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"Skinnytaste" A Week of Back-to-School Recipes: Day1

SkinnytasteFandS_200School started for us last week and getting back into an early dinner routine has been kind of rough. That's where Gina Homolka comes in.  I already use The Skinnytaste Cookbook on a regular basis but I think her new one, Skinnytaste Fast and Slow, will have a permanent spot on my kitchen counter.  Homolka's readers' have been asking for meals that can be made quickly and she has obliged in the new cookbook. 

I asked Homolka if she would help our readers (and, let's be honest, myself) kick start their busy back-to-school life with a Monday-Friday menu plan and she agreed.  So come back to The Amazon Book Review over the next four days to find the next recipe.  Three of them are a preview of Skinnytaste Fast and Slow which releases on October 11.  Here is the week's meal plan so you can start thinking ahead:

Monday: Easiest Pasta and Broccoli  (from Skinnytaste Fast and Slow)
Tuesday: Buttermilk Oven "Fried" Chicken (from The Skinnytaste Cookbook)
Wednesday: Bangin Good Shrimp (from The Skinnytaste Cookbook)
Thursday: Grilled Cumin-Rubbed Skirt Steak Tacos (from Skinnytaste Fast and Slow)
Friday: Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup (from Skinnytaste Fast and Slow)



Back-to-school cooking doesn't have to be complicated. With the help of a slow cooker as well as fast and easy recipes that take 30 minutes or fewer to make, you'll have healthy, delicious meals your whole family will enjoy!

My new cookbook, Skinnytaste Fast and Slow, is filled with 140 low-calorie, quick-fix and slow cooker dishes to help you get meals on the table in no time. These are the kinds of recipes I get asked for the most, so I created this cookbook as a solution for all those people who want to cook healthy, but don't have a lot time. -- Gina Homolka


FS_Easiest-One-Pot-Pasta-with-Broccoli_SMALLEASIEST ONE-POT PASTA and BROCCOLI


With just five ingredients (not counting salt and pepper) and one pot, you'll have an easy dinner on the table in just about 15 minutes. Madison won't eat cooked broccoli on its own, but she loves this dish. (Let's just say that it's not by accident that it gets all mashed up.) Because the broccoli is used to create a pesto-like sauce, it sticks to the pasta and the kids can't pick it out. I made this dish weekly for Madison when she got her first set of teeth, using ditalini pasta, a small size that is easy for toddlers to eat. Nowadays, I use shells because they hold more of the yummy sauce, but any pasta shape works fine. Leftovers are great reheated the next day.

Kosher salt
12 ounces medium pasta shells
6 ½ cups broccoli florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and broccoli at the same time and cook until the pasta is al dente according to package directions. Reserving about 1 cup of the water, drain the pasta and broccoli.

Return the pot to the stove and set over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the garlic. Cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and add the pasta and broccoli.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the Romano, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Stir well, smashing any large pieces of broccoli into smaller pieces. Add ½ cup of the reserved pasta water and stir, adding more as needed to loosen the sauce.

Divide among 6 pasta bowls and serve with additional grated cheese on the side, if desired.

skinny scoop Since this recipe relies on just a few ingredients, it's important to use good-quality grated cheese such as Pecorino Romano or Parmesan. If you like a little spice, add some crushed red pepper flakes.

FAT: 7.5 g
FIBER: 8.5 g
SODIUM: 190 mg


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