Argentine Empanadas w/ Chimichurri Sauce-My way

Empanadas are probably in my top 5 favorite foods! My family is Argentine, so we make them often and I’ve loved passing the tradition down to my girls. If you haven’t had an empanada before, it’s basically meat stuffed in pie dough. Pair it with the best chimichurri sauce, and you will be in heaven!

I’ll never forget the first time I had an empanada. I was in my early teens and my aunt and uncle had come to America for the very first time. All our family gathered at my grandma’s house as my aunt made Empanadas for our whole family.

It was so exciting because food really makes me happy, for one. But also because as an American kid, I had never really tried anything different than hamburgers and French fries. They were so good!

Since then, as relatives have traveled to the US to visit, I’ve requested empanadas. Last year when my cousin visited I asked if she could teach me how to make empanadas since I never learned. It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to learn more traditional Argentine dishes that I can hopefully share with you again!


*Recipe Notes*

After making a empanadas a handful of times now, I’ve adjusted the recipe a tad. So these are kind of MY version of empanadas. Argentines are not huge on spice, but my husband and I are, so I added a lot more seasonings than my relatives do. My suggestion would be to adjust the flavors to your desired taste.

Also these contain a few ingredients that might seem questionable, such as eggs, green olives, and golden raisins. It’s one of my favorite things about the empanadas. My husband isn’t a fan of green olives so I’ll make half the batch without. Feel free to do so as well. I have had friends who are not green olive fans that love the taste of them in the empanadas. The main idea is just to go with what you think will taste best :).


This recipe makes a million empanadas. Like SO MUCH FILLING. But it’s the way I was taught, so I’ve always stuck with it. I usually freeze half the filling so that I can make more empanadas in the future and the filling is already done :).


60 Empanada dough circles*

4-5 TB. olive oil

9 sweet yellow onions, diced

sprinkle of salt

1 bunch green onions, diced

4 roma tomatoes, chopped

3 pounds ground beef

2 TB. sugar

7 TB. paprika

6-7 TB. cumin

2-5 TB. red pepper flakes (adjust to your desired spice)

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups golden raisins

1 1/2 cups green olives, halved

12 hard boiled eggs, each egg cut into 8ths

2 eggs, beaten for brushing on top of the empanada

*Empanada dough is similar to pie dough. You could definitely make it on your own, but there are markets that sell pre-made empanada dough already made in the discs. I just googled specialty markets in my area. Sometimes regular grocery stores sell them, you just need to call and check! They should be frozen when you get them. I will put the link of the disc I buy from our local store, but I wouldn’t suggest buying them from amazon as they are SUPER expensive!


  1. If your empanada dough is frozen, make sure it has been thawing in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

  2. In a large pot, add the olive oil. Add the onions and begin to sauce. Sprinkle generously with salt. This releases the liquid of ALL those onions :). This will take about 10 minutes until they have softened and become translucent.

  3. Add in the tomatoes and green onions, and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.

  4. Add in the ground beef. Mix it all together and cook the meet until browned. You can drain a little of the fat if needed, but sometimes I like to keep the fat in there to keep moisture in the mixture. Up to you! Slowly add in all the seasonings and adjust to your desired taste.

  5. Once the meet has cooked and the seasonings are added, allow it to cook for an additional 5 minutes on low heat, then turn off the heat. Cover and let it cool a little before adding in the green olives and golden raisins.

  6. Once it has cooled a little bit, stir in the olives and golden raisins.

  7. Get ready to assemble the empanadas.

  8. Using a larger silver slotted spoon, add about 1-2 TB. filling in the middle of the empanada. Place one of the chopped egg pieces on top of the filling. (Not one egg per empanada. Place 1/8 of the egg on the empanada. (Pictures below.)

  9. Dip your finger in a bowl full of cold water, and rub it around the outside of the empanada. Fold the empanada in half and press a fork all around the edges to seal the empanada. (Pictures below.) Brush the egg on top of the empanadas.

  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-40 minutes, or until the empanadas are golden brown. (Time depends on the type of dough you use.)

*Traditional Chimichurri sauce isn’t blended like I blend mine. The herbs and seasoning are finely chopped and then incorporated in olive oil. I like to puree mine almost like a dressing, so keep that in mind. :)


4 garlic cloves

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 bunch cilantro

1/2 bunch parsley

1 TB. dried oregano

1 jalapeño, seeds removed

1/2 -1 tsp. salt

3/4 cup olive oil


  1. Add all the ingredients, minus the olive oil, into a food processor. Blend together.

  2. While it’s blending, slowly add in the olive oil.

  3. Adjust seasonings to desired taste.

  4. Store in the fridge in a tightly covered container until ready to use.

  5. Can be saved for up to 2-3 days.


BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches

This delicious vegetarian/vegan take on BBQ ‘chicken’ sandwiches is definitely one you have got to try! The jackfruit shreds just like if you were shredding chicken. I served this to my kids and they didn’t even notice a difference! If you haven’t tried jackfruit, you definitely must!

