20 minute meal: gluten-free fettucini+ pine nuts


You may think, based on all the dessert posts I have on the blog, that all I eat is laced with some form of sugar or another.

While a good scoop of vanilla ice cream served with something warm/sweet/carby (apple crisp, say), most of what we eat is rather simple (boring?). I’m serious when I say we eat beans & rice, a lot.

And when April (& other readers), have commented that they’d like to see more recipes, particularly frugal simple ones, I’m a little sheepish.

It’s hard for me to think that my humble bean soups can compete with what’s now in vogue in the online food blogosphere.

Truth be told, I don’t fancy myself much of a recipe developer these days.

We’ve had family in town for the last week, & before that, it was the stomach bug, before that more house guests. And then everything in between like school, laundry, dishes, walks, dentist appointments, emergency room visits (Hyrum broke his wrist) & other regularities.

I guess what I’m saying is that, I just don’t have time to really bang it out in the kitchen like I used to.


Simple Food 

My main goals with meals are:

1) use what we have
2) don’t waste any food (getting much better at this) by using leftovers & digging into the pantry & food storage
3) make something that the kids & Joseph will eat without much of a fuss
4) & if the first 3 are satisfied, it’s an bonus if I enjoy what I’m eating.

I don’t mean to sound like everything I make is something served from the kitchens of  David Copperfield’s orphanage, but rather, my creations, for the most part are born of necessity & frugality.

I’m not so utilitarian that I forget good taste & a bit of flourish, but overarching it all, I have 5 other people to feed, with little time & a tight budget on which to do it. So, often, my best dishes emerge under pressure.


The 20 minute meal 

On a recent night, I was in no mood to be in the kitchen.

I had been in the house for most of the day, cleaning up creative messes (mostly “art” made of tape, glue & crayons courtesy of my 2 & 4 year old), & working on getting the house in order (which seems to be a bit of a pipe dream, I’ve realized).

Dinner time rolled around, out of nowhere it seems, as it so often does. I had 20 minutes.

This is what I threw together.



The total cost for entire meal that served 6 with no leftovers:

or about $.68 a person

Not our cheapest meal, but  it’s a reasonable price for a colorful, fresh meal.

Everything but the noodles came from Costco.
I bought the noodles via vitacost.com (free shipping on orders over $50 & no sales tax!).

noodles $2.50
olives $.80
pine nuts $.60
spinach: $.20
carrots $.10
vinegar $.03
olive oil $.10
5 c. brocolli $.75

gluten-free fettucini+ pine nuts

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 7 servings

Calories per serving: 2 TBS. olive oil: 322 1 TBS. olive oil: 303

Fat grams per serving: 10 g

 gluten-free fettucini+ pine nuts

Gluten-free, vegan fettucini with pine nuts & olives


  • 1 14 oz. package brown rice fettucini (I like the Tinkyada brand)
  • 1 14 oz. can black olives (170 g)
  • 3 carrots, julienned
  • 4 c. raw spinach leaves, washed & dried
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts
  • 2 TBS. baslamic vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1-2 TBS. cold-pressed olive oil (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (or more, to taste)
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried garlic/parsley blend
  • non-dairy parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (optional)


  1. Cook noodles according to directions.
  2. If using brown rice noodles, rinse & drain noodles, place back into pot.
  3. Cut olives into slices & add olives, carrots, spinach to noodle pot.
  4. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar/lemon juice &/or olive oil. Toss in salt, pepper, & garlic/parsley blend.
  5. Toss thoroughly.
  6. Serve immediately & if you want, top with non-dairy parmesan cheese &/or nutritional yeast.

Additional nutrition info, per serving: 333 mg sodium, 48 g carbs, 5 g fiber.

For added protein, add 1 1/2 cups drained & rinsed canned garbanzo beans (about 1 can). Adds 2 grams of protein, & 3 g fiber per serving.


P.S. I updated my blog roll, check it out.

P.S.S. This made me laugh, & I mentioned this on facebook, you really must read this article from Beauty Redefined (especially if you are female): The Case of the Disappearing Women Over 40.


  1. meg
    on April 26, 2013 at 4:36 am said:

    Janae! You make everything look delicious and do-able. Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. alanna
    on April 25, 2013 at 12:27 pm said:

    Yay! These are the type of recipes I love. While the blogosphere does offer a cornucopia of recipes, many require me to put on fancy-pants to make them and I’m usually not up for it. I’ll take practical, inexpensive and delicious any day. Thank you! 🙂

  3. Cadry
    on April 25, 2013 at 7:01 am said:

    This is the kind of meal I made a lot when I first went vegan. It’s tasty, filling, healthy, and quick. I used to put sauteed collard greens or kale in many times too.

    Thank you for including me in your blogroll! I have so enjoyed looking through your many links this morning. The sites you read are really diverse and interesting. I’ve already made some additions to my blog reader on Bloglovin’.

  4. Beauty Redefined
    on April 24, 2013 at 8:07 pm said:

    I saw we were getting a few hits from your site and then noticed you linked us at the bottom of this post! Thanks so much for sharing our site with your readers. That support means everything to us. Thank you!!!