November 2, 2011

Mexican-Inspired Pasta Toss

Change of plans: no yoga post today.

I was all ready and excited for today's yoga post, when I encountered a snag in my plan. 

You see, my photographer (i.e. Bo) has been working late hours at his other job (i.e. flying for the United States Navy. I know, how dare he, right?!  Hahaha...totally kidding!).  Thus far, I haven't been able to wait up until 10:30-11:00 p.m. for a yoga photo shoot!  Moreover, I have yet to figure out how to set the timer on my camera, much less position it perfectly to capture the yoga poses on my own.  With that said, my next yoga post will just have to wait until my camera man is back in the home office! :)

Instead, today you get a scrumptious pasta dish!

Before Bo left this morning, he asked if I might make him a midnight snack for when he gets home.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, Bo gets quite ravenous in the evening!  It is getting close to our weekly grocery store run, so our refrigerator is a little sparse...especially in the meat category.  So, I needed to get creative and come up with something that was both flavorful and protein-packed. 

I must say, the end-result far exceeded this not-so-pasta-loving-girl's expectations!  (Yeah, I know, I'm weird...I just don't really love pasta all that much.)

Mexican-Inspired Pasta Toss
Serves 3-4

  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 1 crooked neck squash, sliced into half moons
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 1/2 tsp Herbamare, spicy blend
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 servings penne pasta
  • 1-2 T cilantro, minced
  • EVOO
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed
  • cheese for garnish (I used Daiya mozzarella)


  • Place half-moon zucchini and squash on a greased baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle Herbamare, pepper, and cumin over vegetables and toss to coat.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes, tossing every 8-10 minutes to ensure even roasting.

  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Drain beans.
  • Once pasta is cooked, drain, and immediately toss pasta and beans together in a large serving bowl.
  • Add minced cilantro, EVOO, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Toss to coat.

  • When vegetables begin to brown around their edges, remove from oven and immediately toss into large serving bowl with the pasta mixture.

  • Garnish with cheese and an extra sprinkle of cumin.

I think cumin is the key ingredient to this dish.  Actually, cumin is one of my favorite spices!  I was surprised to discover that cumin is among the top 10 selling spices in the U.S.  It plays a key role in spice combinations such as taco seasoning, chili powder, and Mexican and Southwestern dishes. Cumin is also an essential ingredient in virtually every global cuisine, particularly the more trendy foods of North Africa, India and the Middle East. (citation)

In totally unrelated, but too-cute-not-to-post news, take a look at my friend Bethany's son Everett in his Halloween costume!

Isn't he the cutest thing EVER?!

Bethany is so creative.  She crocheted his hat and bib in a few hours!  And take a look at that adorably painted pumpkin!  I almost squealed when they dropped by Halloween night to visit. :)  Everett was just too cute for words!  I can't wait to see what costumes Bethany will come up with in the years to come...

Question of the Day:

Do you have a favorite spice? 

In addition to cumin, I also love cinnamon!  Bo always jokes with me about how much I use cinnamon.  The other day I was making him a turkey and cheese sandwich and he says, "Just make sure you don't put cinnamon on it!" 

I almost sprinkled it on there just to spite him :) hahaha!

Ally and Bo


  1. I sooo enjoy reading your posts.They're always good for a good chuckle!

  2. Awww, thanks mom! I love having you read my posts. Thanks for commenting too. It puts such a smile on my face to read your thoughts :)