A majority of the people on my side of extended family members are vegetarian and vegans. Also for some time many years ago I myself was vegetarian so I’ve always been super comfortable with eating that way! Whenever family visits I have to come up with dinner ideas that can please meat eaters and non meat eaters…and let me tell you, there are only so many soups and tacos you can make before it gets boring.

I had heard so much about jackfruit that I knew I needed to give it a try. I was a little hesitant because it was new and when I started to shred it I gave me the willies. (Please tell me I am not the only one.) I was also afraid of the texture, taste, etc…But honestly…

I couldn’t tell a difference.

I would say that chicken is a little more tough, and this has more of a tender/artichoke heart type texture…But the taste and everything was the same.

Want to know HONESTLY what my family thought?

  • My kids had no idea. They ate the whole thing I didn’t complain of any differences.

  • My husband immediately took a bite and noticed a difference. He’s incredibly picky because he eats Taco Bell 5 times a week so…

(Yes Ari…THAT’S why he didn’t like it.)

Either way I will definitely make this again when family comes out. It was incredibly easy to pull together, and there are so many options to go along with it to please everyone. (All the toppings and textures you could add would really make this a crowd pleaser!)



Two 14 once cans jackfruit, drained

2 TB. olive oil

3 TB brown sugar

1/2 tsp. each garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and paprika

1/4 tsp. chili powder

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups BBQ sauce


  1. In a bowl, add your jackfruit. Using two forks, potato masher, or whatever you choose…separate the jackfruit into shreds. Add all the spices to the jackfruit and combine.

  2. Add oil to a low/medium heated skillet. Add the seasoned jackfruit to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.

  3. Stir in the BBQ sauce and continue to cook through until the BBQ sauce is heated through.

  4. Serve on buns with desired toppings and enjoy! Good in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days.


Sweet Potato and Chicken Chili

This is a super quick dinner to put together on those busy weeknights! It’s filling, healthy, and delicious! Pair with a delicious cornbread topped with honey and this meal will definitely become a family favorite!

I was thinking about a time a few years back when dinner time was crazy because I had a little baby clinging to me, while another one was taking every item out of the pantry closet. It was hard and exhausting but now more than ever I can admit I wish I could pull a jar of baby food out of the pantry and call it dinner!

Every season is exhausting, but with each season certain things become easier while certain things become harder. As of now, having three kids In school with homework, dance classes, singing lessons, piano, soccer, and reruns of Gilmore Girls to catch up on…I HAVE NO TIME!

So while I love to make a good ol’ peanut butter and banana sandwich for dinner, sometimes I feel the need to make a healthy home cooked meal because I love the idea of adding a lot on my plate. I thrive on stress. ;)

Luckily, for you and for me, I have nailed down a handful of delicious, quick, and healthy dinners that come together in under 20-30 minutes. I’ll definitely continue to share these as time goes on because we have to stick together! Also, this meal can be made simultaneously while your 1st grader reads to you a story about spiders and their babies.

In case you were wondering…


Sweet Potato and Chicken Chili


3 TB. olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

4-5 cloves garlic, diced

1 orange bell pepper, chopped

1 orange sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small chunks

1 TB. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

3 cups canned crushed tomatoes

1 can chili beans OR black beans in sauce

1 can mild red enchilada sauce

1 cup vegetable or chicken broth

3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

Toppings: Fresh lime, sour cream, scallions, cilantro, and crushed tortilla chips.


  1. In a medium heated pot on the stove, add the olive oil. Toss in the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook until the vegetables have softened and are translucent.

  2. Add in the sweet potato and spices, stir and cook for 3 minutes. Next add in tomatoes, beans, enchilada sauce, and broth. Cover and cook until the soup has thickened and the sweet potatoes have softened. Continue to stir frequently.

  3. Once the chili is ready, fold in the chicken and remove the chili from the heat. Serve immediately and top each bowl with the toppings!


The Best Chicken Salad Sandwich

My kids spill their drinks everyday.

Every. Single. Day.


On a day when it's almost bed time and the spill hasn't happened, I literally visualize the calm before the storm. A few weeks ago we went out to eat with the kids and ordered a large lemonade.

First mistake.

 Somehow the restaurant messed up and they brought us three. THREE large lemonades on a table with three kids.

Second mistake.

We let the kids all have sips.

Third Mistake.

Then...Each cup of lemonade was knocked at some point during the dinner and proceeded to spill  all over the floor, table, their clothes, my purse, my pride...

After the first spill we removed the remaining two lemonades to the other side of the table. My husband got up to go to the bathroom and some how his butt knocked the other cup off the table. The third happened when we were getting out of the booth and my 3 year old grabbed the large cup when I wasn't looking and dropped it everywhere.

You guys!! Who gave us children?!  

In my defense, I helped the waiters clean up each mess as I jokingly said we shouldn't be allowed outside and each time not one of them laughed...BECAUSE WHY WOULD THEY?


What does this have to do with chicken salad sandwiches you might ask?


It's just an easy dinner for a tired mom who is holding a mop and regretting throwing away the sippy cups.

