Yummy Monday: Artichoke Rotini (in 30 Minutes or Less!)

This recipe came to me in a dream — literally.  I was taking a nap one day a few years ago.  I was hungry and dinner was on my subconscious mind.  I was trying to figure out how to make dinner with the random things in my pantry (a grocery trip was overdue!); a sort of use-it-up pantry meal.  So somehow, I put this together in my dreaming head.  I woke up and made it, and it has become a family favorite!  And it’s so easy to make!  30 minutes or less from start to finish.  Like most of my recipes, this makes 8-12 servings.  It is also vegetarian, and can be made vegan by omitting the cheese.

You will need:

16 oz tri-color rotini (or similar pasta)

1 medium onion, diced

2 cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained

2 cans diced tomatoes, with juice

Old Bay seasoning

~1/2 Cup pine nuts, toasted

~1 Cup grated Asiago cheese (approx 4 oz)


– Dice the onion and start it cooking in a big pot with some butter (or coconut oil)

– Put salted water on to boil for the pasta

– Cook onions until browned, sprinkle Old Bay liberally.  Stir.

– Add drained artichoke hearts, stir.  Sprinkle more Old Bay.  Cook for a few minutes.

– Add tomatoes (with juice), stir.

– Taste-test for spice strength. Add more Old Bay if desired.

– Let simmer until the pasta is finished cooking.

– Add drained pasta to the pot, stir gently.

– Add Asiago, fold in gently.

– Add pine nuts, stir.

You’re done!  Enjoy!  😀

~ Michelle

P.S. Please let me know if you try this, how your family likes it, and what (if anything) you did to tweak the recipe to your own preferences!  🙂

Yummy Monday: The Best Potato Salad Ever

Really?  Well that is what my friends and family tell me and I find them to be a pretty trustworthy bunch.  So how do you make this wonderful mayo and potato perfection?  Well, you ask and you shall receive.


  • 5 lb. bag small red potatoes
  • 1 medium size bunch of green onions, cut into 1/4 length pieces
  • 1/2 medium size green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1-2 packs of hickory smoked bacon, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces. (how much you use depends on how much you love bacon, mmm bacon, totally a 2 pack of bacon family here)
  • 8oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbs. Dijon mustard
  1. Put the red potatoes whole into a large pot of water to boil.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking chop and cook the bacon, draining it and setting it to the side.  You can also use this time to prep your other ingredients, shred the cheese, dice the bell pepper and onions.
  3. Once the potatoes are soft through with a fork drain and transfer to a large bowl.  Slice potatoes into rough bite size pieces being careful not to make it “mushy”.
  4. Add all other ingredients and mix carefully making sure not to mash the potatoes.  You may need to add more mayonnaise or Dijon mustard once you have it mixed and taste it.  Also some people like a dry potato salad and some like it to be a little on the wet side.  Depending on your preference is how much mayonnaise and mustard you are going to want, just add gradually as you mix keeping an eye out for the texture you like.

I LOVE this recipe, and my friends and family request I bring it to all the get-togethers, even when I don’t really feel like it fits the food theme.  Traditional turkey dinner and you want me to bring what???  This recipe is a variation of one I had at a friend’s summer barbecue several years ago but that I have modified here and there.  Hope your family enjoys it as much as ours does.  Oh and this potato salad is unusual in that it is at its best when just made and still warm; it is delicious after being refrigerated, but when it is still warm and the cheese is all melty it is absolutely divine.

~ Sasha

Yummy Monday: Tater Tot Casserole

So, you might be thinking, did I stumble onto www.duggarfamily.com?  Well, not this time.  This is my own adaptation of the Duggar’s recipe, using my favorite ingredients for a healthier version of the dish.  It makes 8-12 servings.  Our family of 7 rarely leaves leftovers (they LURVE it; it’s a cheeseburger and fries, all mixed up in a bowl!).  It is highly customizable, but I am sharing exactly how I make it.  We usually serve this with a salad as a first course, then we rinse out our bowls and use them for the main dish!  😉  (And this post is SUPER pic-heavy . . . I got a little carried away.) ~Michelle

Tater Tot Casserole

1 lb local (woohoo!) grass-fed ground beef

1 meduim sweet onion

32 oz organic frozen tater tots

2 cans Campbells Cream of Celery Soup

2 Cups almond milk

8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

coconut oil

salt & pepper to taste

Turn on your oven to the temperature that the tater tots require (450 or something?), and stick them in the oven in a large (9″x12″) casserole dish.  Don’t worry about preheating.  Set the timer for however long the package says (20 minutes or so).

While the tots are baking, dice the onion and cook over medium heat in a spoonful of coconut oil.  When they start to brown, add the ground beef and brown it, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Drain.

Whisk the soup and milk together.

Spread the cooked meat mixture over the cooked tater tots, the pour the soup over everything.

~ Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes ~

Take the casserole out, sprinkle the shredded cheese on, then put it under the broiler until the cheese is meted and starting to get brown/crispy.




Please leave a comment if you try this out (including any modifications; there are so many that can be made!), and let me know how your family liked it!