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Veggie Bowtie Pasta

The weather has been so warm the past couple of days I decided to pull out the summertime I-don’t-want-to-eat-anything-heavy meal.  This is a yum-o-licious, easy recipe.  It’s so flexible, all the veggies are inter-changeable with your favorites.  The inspiration for the dressing comes from THE taste for living COOKBOOK by Beth Ginsberg and Mike Milken, but has some modifications. I’ve reduced the measurements, added olive oil and garlic.

As you can see from the stained cover, this is a well used cookbook around our house.

The only downfall to my veggie pasta meal is the prep/cooking time.  It’s a bit long at about 60 minutes.  But, if you break it up over two days, or buy pre-packaged cut up veggies, it goes much faster.

Veggie Pasta Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. (half of a package) Bowtie pasta, cooked
  • 2 ears white corn on the cob, steamed and cut off the cob
  • 6 medium carrots, cut into bite size pieces and steamed
  • 1 yellow or orange pepper, cut (fresh, not steamed)
  • 1 medium stalk broccoli, cut and steamed
  • 1 cup peas, cooked
  • 1 small basket grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, torn
  • 6 oz. soy mozarella cheese, cubed (substitute dairy or almond cheese if you don’t like soy)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

Here’s a tip for cutting your corn off the cob.  Place a small plastic bowl upside down in a large bowl.  Place your cob on the plastic bowl and cut away.  It keeps the kernels contained and they won’t hit the counter, the floor, or yourself.

On a side note, if you don’t have a compost bin at home, you should consider it.  It makes great dirt for the garden!!

Scraps for the compost bin.  Note:  quarter the cob so it’ll compost quicker.

After cooking or steaming, let food cool before placing in bowl.  I put the avocado, cheese, and pasta in last.  The avocado so it doesn’t become guacamole; the cheese so it doesn’t melt (just in case something hasn’t cooled enough); and the pasta because it takes a while to cool.

Pic before placing the avocado, cheese, and pasta in. (You see two bowls because I doubled the recipe and brought one to a friend’s house.)

Chili Lime Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium tamari soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin (sweetened japanese rice wine)
  • 1/4 cup brown rice vinegar (may substitute white)
  • juice from 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Place all dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir together.  Pour approximately 1/2 – 3/4 of the dressing over the veggie pasta and mix.  Prior to serving, cover and let marinate for approximately 30 minutes either in the fridge or out on the counter (I prefer out as pasta hardens a bit from the cold fridge).  Reserve the rest of the dressing to place on pasta if you feel it needs it.  I usually put 1-2 spoonfuls over my dish.

As I said before, this really is a dish you can play with by adding to, taking away from, or reducing measurments.  At times, it’s become one of those dishes where I look in the fridge and ask, “What can I throw together tonight with the five things I’ve got in the house.”  It’s definitely saved me a few times!

If you’re interested, here’s the PDF document for the recipe.  Hope you enjoy!



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What a beautiful weekend we had! While the husband was away the kiddies played (me included). We took full advantage of the weather and were outside from dusk ’til dawn. Saturday morning my young seedling (a.k.a., my son) and I tackled some overdue garden projects.

We did a little bit of this:

A little bit of this:

A little more of this:

And a lot of this:

Guess who did all the squirting?  Let’s just say I didn’t need a shower afterward.

My son is in Kindergarten (boot camp for first grade as I was told at Back-to-School night in September).  The past two months his class has been studying nature and most things in it: how a plant grows; the life cycle of butterflies, ladybugs, and spiders; birds and their prey; land and sea animals; the list goes on.  Recently, his teacher had the students plant sunflower seeds in a plastic cup with soil.  They kept them at school so they could watch and document the beginning stages of the plant life cycle.  I attempt to do my part and reinforce what he’s learning in school, so when he came home with the seedlings, we transplanted them into the garden Saturday morning.  He said he’s going to water them and watch them grow into flowers, and I believe him.  When he says he’s going to do something, he follows through… at the tender age of five years old.

Here’s a shot of one of the transplanted sunflowers:

 Here’s a shot of the adorable sign his teacher made for each child:

After we finished transplanting the sunflowers, my son asked, “What else can we plant?”  That was the perfect opportunity for me to get some much needed, and long overdue, seeds  started.  He’s helped with this before on numerous occasions, and usually bows out after about 2-3 minutes.  However, this time it was different.  I asked if he wanted me to take pictures of him helping so I could put it on the blog.  An immediate, “Yes!” came screeching out of his mouth and then, “You’re the only person in the world who has a blog so you’re famous.”  First, that’s hilarious – I may actually be the last person in the world to have started a blog.  Second, with that statement, I instantaneously knew that big brain of his equated being on the blog to now being famous.  Hope you don’t mind while I pause to take a moment for station identification…. well, to pause for a thought.  We only allow him to watch PBS cartoons (where there’s no commercial persuasion) and G rated movies.  Where he gets this ‘famous’ concept from I have no idea.  Perhaps Word Girl?  Someone help me out here!!

These are the flowers we started from seed (plus this one – why I don’t have my own picture of it I don’t know):

Vigna Caracalla (Corkscrew Vine)

The day before planting, there were a couple of seeds, Lupine and Vigna Caracalla, I had to nick and soak over night for greater germination success.  I’ve never started Lupine from seed, but this is my fourth time with Vigna Caracalla.  The first time, I nicked and soaked, but it was a failure.  I didn’t like those odds so I got to researching.  I stumbled upon a forum where a lady said to nick the seeds and place in really hot water for one to two days.  I nicked, used the instant hot water dispenser on our sink, and my success rate was better, two out of five.  I then did some more research and someone mentioned to nick the heck out of these seeds and then place in really hot water.  So, I went around the house to see what I could find to “nick the heck out of” these seeds.  Aha!  A nail clipper.  Tried it and my success rate hit 100%!  Who knew these seeds were so fickle!

We went about planting the seeds a different way than usual.  Typically, I plant seeds in a 4″ pot with an organic compost and soil mixture.  This time I used Jiffy Peat Pellets I received as a gift from a friend.  Once watered, the small, flat discs raise to approximately 1-1/2″ tall and are ready to accept the seed.

While retrieving more buckets of water for the soaking process, I caught my guy having a duel:

Next, my son had fun making the holes, planting and covering the seed.

He made it about 3/4 of the way through and then told me he’d return after making muck.

He never came back.  He was having too much fun playing in the mud.  Of course, once you get muddy you have to rinse off.  That’s when the water fight ensued.  Have I mentioned I lost?


admin - Hopefully one day he’ll take a liking to it! 🙂

admin - He’s my favorite too!!

Grandma Shellyt - And so it begins. Farmer Mel AND Son! What a great day in the yard and how great to pass the love for gardening on to the next generation.

Joni holland - Grow all you want. But the seedling ‘Bohdi’ is still my favorite!!!!