I love chicken salad sandwiches for dinner because it comes together SO easy and I don’t have to turn on my oven. It’s versatile and you could add what ever you have on hand, but the touch of fresh herbs and lemon juice take this meal over the top! Trust me, everyone will ask you for the recipe! I cannot take full credit for this recipe, because the amazing blog How To Feed a Loon came up with the original recipe. I adapted it a little to what I had on hand.

The Best Chicken Salad Sandwich


1 rotisserie chicken, shredded

1 cup purple grapes halved

3 small or 2 large celery stalks chopped

3 scallions sliced

1 cup  candied pecans

1 cup mayo or plain greek yogurt, or half yogurt/half mayo for a lighter version 

1 1/2 TB. ground mustard

2 TB. finely chopped dill

1 TB. finely chopped Italian parsley 

Juice of 1 juicy lemon

1/2-3/4 tsp. salt

lots of fresh ground pepper ;)


1. In a large bowl toss together the chicken, grapes, celery, scallions, and pecans together.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayo or yogurt. Add chopped herbs, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. 

3. Pour dressing over salad and mix to combine. 

4. Let set in the fridge for at least an hour if able. 

5. Serve and enjoy!

Original Recipe From How To Feed A Loon


One Pan Baked Chicken, Butternut, and Pecan Dinner with Orange Dijon Maple Glaze

My ‘One Pan Baked Chicken, Butternut, and Pecan Dinner’ is going to be your new dinner favorite! This dinner is on repeat weekly at my house. It’s made in one pan, which makes cleanup amazing. It also all comes together in about 30 minutes! Lifesaver
— (Me)-Ari

This week marked the first week my three year old started preschool. Before she started I began to realize it was the first time in 7 years I wouldn't have a child attached to my hip for a couple of hours every day.

Sheer panic set in because I don't think I know how to do anything without someone saying,"Mom.Mom.Mom.Mom.Mom!!!!" 56 times while I'm taking a shower. How will I learn to make decisions when I am not under an extreme amount pressure?? 

Like, how am I supposed to brush my teeth, hair, and wash my face without a toddler screaming, a 5 year old who refuses to get her shoes on no matter how many times I ask her to, and a 7 year old yelling, "MOM! We are going to be late AGAIN!"



My husband. Bless his 1950's heart, told me that now that I have a few hours without the kids I can actually get stuff done.

He's hilarious. And dead to me.

But in all actuality, I'm really quite sad. As hard as motherhood is, it's almost harder to not be in 100% control..For me at least. I can't be a helicopter parent when they are at schoo!l! Unless...I spy on them through the parking lot while they are at recess. Or, I call the secretary to make sure my daughter made it to class even though I walked her in. 

You guys. ISSUES!!

I'm not always that bad, but I think some time alone will do me some good. Give me time to chill, relax, recharge...and watch Bachelor alone.

(And obviously come up with yummy recipes like these, which make life easier!)


One Pan Baked Chicken, Butternut, and Pecan Dinner with Orange Dijon Maple Glaze


3-4 boneless skinless chicken breast one inch thick, or more if you can fit them the plan

(Salt/pepper to season chicken + EVOO to cook)

3 cups chopped butternut squash

1 cup pecans

2 TB. melted butter

2 TB. pure maple syrup


(Orange Dijon Maple Sauce)

1/3 c. pure maple syrup

2 TB. whole grain dijon mustard

juice and zest of 1 orange

1 TB. cornstarch mixed with 1 TB. cold water


1. Preheat the oven to 357 degrees. 

2. Cover a large baking sheet with tin foil. In a bowl, mix together squash, pecans, and a nice sprinkle of salt. Add to one side of the baking sheet and place in the oven.

3. Heat a skillet on med/low heat with 1-2 TB. EVOO. Season both sides of a chicken breast with salt and pepper. Make sure your breast are about 1 inch thick. Pound with a meat mallet to thin out if needed.

4. Cook chicken on both sides, 3 minutes. Set aside. Continue to cook each chicken, same amount of time, until you've cooked all of the chicken. Pull the pan out of the oven and add the chicken breast to it. Cook for 15 minutes.

5. Before the chicken is almost done, make the sauce. In a small sauce pan add all of the ingredients, minus the cornstarch mixture. Heat on low/medium hit until the mixture begins to bubble slightly. Add the cornstarch mixture, bring to a bubble and allow the mixture to thicken. Set aside.

6. Remove the pan from the oven. Check to see if the butternut squash is soft enough. If it's not, remove the chicken and cover it in foil and set on a plate, and place the pan back in the oven until the squash is tender. 

7. Once everything is done, drizzle it with the sauce, serve over rice if wanted, and enjoy!


Now, share with my your motherhood craziness! Like, do you spy on your kids at recess. Pop in unexpected at lunch time to make sure no little punk kid is being a bully to your baby? 

2017 Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Yea! Thanksgiving is ALMOST here!

As I was compiling the list on my site of all the best Thanksgiving style recipes I realized I didn't have that many. Things will have to change! In the mean time, below are 22 recipes that you can bring to your Thanksgiving dinner and wow your guests! 

