Summer Pasta.

If you're anything like me, right now you have an abundance of zucchini and squash sitting around waiting to be used. Between the vegetable CSA we're a part of, and friends that grown their own and have passed several to us, I have more than I know what to do with. Oh, and did I mention that I'm not a huge fan of squash?

Growing up I had a pet iguana (strange for a girl, I know). I used to feed him squash and I guess it became ingrained in my brain that squash = iguana food. Crazy, right? I wanted to find a way to make squash something I would actually enjoy eating and with this dish I did just that!

The squash and zucchini become browned and deliciously soft, while the corn adds a great crunch. Combine that with the freshness of the basil and tomatoes and you really have a winning dish. This meal embodies everything I believe in: it's healthy, it's easy to make, and it's affordable.

The biggest stride you can make in you decision to eat healthy on a budget is to eat in season. The next time you go to the grocery store, look at the prices for zucchini, squash, basil, corn and tomatoes. I'll bet you they're on sale. This is a dish you can easily make for under $10. And it feeds at least 4 people. Yep, awesome.

If you want to make this meal even more affordable, try growing your own basil. I picked up a locally grown, organic basil plant for $4 at Whole Foods and it saves me at least $2 every time I use it. If I can grow it on an apartment balcony (with no green thumb!), then you can too!

Try making these meal for the squash hater in your life, and watch them change their mind.

Summer Pasta

This pasta embodies everything I love about summer vegetables.

{serves 4-6 }

- 1 TBS coconut oil

- 2 small squash, diced

- 1 large zucchini, diced

- 1/4 tsp. coarse sea salt

- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced

- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced

- 2 ears of corn, shucked and kernels taken off the cobb

- 1 pound of whole wheat pasta

- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

- 1/2 basil leaves, lightly packed and torn into pieces

Heat coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Once heated, add diced squash and zuchinni to pan. Season with 1/4 tsp. of coarse sea salt.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables have begun to brown and soften.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions.

In the saute pan, push the vegetables to the side and add the minced garlic to the center of the pan. Cook garlic for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Lower the heat to medium low and add the diced tomatoes and corn kernels to the pan. Mix vegetables together and allow everything to heat through.

Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain pasta. Add hot pasta to the  vegetable pan, along with the parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Mix everything together.

If the pasta seems dry, add the remaining 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Taste for seasoning and add salt as necessary.

Right before serving, add the torn basil leaves. Serve with additional parmesan cheese for sprinkling and a drizzle of olive oil if you like.

{ Helpful Notes }

- I used { this } tool to scrape the corn kernels off the cob. It's life changing.

- I love the whole wheat pasta at Trader Joe's. For an easy glueten free version, try the brown rice pasta at Trader Joe's. It's great!

- { This } is the salt I used.

- { This } is the coconut oil I used.