Ok… so I have come to a conclusion.  I am clearly not myself when Brad is away on business trips.  He left on Monday and came home late Thursday night and only one night of those 4 did I actually cook something.  But it sucked and had to throw it away.  I attempted to make enfrijoladas, but unfortunately I found myself eating one and then throwing the rest of the pan away (I made half the recipe though, so it was slightly more ok than if I made a whole recipe).  It had it reasons for not turning out well though and they were my fault.  I didn’t follow the recipe exactly (I used what I had in the house, which means corn tortillas and not enough cheese) so I shouldn’t have been surprised.  Plus, it was just… blah.

But my point of the story is that I spent most of my time working, walking Etta and Cash, feeding them, running them outside to pee, cleaning up Cash’s kennel, washing Cash’s towels multiple times a day, listening to him bark and cry, and shouting “Cash, NO” every 10 seconds when I would catch him chewing on everything in (and out) of our home.  I was utterly exhausted.  So to no one’s surprise, I wasn’t in the mood for slaving away over a meal, especially when I was woken up at 6:15 every morning, moving non-stop throughout the day and couldn’t start cooking until about 7:30 at night.

It was rough.  That’s the point of my story, actually.  (I’m so dramatic)  But I found myself craving mac and cheese and mashed potatoes and frozen pizza and everything but what I had planned to eat.  I craved unhealthy food, didn’t do our Tough Mudder workout (we took the whole week off and I can absolutely tell) and didn’t want to touch a baking dish, saucepan, or even open the oven unless it involved putting a pizza in or taking it out.  I wouldn’t say that I was lazy… because I certainly was NOT with the dogs (2 long walks a day, sometimes with both of them together, sometimes with them separate is the opposite of lazy), but I realized I felt weird… cooking for myself is not nearly as fun as cooking for someone else.  And that is why, when he came home, I felt like cooking again!

Enter: this meal.  We had spent most of the day at the track on Friday (for those of you who are confused, I’m talking about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy 500 practice and qualifications) and Saturday and so I wanted to make sure we had something simple to make.  When you come home from being in the scorching heat all day, cooking an elaborate meal is not exactly at the top of your list.

I had made this meal a few months ago and thought I would bring it back out due to it’s incredible easiness and deliciousness.  I started to panic though when I opened the pantry to grab pasta only to find that we had about 1/4 cup of elbow macaroni, a couple lasagna noodles, half a package of buckwheat noodles, 1/2 cup of quinoa and half a bag of Amish egg noodles.  Welp… egg noodles it was (actually, I had Brad choose which we should have and he chose egg noodles).  I was worried that it might be weird since I’ve only used the egg noodles in chicken noodle soup, but to my surprise, they worked quite well!  They were far better than I thought they would be! Needless to say, though, I bought pasta at the grocery store today.

This pasta dish is delicious!  And if you don’t want to or don’t have a grill, it works great under the broiler!  (Actually, that’s what we used because one of the wheels was falling off our grill so we avoided using it that night.  We got it taken care of though, no worries.)  Anyway… it’s such a simple meal to make.  The most labor intensive thing you have to do is slice the zucchini.  Woop-di-do.  It’s a great, quick meal for a weeknight but it would go over super well with any gathering of friends or family.  It also makes a perfect Meatless Monday meal. But you could add grilled chicken or maybe even grilled shrimp if you wanted to for a little something extra!

Plus, it has artichokes.  Need I say more?

Grilled Zucchini, Artichoke and Cherry Tomato Pasta
Makes 2-4 servings

1 can quartered artichokes, drained
1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2″ thick slices
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil
1/2 pound egg noodles or any other pasta of your choice

Cook pasta according to directions on package.

On a greased baking sheet or grill pan (to go on the grill) toss artichokes, zucchini and cherry tomatoes in a couple tablespoons of olive oil (I just drizzle it until it looks like enough) and salt and pepper.  Place on grill or under broiler until vegetables are soft and starting to get a nice char.

Serve pasta on a plate with veggies spooned over top.  Drizzle with a little extra olive oil if desired.

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