Just click the picture or link below the pictures to get the recipe!

Zucchini, Pumpkin, and Butternut Squash Lasagna

I lived off of this dish for an entire week. Breakfast, why not? Lunch...hell ya! Dinner, don't have to ask me twice. Grab a fork before bed time and dig in...calm down there sweetie.

I was obsessed.


I love this time of year because my favorite vegetable season is the one where I wear black leggings every day with a hideous old t-shirt underneath a nice cozy sweater. I love looking like I'm going to bed. Is that sad?

No, it's #goals. 

But enough about living the dream...

This lasagna will fill your house with those cozy fall scents, give you that nice taste of total comfort food, all without weighing you down. I replaced the lasagna noodles with zucchini noodles, which has never been heard of in this year of 2017. 

Then I whipped up my FAVORITE Pumpkin Cream Sauce to go along with it, plus nice flavorful chunks of roasted butternut squash. I. Cant.Even. 

I hate when people say that.

 Zucchini, Pumpkin, and Butternut Squash Lasagna


1 Recipe Pumpkin Cream Sauce

8 oz fresh grated mozzarella

1/2 large butternut squash. skin removed, then chopped

3/4 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch layers

-(Ricotta Layer)-

16oz. ricotta

1 egg

1 TB. fresh rosemary

2 tsp. Italian seasonings

1/4 c. parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat the oven for 400 degrees. Place chopped squash onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little EVOO, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes. Toss every so often. 

2. While the squash is roasting, make the pumpkin sauce. Allow the sauce to cool once done.

3. As the sauce and the squash are cooling down, make your ricotta mixture by mixing all the ingredients for the ricotta layer.

4. Begin to assemble the lasagna as follows: Sauce, zucchini slices, ricotta, butternut squash, cheese. Repeat one more time.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

6. Serve immediately and enjoy!



Do you have a favorite fall comfort dish? Maybe a favorite fall dessert? Share your ideas below!


Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf

*These Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaves are the perfect meal to make your family on Valentine's Day! It comes together so easy, and everyone will love seeing a cute little heart on their plate!*

Listen. I'm not going to lie to you. Making dinner just sucks.

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish
Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish

Does anybody really enjoy making dinner for a family who 75% of the time won't touch it? Is it worth the hassle of even checking Pinterest for a 'weeknight meal' only to have the energy for Cheerios?

I mean, I get home at 4 from getting my daughter from school. FOUR! That's basically when I have to start preparing dinner, but who can mentally prepare for that after you do school pick up. With homework, or dance, or soccer, or the 'I can't find my dance shoes'  dilemma...Dinner is just so inconvenient ;).

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish
Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish

So I won't lie and say that every night is a Pinterest night. I just have to mentally tell my self no and save myself the headache. Especially when my husband get's off work at 8, I just.can.not.

But on the nights where I do try a little harder, the reward is so great. Not for the kids, but for me. Usually that means leftovers, and leftovers means mommy's lunch, and having something other than your child's left over sandwich is the best thing ever!

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish
Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish

I will say though, that my oldest two each ate a full sized heart of these cute little meat loafs, which made me re-consider my anti Pinterest dinners...Almost.

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish
Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf


  • A little more than 1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey
  • 1/2 c. parmesan
  • 1/2 c. breadcrumbs
  • 1 package organic ranch dressing seasoning packet
  • 1 egg
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, pressed or chopped
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 TB. worcestershire sauce
  • light sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • (Topping Spread)
  • 3/4 c. ketchup
  • 2 TB. mustard
  • 2 TB. coconut sugar
  • 1 TB. worcestershire sauce


  1. Preheat oven In a bowl, fold together the ingredients for the meatloaf.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, press the meatloaf into the cutter. Then press the meat out onto the parchment paper.
  3. Bake the meatloaf for 20-25 minutes. (You want the meatloaf to be almost done, but not quite yet.
  4. While the meatloaf is cooking, mix together the sauce for the topping. When you pull the meatloaf out, spread the sauce on top of the hearts.
  5. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until done.


Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish
Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish
Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish
Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish

So what is your favorite weeknight meal that's quick, easy, and everybody loves?! Do they exist?!

Healthier Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Casserole

There are a handful of reasons why there is no need to make anything healthy when it comes to Holiday dinners. For starters, its a Holiday. Splurge, go all out, pull a Joey and wear maternity pants! We all have that one dish we look forward to every Holiday dinner. Mine are the rolls and mashed potatoes. Two of the healthiest things on the menu. Wheat and vegetables as I like to call it.


But you see, sometimes it's a good idea to balance out the indulgent recipes and healthier recipes...for me at least. For my husband, hecks no.

So let me tell you what happened the other day...

I was at the library with all three of my kids at 4:30 in the afternoon. I know. Anyways, I was doing my best to lasso them up so we could leave when a lady came up to me and said, "Excuse me..."

In my mind I had figured she was going to say one of two things,  "Your kids are just so cute, I don't know how to do it raising three good little obedient girls!" Or...

