I really don’t mean to rub it in, but the truth is that I am at the beach.

Not only am I at the beach, but I am at the beach with Little Sis and her family and Carni-Mom.  What could be better than that?  Not much my friends.  And I certainly hope you have some time this season with loved ones in a special place.

As presented in posts around this time for the last several years, during our sojourn on the lovely shore of North Carolina, we take turns cooking large healthy meals for each other and skip the fast food / restaurant scene.  Lots of fun, lots of time together and everybody feels great and ready to hit the beach the next morning.  But of course, it isn’t always easy cooking for a discerning crowd that includes some vegans, some who do not do dairy, some who do not do gluten, several picky children and at least one who would really rather be eating meat (you may have guessed that this last individual is ‘Carni-Mom’).

So in Little Sis fashion, I decided to deconstruct a meal and present theparts so that everyone could find something that pleased their palate and their dietary approach to life.

Pasta offers many such opportunities!  And who doesn’t like pasta?
Oh – that’s right.  Mr. Bigg Sis, my dear husband, does not eat gluten.  Well there is always rice or quinoa pasta but honestly I am not a big fan of gluten free pasta…. but spaghetti squash makes an awesome (and vegetable based) alternative!

20140525_174444 The gluten-free eater might even be willing to help cut said spaghetti squash (be careful – it’s tough!

I have previously described cooking spaghetti squash and serving it with a version of Little Sis’ sunflower cheese at this post.

In addition to spaghetti squash and sunflower cheese I prepared some tomato sauce (use your favorite, try the easiest tomato sauce ever, or simply saute a couple of cloves of garlic, a couple of teaspoons each of oregano, thyme and basil, 1 large can diced tomatoes and 6 oz. tomato paste.)

I usually include lots of veggies in my tomato sauce, but decided to accommodate the varied tastes by roasting them separately.  I combined 4 sliced zucchini, minced garlic and olive oil on one pan…..


and then I combined 1 red onion and 1 bunch broccoli with olive oil in another pan and roasted both at 425.  The broccoli and red onion for about 15-20 minutes and the zucchini for about 25.  Take out and stir every 10 minutes or so.



This will smell really good and cause people to drift into the kitchen wondering when everything will be done. 🙂

Lastly, all were presented and people made their own combinations.  Here’s mine:

20140525_181619  And here is Little Sis’:



Even the picky eaters flew through the piles on their plates and were not long for the and of the awake.
Sun, sand, waves and wonderful company do well prepare a person for sleep!

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