Roasted Butternut Linguine…

I heart Fall and with it the fall vegetables – sweet potatoes, acorn squash, butternut squash and pumpkin are some of my favorites! I got a deal on fresh linguine pasta this week so I went looking for a recipe to incorporate both linguine and squash. Peeling and chopping a butternut squash can be intimidating for some, so for a good tutorial, take a look at this. I subbed fresh spinach for the Swiss Chard since I had it on hand and I knew the kids would eat it. I served this with grilled chicken to please the meat eaters in our family and some garlic bread since my oldest is a “breadatarian”.

It was very tasty but I thought it a little dry. Next time I make it, I will add some olive oil to the mix (or you could do butter but I was trying to keep it dairy free). I did like the fact that I could eat this as a vegetarian meal while John and the kids added the chicken to finish it out.


Roasted Butternut Linguine (from Taste of Home here)
4 ServingsPrep: 10 min. Bake: 45 min.


  • 4 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 pound uncooked linguine
  • 2 cups Swiss chard or baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper



Place the squash and onion in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Combine the oil and pepper flakes; drizzle over vegetables and toss to coat.

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and place in a large bowl. Add the squash mixture, Swiss chard, sage, salt and pepper; toss to combine.

Yield: 4 servings.

Menu Plan Monday 9/17/2012

Yeah! John is back home! That means that dinner is more of a normal nature than last week. We still have a few nights of football practice, a 5k run and atleast one night of Cub Scouts so some nights are easier than others but that is a normal schedule for us.

Today is also Muffin Monday! I have my Ladies Bible Study tomorrow and I offered to bring muffins. Of course, I can’t just bring one kind of muffin, I had to make three different kinds of muffin. I baked a pumpkin muffin, chocolate chip muffin and a blueberry muffin (they look different in the pic because I added a brown sugar crumble on top). They all turned out great but just by smell, I think the pumpkin ones will be the winner. Good thing I threw two loaves of pumpkin bread in the oven too!

Dinner Menu Plan

Sunday: Roasted Butternut Squash Linguine, Grilled Chicken, Garlic Bread (I will post the recipe for this later this week)

Monday: Baked Chicken Tenders, Macaroni & Cheese, Apple Slices (fresh grown apples from the farmer’s market – delicious!)

Tuesday: Pioneer Woman’s Sloppy Joes, Oven roasted potatoes,

Wednesday: Dinner @ Windward Challenge 5k race

Thursday: Crockpot Applesauce BBQ Chicken, Rice, Broccoli

Friday: Leftovers for Girls Only Night w/Brittany

Saturday: Sandwiches, Chips & Fruit (everyone is gone for dinner so I am keeping it easy for me)


Dairy Free…

I have had stomach problems for most of my life. Even as a child I remember not being able to drink milk or eat ice cream without getting a stomach ache. I never went to the doctor and got a formal lactose intolerance diagnosis, I just avoided those two things. But my stomach has not felt “right” in a long time. I was going through a particularly bad episode recently and I broke down in tears. I HAD to find out what was wrong with me.

In the past, I have seen several gastroenterologists and had lots of tests – Upper and lower G.I. and the required colonoscopy. But those had always come back as normal. The last gastro I went to thought the problems were stressed induced and prescribed Xanax for me to be on to reduce stress. Admitedly, I am high strung but there was no way I was going to be doped up all day and in a haze just so I could have a good tummy. Plus, I had a good feeling that the problem was really food related more than anything.

I began to do some research and John suggested I keep a food diary for a few weeks. At the same time I decided to go completely dairy free and see if that made a difference. I am not sure why I haven’t tried this before. I think because it is so scary to think of what I will have to give up – no butter or cheese being the two most difficult for me. But I have done it and I have never felt better. I have had to change what I eat sometimes in very dramatic ways (no pizza) and sometimes just small ways (no butter on popcorn). But the plus side is that I am feeling like a new person.

Here are some other changes I have made:

  • limiting sugar
  • limiting carbs
  • only drinking water until dinner time
  • no alcohol
  • no peanut butter (also one of the hardest ones)
  • no coffee
  • eating smaller meals more frequently (it feels like being on an infant feeding schedule sometimes)


I am not sure if any of these have also made a difference in how my stomach feels or if it was just the dairy. One perk is that I can tell you that I have finally broken through the weight plateau that I had hit and lost 3 lbs. But a downside is that this also means that I am often making myself a separate meal from everyone else or adjusting what everyone eats because mommy can’t eat it.

As for becoming dairy free, I expect this to be a lifestyle change. The real test will be with the holidays coming up – I just might have to bring my own food which will also be difficult. I am not sure if I will ever go in a get a “real” diagnosis that lactose intolerance is my problem but as long as I am feeling fine, I am okay with that.

Menu Plan Monday 9/10/2012

John won’t be eating with us this week so that means easy meals for Mama. It is also a good time to clean out any leftovers and lingering food in the freezer. So, you will see this week’s menu looks a little weird. I like to throw small leftover meals in the freezer just for times like this. It is a good way to feed the kids a healthy meal quickly and without a lot of prep work. And I am now dairy free, so for me it will be something easy like a sandwich or a salad (with my yummy locally grown hydroponic greens – holla!).

Dinner Menu Plan

Monday: Sandwiches, chips and fruit (we have football and volleyball tonight so I am gone from 5-8:30)

Tuesday: Penne Pasta Bake (leftovers from the freezer) with garlic bread and a veg

Wednesday: Beef Stew (also frozen leftovers) and either biscuits or cornbread

Thursday: Zaxby’s (football practice tonight so we are trying out a new one that opened near the field)

Friday: Chicken Quesadillas, rice and steamed broccoli

Saturday: Frozen Pizza and fruit