"Girl, what the hell were you thinking! Get these kids in check!"


Instead she said...

"So, I'm not a lesbian or anything but girl you have a nice ass! You've got a big booty, I'm so jealous!"

I was so flattered and kind of embarrassed thinking those tight Lululemon leggings were a mistake, but I quickly replied, " Oh if I could, I would give my big booty to you!"

In a non sexual way. Like a plastic surgical kind of way. I need to leave. Immediately.


I'm not quite sure what it necessarily has to do with this Healthier Sweet Potato Casserole, but let's just assume for a second that sometimes when you've been blessed with extra junk in the trunk...I'm all for a healthier side dish at Thanksgiving!


Healthier Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Casserole


  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 TB. molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. milk of choice
  • 1 tsp.pumpkin pie spice
  • sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 c. coconut sugar
  • (For the topping)
  • 2 TB. softened/room temp coconut oil
  • 3 TB. coconut sugar
  • 1 heaping TB. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. pecans, measured, then finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. mini marshmallows


  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Wash your sweet potatoes, stab them with a fork multiple times, and bake them in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until soft. You can also skin, dice, and boil your sweet potatoes until soft as well!
  3. Once they are cooked and cooled, remove the skin (if you roasted them), and place in a medium bowl. Mash them together. You want about 2 cups of puree.
  4. Add in the rest of your ingredients, minus the toppings.
  5. Mash together until smooth.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  7. Grease a 8x8 baking dish, and add your sweet potato mixture to it. Gently smooth it on top.
  8. In a separate bowl, add your toppings (minus marshmallows) and mash together with a fork.
  9. Sprinkle toppings evenly on top of casserole.
  10. Bake for 20, remove from the oven, then sprinkle marshmallows on top, and place back in the oven for 10 more minutes.
  11. Once done, remove and let cool slightly! Then serve and enjoy!


I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving Holiday!!

Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup

We all know that when it comes to accomplishing certain tasks, if you throw a few children in the mix things can tend to get...tricky. For example, walking out the door. What should be a simple thing which requires little to no brain activity can turn into one of the biggest trials of November. One lost shoe, 15 minutes late, someone has a dirty diaper, you just noticed you aren't wearing a bra...and then FUDGE! Where are your keys?

Every parent says FUDGE when they want to swear but can't. Unless your me, then you say shit. Then your baby says shit. That your 6 your old says, "Mom! The baby said shit!"


Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup via The Diva Dish
Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup via The Diva Dish

Let me talk about this morning for example. We've all been so lucky to get that extra hour of sleep this weekend, unless you have children. Because now they wake up at 5:45 instead of 6:45, and you went to bed at 10:45...(technically 11:45, but you figured you would get that extra hour in the morning.) Think.Again.

We just happened to have an extra hour this morning before we had to leave for school! An extra hour never happens, and then your mind starts to wonder about all of the marvelous things you could accomplish if you had time like this EVERY DAY!

You could shower, curl your hair, wear matching clothes, find your kids shoes in time...

cute baby messy kitchen
cute baby messy kitchen
naughty baby
naughty baby

I decided to do a yoga video. I'm trying to embrace Yoga as of lately because of stress. I'm hoping it will calm me, as well as get me toned in all the areas that seem to have just given up.

So I popped in a TWENTY minute yoga video. To some, this seems so insignificant, but to a busy mom, twenty minutes is basically like asking for Milo Ventimiglia from 'This Is Us' to show up at your door unannounced with chocolate. (P.S. why do I want to say his last name all the time?)

5 minutes in, things got dark. The baby was SCREAMING. I have no idea, but I'm pretty sure it was for no reason at all. She climbed all over me yelling in my ear as I tried my best to twist side to side and feel that deep stretch. In between screams I could hear, "Ahhhh. Just breath..."

And then, just like that, with FOUR minutes to spare I hear a cry up stairs, "MMOOOOM! COME WIPE ME!" For real.

"Honey, I can't! I'm "exercising!" Give me 4 minutes!"

"But it's DIARRHEA!!"

Baby screaming. Lady breathing. Kid yelling.


Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup
Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup

This is why I make soup. Why, you ask? Because soup is something I love, something that comes together SO quickly. I can make a big pot with whatever vegetables I want and can store it in the fridge for a few days of lunch. Then I can store the other half in the freezer for my lunches next week.

Because sometimes as a mom, you don't have time to think about yourself. Sometimes, it's nice to have a meal ready for you in the fridge when you need it. So, hence this soup. It's warm, comforting, and has vegetables in it! Just make sure everyone is wiped and the baby is napping before you sit down to eat...because we all know what happens when moms try to sit down...


Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup


  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped carrots
  • 3 c. diced butternut squash
  • 1/2 c. milk of choice
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 12 cups water
  • 6 boullion cubes
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 7-14 oz pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice


  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil.
  2. Add onions and garlic. Cook until translucent.
  3. Add carrots and butternut. Continue to toss and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add in milk, pumpkin puree, water, and boullion cubes.
  5. Stir and come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Next add in pasta and chicken, along with spices. Cook until pasta is slightly undercooked/al dente. (The pasta will continue to retain water as it sits.)
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!
  7. (The pasta I used was rather large and took about a lot of the soup, that's why I say 7 oz-14 oz, depending on pasta size and shape.)



