of their heirloom tomato soup and our taste buds were in heaven. We were in shock to learn that there wasn’t any cream in the soup, because it tasted so creamy. This soup is vegan, …

cold soba noodles with miso tofu and summer vegetables

Marin Mama dinner, meatless meals, Pastas 15 Comments

cold soba noodles with miso roasted tofu and summer vegetables

Welcome to marinmamacooks.com!  I finally have my own domain, yeah!  I’m a real blog now, (just kidding, kind of) but it’s a big step for me and I do feel a bit grown up.  I lost a couple of things in the transition like my pin counters, but these things happen and it’s pretty minor in my opinion. One of my favorite sources for new recipes are magazines.  I love opening one up and looking at all the gorgeous pictures and tempting recipes.  I use to love reading In Style, Oprah and magazines like that, but now I love to ready cooking magazines (I guess I’m getting older).  I currently have a subscription to bon appetit and Martha Stewart Living. …

Ina’s summer garden pasta with video tutorial

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, meatless meals, Pastas, videos, weeknight dinners 35 Comments

Ina's summer garden pasta with video tutorial (1 of 1)-3

Ok, here is my first attempt at a “homemade” cooking video.  When I say first attempt, I mean first attempt.  Zoe and I pulled this together yesterday afternoon, and there weren’t any re-takes, we shot and edited with what we had.  I’m proud to say that this video was filmed and edited by my 12 year old daughter, Zoe. Yay Zoe!  Zoe is always shooting videos with her friends, and editing up a storm, so I asked her if she might want to earn a few bucks by filming some videos for the blog this summer. I think she did a wonderful job, and all in all, for our first video, I think it turned out pretty good.  Making your first …