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!  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 …

pasta with walnut pesto, sausage, and broccolini

Marin Mama dinner, Pastas, weeknight dinners 9 Comments

pasta with walnut pesto, sausage, and broccolini (1 of 1)-4

Here’s another easy-peasy one-bowl pasta dish that is kid and hubby approved! Who doesn’t like that? This was showcased on Oprah’s site as a super foods meal. I think it was showcased as a super foods meal due to the walnut pesto and broccolini. I don’t think the sausage was contributing factor to that title, but that’s ok, because the sausage was the contributing factor to my kids rating this dish a 10. Hey, you have to throw something kid friendly in a dish that has walnuts in it, at least in my house. This pasta is similar to my broccolini, sausage and orecchiette pasta, but a bit different with the walnut pesto serving as the base sauce. I loved the …

cheesy baked tortellini & homemade marinara sauce

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, meatless meals, most popular recipes, Pastas, weeknight dinners 19 Comments

cheesy baked tortellini & homemade marinara sauce

Want an easy-peasy weeknight meal your whole family will enjoy?  I bet you’re saying yes, yes, yes!  Well, read on, because my whole family loves this pasta and I love it because it’s tasty of course, but so quick (under 45 minutes) and easy to make. This is definitely a family and kid friendly meal.  It’s cheesy, hence the title, cheesy baked tortellini. This pasta is rated a 10+ in my house and has quickly become a family favorite. Life is getting busy around our house, and during this busy time I have to prepare my weekly dinner menu in advance. Zoe now has lacrosse, dance and cotillion 4 nights during the week so goodbye (for now) to sit-down family dinners, and …

lentil “meatballs” with lemon pesto

Marin Mama dinner, meatballs, meatless meals, most popular recipes, Pastas, vegetarian 29 Comments


Here’s another wonderful “mommy” meal that I made this past week. It’s also a great “meatless Monday” meal.  I saw this recipe a few weeks back on Sprouted Kitchen and I have been dying to make it for some time.  I loved my chickpeas burgers so much that I wanted to try another meatless dish that is usually made with meat.  When you hear the word meatball you think of meat, right?  Well, these are lentil meatballs so there is no meat in them.  Maybe lentil balls would be a more fitting name for these.  It just sounds weird, so I think I will keep the name meatballs. I loved these lentil meatballs and I wasn’t even missing the meat. They were flavorful …

Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, Fennel and broccolini

Marin Mama dinner, Pastas 11 Comments

Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, Fennel and broccolini

So I must admit, we are a pasta loving family.  Pasta is a wonderful base because you add so much to it.  It’s almost like a blank canvas.  Throw in some veggies, a little meat and a yummy sauce and you have the perfect one-bowl meal. Since we eat a lot of pasta, I have been looking for some alternative and healthier versions rather than the typical white pasta.  We eat quinoa spaghetti quite often and the kids like it especially if it’s topped with pesto or my bolognaise sauce.  I have always wanted to try whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta but was worried how the kids would react.  I aim to make one meal (no short order cook here) for dinner …

orecchiette pasta with sausage and broccoli rabe

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, Pastas, weeknight dinners 5 Comments


First off, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to those of you that are viewing my blog and making some of my recipes.  I can’t tell you how happy it makes me when a close friend, stranger or mom at school comes up to me and tells me that they are making one of the recipes from my blog that night. I love hearing their comments on how much their family enjoyed the recipe or how easy it was to make.   The biggest request I keep getting from people is to keep posting more yummy & easy weeknight dinners.  Dinner is the one meal that people struggle with. I get it, we’re all busy running around all …

Green Bean and Shallot Ravioli

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, meatless meals, Pastas, weeknight dinners 10 Comments

green bean and shallot ravioli

I saw this recipe in the November issue of Whole Living Magazine and I knew I had to make it.  I mean I was literally salivating over this recipe and 5 others.  These recipes were shown as Thanksgiving side dishes for vegans and vegetarians.  I thought to myself as I was staring longingly at the photos, when did I start getting excited over vegetable dishes?  Who is this girl?  I use to get excited over a juicy burger, fries or any sort of sweet, (well, I still get excited over sweets) but vegetables?  This is all recent and very strange for me.  I’m honestly considering becoming a vegetarian.  I would prefer a beautiful homemade (not those frozen things) veggie burger to a …

Penne a la Vodka

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, meatless meals, Pastas, weeknight dinners 7 Comments

penne a la vodka

OK, we turned back the clocks yesterday and we had our first California rain on Saturday.  In my book that means it’s officially fall and time to start breaking out our favorite comfort foods. Here’s a pasta staple at our house, Penne a la Vodka!  This dish is a classic in my book and it’s SO delicious. The best part about this recipe is that I usually have everything on hand to make it, which makes it an easy dinner fill in.  Make sure you serve this up with some warm crusty bread to soak up all that yummy sauce.  This pasta tastes even better the next day as the penne soaks up all the sauce overnight.   Penne a …

leaner spaghetti bolognese

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, Pastas 4 Comments


Spaghetti bolognese is such a classic dish and the perfect comfort food.  I have changed up the classic and made it a bit healthier by substituting buffalo meat for the 1/2 pd each of ground beef and pork.  My family uses buffalo meat in place of ground beef in everything from burgers to tacos, you name it. Buffalo has 70% to 90% less fat compared to beef and 50% less cholesterol; it’s also leaner than both pork and chicken and has fewer calories than all three.  On top of that, buffalo is higher in protein, iron and all the omega and amino acids. There are also no growth hormones, steroids, or sub-therapeutic antibiotics used.  You can research more on the health …

Broccoli Lemon Pasta – Kid rated a 10

Marin Mama dinner, family favorites, meatless meals, Pastas, weeknight dinners 36 Comments

broccoli lemon pasta with toasted walnuts

Looking for an easy, weeknight, meatless, family friendly, 30-minute, one-bowl pasta dish?  Look no further because this pasta fits the bill.  This is my weekly go-to pasta because it’s super easy to make, (I could literally make this blindfolded) kid approved and it’s a one-bowl meal. It’s one of those pastas that my kiddos request often (like weekly) and I happily make.  I’ve been making this pasta dish for 10 years and it’s still one of our family faves. This is the pasta that got my kids to first TRY and LOVE broccoli, so there you go… Zoe often brings the leftovers to school for lunch and I now have to pack a huge container, as all her friends want …