The pasta I used was this CUTE pasta I purchased from Trader Joes! Those little pumpkins were the perfect match for this soup. But If you do use this pasta, be careful because it get's rather large. I think next time I might only use 3/4 of the bag. To find the pasta, you can purchase it here: (affiliate link)

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So tell me busy moms/dads/persons, what do you do to find time for YOU? I specifically struggling when it comes to exercise, so let me know when and how you fit it in! Have a great week!!

Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza

I don't remember ever eating anything pumpkin flavored as a child. I remember pop tarts and lucky charms... But I don't think I ever even dared to try pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, nor did I ever smell pumpkin bread baking in the oven. And I definitely don't remember pumpkin bagels with pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin flavored hot chocolate and spiced pumpkin whipped cream.

Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza via The Diva Dish
Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza via The Diva Dish

Oddly enough, I can't stop shoving pumpkin flavored shenanigans down my family's faces and throats. Pumpkin cookies? Pumpkin pasta? How about a pumpkin smoothie?

You know what would taste good with that? Let me just sprinkle a bit of pumpkin pie spice right on top of your dinner there!

It doesn't go over well and I don't understand...

Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza via The Diva Dish
Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza via The Diva Dish
Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza via The Diva Dish
Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza via The Diva Dish

Shockingly when I announced we would be having pumpkin pizza, I was expecting a full blown expression of love but instead I got SO.MUCH.HATE.

I promised they would love it, if they just trusted me. They didn't and my husband started to cry for Papa Johns...But I stood my ground because dang it! It's 2016!! EMBRACE THE PUMPKIN!

Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza via The Diva Dish
Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza via The Diva Dish

The star of the show is this Pumpkin Cream sauce which could be consumed alone! It's so easy and comes together in under 10 minutes, and you could put it on top of any pasta dish! Or on your face! Or on your husbands face! Get pumpkin freaky.

Too far.

Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza via The Diva Dish
Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza via The Diva Dish

Pumpkin Cream Sauce


  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 1 TB. chopped garlic
  • 2 TB. shallots
  • 1 TB. chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cream (can sub coconut milk for dairy free, or a non dairy milk for a lighter version)
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese, opt. if you want to keep this dairy free
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. coconut sugar, or brown sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 veggie broth(Depending on how thick you want your sauce. The sauce will thicken once in the fridge, so you can add the broth later on if needed, or all at once.)


  1. In a sauce pan, heat your olive oil on med heat. Add garlic and shallots, toss and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Next add in fresh sage and stir. Cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Slowly add in cream, while stirring. Then add in pumpkin puree, spices, sugar, and broth if needed.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Use for pastas, pizza, etc. The sauce will thicken in the fridge, so if you like the consistency, keep that in mind. To thin add, drizzle a little more broth or cream till desired consistency is reached. May need to adjust spices.


Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza via The Diva Dish
Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza via The Diva Dish

And then we have this...

This pizza. You see that savory pumpkin cream sauce just oozing off the pizza with cheese?! I promise you, this will be a pizza to remember!

Also, we tried are darnedest to make this a 'Jack-O-Lantern' face...I blame my 5 year old.

Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza via The Diva Dish
Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza via The Diva Dish

Pumpkin Pizza w/ Butternut Squash, Tomatoes, and Herbs


  • 1 recipe pizza crust, I use [url href=""]THIS[/url] recipe all the time!
  • 1 recipe Pumpkin Cream Sauce
  • 1 c. roasted butternut squash
  • 1/2 c. baby tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 TB. fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 TB. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1-1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Prepare pizza crust according to directions.
  2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  3. Roll out your dough onto your baking sheet or pizza stone.
  4. Add your pumpkin sauce and spread evenly throughout pizza.
  5. Spinkle on cheese, then the rest of the toppings. (Herbs, tomatoes, and butternut squash)
  6. (Toppings aren't necessary but do add a delicious touch!)
  7. Cook for 10-20 minutes, or until crust is golden and cheese is nice and bubbly!
  8. Serve and enjoy!


Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza via The Diva Dish
Pumpkin Cream Sauce + Pumpkin Pizza via The Diva Dish

Savory pumpkin recipes may be my new favorite thing! What are your favorite pumpkin recipes, and do you have links to share?

I have about 17 cans of pumpkin puree needing to be used so....

Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup (Vegetarian/Vegan)

*This Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup is my vegetarian version of Chicken Noodle soup with a citrus touch. The lemon is SO perfect and pairs so well with all of the flavors, and gives it such a comforting and light taste! It's perfect to warm your soul on a cold day, with a kick of vitamin C to knock any cold!*  ______________________________________________________________________

My husband LOVES soup! So much that he just gets so tickled when I tell him to hurry home from work because there is a nice warm bowl awaiting his hungry belly!  Not before he makes a pit stop at Taco Bell (true story) because he actually hates soup and every other meal that I declare healthy and delish.

Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup via The Diva Dish
Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup via The Diva Dish

I think he doesn't love soup because it doesn't satisfy his fast food taste bud. It doesn't come in a cardboard box, greasy paper bag, with a scent of regret.

It may clean your intestines some what the way a meal from any fast food joint may do, but it won't make you re think every life decision you've ever made at 3 in the morning from fast food hallucinations...

I a way.

Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup
Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup

Come fall, or the spirit of fall shall we say, I tend to throw all that's in my fridge in a pot with a cups of broth, grab a sweater and count down for Christmas! It's healthy.  Despite it being 99 degrees all this week, I keep embracing the fact that I am over with summer and I'm ready for leggings!

I guess my delusions of Fall go hand in hand with my husbands acceptance and delusions of Fast Food...

And if that doesn't make us a strong, #GOALS type of couple, then I don't know what will!

Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup
Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup

Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup


  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves, diced
  • 3 large carrots, sliced semi thin
  • 3 sticks celery, diced
  • 8 cups vegetable broth, or chicken for a non vegan/veg soup
  • 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas OR one can of white beans for a softer bean
  • 2 cups cooked pasta noodles of choice
  • juice of 2 lemons (Mine weren't super juicy, so start with one and add more lemon juice if desired)
  • 1 TB. dried Italian seasonings
  • 1/4 tsp. tumeric, optional for color
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat a large pot over the stove on medium heat. Add the olive oil, and heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add in the carrots and celery and toss.
  3. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  4. Next add in the broth and chickpeas, followed by the lemon juice and seasonings.
  5. Once the vegetables have softened, add the cooked pasta. You can add un cooked pasta, but add 2 cups more broth for the pasta to soak.
  6. Serve with lemon slices, fresh parsley, and parmesan cheese on top if desired! Enjoy!


This soup is SO good! If you love chicken noodle soup, you will love this variation. The lemon is the perfect twist and adds an extra level of comfort! Let's not forget the vitamin C punch that would be perfect for any cold!

Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup via The Diva Dish
Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup via The Diva Dish

I'm determined to find a soup that my husband will love, even though the task might be impossible. I'm thinking a beefy baja chalupa soup might be right up his alley....

Skillet Artichoke Chicken Marinara Dish

*This dish comes together in under 30 minutes! It's a quick and easy dish, perfect to spoon over pasta, crunchy bread, or just plain if you are watching your carb intake. It's loaded with summer vegetables, but they can easily be changed to what you have on hand!* _________________________________________________________________________

I remember my first crush like it was yesterday. His name was Joshua, he had dark curly hair and for some reason, I knew I would marry him. (I didn't.)

I remember sitting in the back seat of my dad's car with my friends and shouting, "I LOVE JOSHUA!" My dad looked at my oddly, probably because I was only 5 and he didn't expect raging love hormones at such a young age...

Skillet Chicken Marinara Dish
Skillet Chicken Marinara Dish

Sadly, Joshua moved away when I was in 1st grade to a small town in Idaho and the dreams of our future together seemed nearly impossible. But then, when I was in high school my parents got a call that Joshua and his family were in town and wanted to stop by and say hi.

I remember running upstairs and putting on my best clothes, getting my makeup just right, and giving a few flirty smiles to myself in the mirror. The man I was going to marry was coming back to get me, and darn it, I was going to be ready!!

Skillet Chicken Marinara Dish via The Diva Dish
Skillet Chicken Marinara Dish via The Diva Dish

I'll never forget when we opened the door and standing right in front of me was Joshua...wearing overalls.

For some reason his curly hair wasn't so cute any more, he had a hick like accent and well...the sparks were just not flying! I was immediately crushed because I figured our story would be the most romantic one to tell our friends and future children. But I just couldn't get past...the overalls.

Skillet Chicken Marinara Dish via The Diva Dish
Skillet Chicken Marinara Dish via The Diva Dish

Odd because my husband wears overalls every weekend like it's his job! ;)

Things haven't changed much when it comes to young girls and raging love hormones in this house. Every time we sit down to dinner, my girls pull out their pretend cell phones and start talking to their imaginary boyfriends. They laugh as my husband "pretends" to get upset as they repeatedly say, "Oh Cruz, I just love you so much! Muah Muah Muah!"

Obviously family dinners will change in the next 15 years because my husband won't be pretending any more, and most likely we will lock them under out stairs till they are 25...

Don't worry, we will let them out to eat. That's it though.

