Meatless Monday:Garlic Chickpea Pasta

I was searching around the internet this morning for something unusual to make for Meatless Monday dinner tonight. OK ~I was also secretly searching for a recipe that I could cook from all the ingredients I already had in the house too….  And…. success! I found a great-sounding and great-tasting recipe…Pasta with Chickpeas and Garlic sauce! This recipe uses a can of garbanzo beans, pasta, garlic, tomatoes and Parmesan cheese to make what sounds like a rich and garlicky combination. While I did not have all the ingredients mentioned (I have most), and I am sure that the addition of those extra ingredients would make it even better!

Sauce for Pasta

Here is a video from the website that I found this recipe at if you would like to watch:

Pasta with Chickpeas and Garlic Sauce

What you need:

  • Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Smashed
  • 1 Can Chickpeas
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 bag your favorite pasta (we used whole wheat spirals)
  • Tomatoes (we chopped up 2 Roma Tomatoes)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1Tbs. Lemon Juice
  • 3 Tbs. Parmesan Cheese

How to:

1. In a small saucepan, heat garlic in olive oil and saute for a minute. Add drained chickpeas and 1 cup vegetable stock and allow sauce to simmer for 15 minutes.

2. While sauce is cooking,  cook and drain your noodles.

3.  Carefully puree sauce in a blender or food processor until smooth~ you might have to do this in batches depending on the size of your processor.

4. In a bowl combine sauce, tomatoes, chopped garlic, lemon juice and pasta. Toss gently and sprinke with Parmesan cheese.

We are planning to  serve this pasta dish with a salad and maybe some garlic bread ~  It sounds like it will be sorta like hummus!   We are planning to have a bit leftover and I am betting that this will taste even better tomorrow for lunch as all that garlic flavor develops!

Here is a video if you want to watch and see how easy this recipe is and the full list of ingredients ~ Including the ones that I did not have! HA

Let us know what you though of this recipe? What additions did you make? (Peas… Asparagus tips….)

Meatless Monday: Grilled Veggie Parmesan Sandwich!

This Meatless Monday I have a tasty sandwich idea for you to try. Grilled Veggie Parmesan Sandwich. Yes I know already you are thinking… WHAT?? But this sandwich is super easy and tasty, and a bit messy too.

I first made these sandwiches at a restaurant I worked at right out of culinary school. We would grill halved zucchini (and eggplants slices sometimes) and then slice them into thin slices. We would then arrange the vegetables on a pie plate in a circle – about the size of our bread – top with a few spoonfuls of Marinara sauce (or your favorite spaghetti sauce) and heat. When it was all warm, add a slice of your favorite cheese- we used Provolone and heat until melted.

Now, carefully slip that whole arrangement onto a piece of toasted whole wheat bread.


We used to serve these with a second “top” of bread, but when I make them at home, they are so messy that we are better off to serve them open-faced on a plate and cut up with knife and fork.

Now that we have discovered the Trader Joe’s Marinated Grilled Eggplant & Zuchinni (Misto alla Griglia) we can make them much more often.  Sometimes we sprinkle the hot veggies and sauce with some Parmesan cheese just before adding the sliced provolone. But sometimes we forget that too!

grilled veggies

We hope you love these quirky/ messy sandwiches as much as we do! Sorry there is no photo…we ah forgot and just started eating! OOPS!

Meatless Monday: Spaghetti Squash Delight

Do you like Spaghetti Squash? We like how easy it is to bake and the number of ways that you can serve it up. Why not try it for Meatless Monday?.

During our last few trips to Trader Joe’s we have noticed a change at the store. It is Fall! There are cool assortments of Pumpkins and squashes both inside and outside the store. Not that you could tell from the weather at the beginning of the month (highs still in the 100’s ) But now that we are 1/3 of the way into October, Tucson finally feels like fall has arrived.

Trader Joe's spaghetti squash

Trader Joe's spaghetti squash

We jumped at the chance to grab a nice spaghetti squash to have for Meatless Monday this week. We just love how easy these squashes cook up and how many different ways that you can eat the spaghetti like threads that are created after it cooks.

Here are some ideas for you:

Go Italian– Serve spaghetti squash tossed with your favorite tomato sauce (we are using Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil Marinara) and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Italian Squash Casserole– Mix squash, pasta sauce in a bowl and pour into a well- greased casseroles type baking dish. Top with grated or sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese and heat until bubbly.

Pesto Italian– Add a few spoonfuls of olive oil and pesto to a bowl and mix together. Toss hot spaghetti squash strands around in the pesto with a fork until coated evenly. Season with salt and pepper and a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese if you like.

Classic– Serve cooked spaghetti squash in the classic style, seasoned with salt and pepper and a pat or two of butter.

Cold- Toss cooked and cooled spaghetti squash with salad dressing and season well with salt and pepper. This is a nice and unusual element to add to a tossed salad.

3 Trader Joe's Sauces To Try

How do you like to serve spaghetti squash at your house? Leave us a comment below so we can compare recipes- THANKS!

Meatless Monday: Masala Potatoes and Peas

This week we wanted to include a favorite new dish that we make: Masala Potatoes and Peas. We mix up coconut milk with potatoes, peas (or spinach) and some Indian spices and WOW yummy and delish! We made this quite a lot last winter, and now that the weather is getting cooler in some areas around the country (but apparently NOT Tucson) we wanted to post it for a different kind of Meatless Monday meal.

We serve this with brown rice (to soak up all the sauce) and also want to let you know that it is just fantastic the next day if you want to take it for lunch (or eat the leftovers again for dinner… we do that sometimes).

Masala Potatoes and Peas

What you need:

  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (Trader Joe’s usually sells the tiny ones- that is what we use)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 can Trader Joe’s coconut milk
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced fine (use the Microplane for best results)
  • 1-2 Tbs. fresh ginger, minced fine (use the Microplane for best results)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ bag frozen sweet peas, or 1 6oz bag fresh spinach
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper

How to:

1. Wash (and cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes if using large ones) and steam until just tender.

2. Heat 2 Tbs olive oil in large pan over medium heat. When hot add onions and sauté for 5-8 minutes or until soft and a golden brown color.

3. Add the garlic, ginger and dry spices and continue to cook 1 more minute. Add coconut milk and potatoes stirring gently to combine all the ingredients. Bring back to a boil and then turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Add the peas or fresh spinach and cook 2 more minutes until everything is warm.


The original recipe called for adding a bunch of other items that you might like such as 1 jalapeno pepper (add with the ginger and garlic) or the juice of 1 lime and ¼ cup chopped cilantro (add at the end just before serving).

We just love the creamy-rich taste of coconut milk and this sorta “soupy” meal is very nice on a cool night. If you have more time on the weekends, this would be a great meal to make on Saturday and serve later on during the week.

What did you make this week for Meatless Monday? Share you details in the comments below