Summer time is the best time for me to try out easy recipes that require little prep, few ingredients, and let’s be honest, minimal skill. After all, who doesn’t love an easy meal that looks like you spent all day cooking? This three part dinner took me two pots, one baking sheet, and less than an hour. It fed five hungry adults and one little man who can hang with the best of them when it comes to eating pasta. The flavors all together were a great combination, although I can think of many other lunches and dinners to toss them into as well. And, since this is meant to be a quick, no-fuss meal, I wrote this post in that same spirit. Enjoy!

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Pepperoni (adapted slightly from Woman’s Day)


  • 1 small head cauliflower, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick (I wasn’t too precise about this; I just took each of the florets and cut them in half until they were smallish)
  • tbsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 box medium shell
  • pints grape tomatoes
  • 5 oz thin sliced pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower, oil, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  3. Add the tomatoes to the cauliflower, toss to combine, and roast for 6 minutes more. Scatter the pepperoni over the vegetables and roast until the cauliflower is golden brown and tender, 6 to 8 minutes more. Toss the pasta with the cauliflower mixture and parsley.

photo 1

Cilantro-Lime Chicken (adapted slightly from Inspired Dreamer)


  • 4-5 boneless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into chunks
  • 5 limes
  • 6 cloves minced garlic (or 3 tsp)
  • Olive Oil
  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • 1/4 cup cilantro


  1. Pour enough olive oil into a large skillet or saute pan to cover the bottom. Heat it over medium high heat until it’s very hot. Add the chicken.
  2. Once the chicken is browned nicely on the bottom and is starting to whiten, mix it around and sprinkle it generously with cumin and chili powder.
  3. Continue turning the chicken to allow it to cook through and begin browning. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the garlic and zest from the limes. Be careful not to let the garlic burn!
  4. Once the chicken is cooked through add the lime juice and stir up all the browned goodness from the pan.
  5. Remove the chicken to a bowl or platter and sprinkle it with cilantro.

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Sauteed Green Beans (Honestly, I don’t remember the source. I have been making these for years and have long since abandoned any official recipe. Here’s my best shot at writing it down.)


  • olive oil
  • 1 1/2-2lbs green beans, ends snapped off and snapped in half (**this is a fun job to give a toddler!)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 heaping tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1-2 tsp thyme
  • 1-2 tsp rosemary (I’ve also used other spices, but thyme and rosemary are the best in my opinion)


  1. Pour some olive oil into the bottom of your pan (the same one you just used and cleaned from your chicken, if you want) on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the green beans.
  2. Toss them around a few times until some of them are starting to get some brown marks on them.
  3. Add water and turn stove up to high. Stir until the water evaporates and the green beans are bright green.
  4. Add your butter, garlic, and spices. Stir green beans in mixture and let sit on stove until the green beans begin to shrivel and darken.

photo 3