Skillet Chicken Marinara Dish via The Diva Dish
Skillet Chicken Marinara Dish via The Diva Dish

Skillet Artichoke Chicken Marinara Dish


  • 3 TB. extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 ounces canned artichokes
  • 1 large or two small yellow squash, cut into chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 3 cups shredded chicken
  • 1/3 cup chopped basil, plus more for topping
  • 2 slices seed whole wheat bread,I used Dave's Bread
  • 4 ounces sliced mozzarella
  • 1/3 c. freshly grated parmesan plus more for topping


  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. In a skillet, heat the olive oil to medium heat. Add in the garlic, artichokes, and squash. Cook until brown spots appear, about 5 minutes. Toss while cooking.
  3. Add the tomatoes, water, salt, and pepper. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to simmer. Allow the sauce to thicken, stirring occasionally. This should take about 10 minutes.
  4. During this time, add the bread to a baking sheet and place under the broiler for a few minutes until the bread has toasted. Break up into crunchy breadcrumbs.
  5. Add in the chicken and basil to the marinara sauce.
  6. Then stir in the 1/3 c. grated parmesan. Sprinkle the top with the bread crumbs, lay the sliced mozzarella on top, plus a little more parmesan cheese.
  7. Add the skillet to the broiler, and cook until the cheese begins to bubble, about 3-5 minutes.
  8. Take out of the oven, top with more fresh basil.
  9. Serve over pasta, crusty bread, or just eat as it!


Skillet Chicken Marinara Dish via The Diva Dish
Skillet Chicken Marinara Dish via The Diva Dish

Literally as I am trying this my 3 year old just told my 5 year old, "No I like the guy with dark hair and white pants..."

Kids. Under the stairs. NOW!

My Favorite Vegetarian (naan bread) Pizza

Have you ever tried to convince someone to do something, but they rejected you? Then later on someone else ask that person to do the same thing, and they are all on board...

My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza via The Diva Dish
My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza via The Diva Dish

So this past week I got so mad at my husband. I gave that man the best silent treatment known to man, followed by a few side eyes just to make sure he got the point I was pissed.

All over a vegetarian pizza. #wifegoals

My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza via The Diva Dish
My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza via The Diva Dish
My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza via The Diva Dish
My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza via The Diva Dish

I've always been a dramatic person, I won't deny that ok. I won't deny that maybe I shouldn't have gotten so upset. BUT you guys, my husband...Dog House.

You see, for YEARS I've been trying to convince my husband to try and challenge himself to eat vegan/vegetarian for a solid week. He loves his fast food/junk food, because we are polar opposites when it comes to our appetites. So i figured, if he gave it a solid week he would all of the sudden love healthy food and we would eat at vegan restaurants on date night...

Or something like that.

My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza via The Diva Dish
My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza via The Diva Dish

So fast forward to this week when I make this pizza, aka my FAVORITE vegetarian pizza, and my husband is taking picture of it. Wait what? He never does this, what's going on? I quickly asked him, expecting to hear him tell me he is posting it on social media to tell all his friends what a dang good cook I am...

But no. He is sending it to his co-workers because they are going to do a VEGETARIAN challenge at work coming up, and he wants to motivate them and tell them it's do-able.


Immediately I'm mad wife status, feeling all the feels of betrayal. He doesn't notice as he scarfs down the deliciousness, but I subtly try and change that. A look there, shutting the cabinet door just a tad harder here...

My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza via The Diva Dish
My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza via The Diva Dish

My poor husband.

He is just so understand to my ways..He promised me that it was my idea all along and that his co-workers just gave him that extra motivation...I admitted to being a tad overdramaticitisthattimeofthemonth status, and all was well...

He told me maybe I should go run that night at the gym to have some time to myself and de-stress from the day. Obviously he was calling me fat right?

So about that pizza....

My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza via The Diva Dish
My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza via The Diva Dish

My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza

Not only is this pizza one of the best vegetarian pizzas that even meat lovers will crave, it's also the easiest to put together! No need to make a homemade crust, because naan bread is the perfect quick and easy substitute! You can use whole wheat naan bread for a healthier substitute too. As for the flavor combination, it's amazing! This pizza is based off of my favorite pizza called Jack Sprat from Gourmet Pizza Shoppe in Redlands, Ca.


  • 2 pieces naan bread
  • 1/2 cup - 1 c. marinara sauce
  • 1/3 c. sliced black olive
  • 1/3 c. sliced pimento olives
  • 1 roma tomato, thinly sliced
  • 2 TB. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TB. chopped onion
  • 2 TB. chopped garlic
  • heaping 1/2 cup broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1/3 of a green pepper, diced
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup salted and roasted halved cashews
  • 1-2 TB. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c. (or more) mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, or a combination of both


  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Place the naan bread on a baking sheet and set aside.
  3. In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil. Then add in the onions and garlic, cooking about 2-3 minutes. Next add the green bell pepper and broccoli, tossing to cook about 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top.
  4. While the mixture is cooking, spread the marinara sauce on both of the crusts, followed by the olives, and sliced tomato.
  5. When the vegetables are done, and have cooled a little. Divide the mixture into two, and sprinkle on top of the pizza. Next add the cashews.
  6. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning on both pizzas, followed by parmesan cheese, and the mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!


My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza via The Diva Dish
My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza via The Diva Dish
My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza via The Diva Dish
My Favorite Vegetarian Pizza via The Diva Dish

I actually did end up going to the gym that night because my friend text me she was going and asked me to join. Turned out to be a great way to destress and have time to myself! Who would have thought?!