Category Archives: Dinner

Vegetable Korma

I recently made friends with an Indian woman whose son is in our  daughter Nora’s school class. She’s been in the United States for about 3 years now and when I found that out, I asked her if she knew how to cook Indian food. She of course did, and she asked if I’d like her to make some for me. What a dear! I told her that what I would really like would be to have her teach me how to make Indian food. And so we got together one day last week and she taught me how to make Vegetable Korma! I was so excited and pleased to be in her kitchen, watching, smelling, tasting, taking notes and learning from her! It really was a dream come true! And guess what?! She said we can do it again! Next time we meet we’ll go to the Indian Market together so I can get some of the ingredients she used that’d I’ve never seen before like the chana dahl in the first picture below on the far left, and the white poppyseeds in the next picture, and the Indian chilies. I took lots of pictures!

The first thing we did was make our korma paste. We did this by adding all the ‘paste’ ingredients (listed below in recipe) to the blender and blending it til smooth. We added more water as needed if it was too thick to blend.

Next we chopped up the red onion (she advised we use red or white, but not yellow as it’s too sweet) and sauteed it with a little oil (you can use olive oil or coconut oil), salt, curry leaves, turmeric and chili powder. Next we added the tomatoes and cooked them until they were mushy, about 5 minutes.

 

Next we added the paste from the blender to those tomatoes. Once we dumped that in, we added about 1/2 cup warm water to the blender jar, put the lid on and swirled it around to get all the paste sticking to the inside of the jar, and we poured that into the frying pan.

Next up we added the chopped veggies. And you could really use whatever you like here. I love carrots and chopped potatoes in my Indian food. Cover the pan and bring the heat to low and cook 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add the beaten yogurt to the sauce, bring heat back up to medium and cook another 20 minutes, stirring ocassionally and adding more water if needed, a Tbsp at a time, so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.

Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice and Naan.

Vegetable Korma

Paste:
5 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
12-15 cashews, blanched (or can just soak in water for a couple of hours)
2 tsp white poppy seeds
1/2 tsp roasted chana dal
1/2 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3 cloves
2 green cardamom
2-5 black peppercorn
2 small green chilies (indian green chili found at an Indian market)
3-4 cloves garlic (3 if big cloves)
3/4 inch ginger, peeled
1/2 c water (or a little more if needed, to get a creamy paste)

Combine all paste ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth, adding water, 1 TBSP at a time, if needed to blend.

1 red onion, diced (or white, but not yellow because too sweet)
1/4 tsp sea salt
7-8 curry leaves
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 large Roma tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp yogurt, beaten until smooth
1/2 c water for slightly thinning gravey if needed, added a little at a time
optional chopped veggies: carrots, russet potato, peas
chopped cilantro to garnish

In a large frying pan, add 2 Tbsp coconut or olive oil over medium heat. Add the finely diced onion with 1/4 tsp sea salt, curry leaves, turmeric and chili powder and cook until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes and cook until they are mushy, about 5 minutes. Add the paste from your blender. Add about 1/2 cup warm water to the emptied blender jar, put lid on and swirl it around to get all the paste sticking to the inside of the jar, and pour into the frying pan. Add chopped veggies. Cover the pan and bring the heat to low and cook 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add the beaten yogurt to the sauce, bring heat back up to medium and cook another 20 minutes, stirring ocassionally and adding more water if needed, a Tbsp at a time, so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice and Naan.

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“Refried” Beans

Growing up with a father who was born and raised in Mexico, we ate Refried Beans and Mexican Rice almost daily. And that’s not an exaggeration. As I’ve gotten older, my body can’t handle all the oil and just fried food in general, and this recipe has none of that but is still so yummy! This recipe comes from my sister, who gave me permission to share it with you here. As I mentioned these ‘refried’ beans are really not fried at all, but instead you cook the beans in water in a crock pot for 5 hours, drain them, then add some salsa, diced chiles, and spices and mash them up and they’re ready to eat! Delicious and nutritious!

 

I like to use as few dishes as possible, so I cook the pinto beans in the crock pot, drain them in the sink (I don’t even use a strainer to save on dishes; it’s okay if there’s a tiny bit of water left in there), and then I dump all the other ingredients into the crock pot with the cooked beans and mash them with a potato masher.

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We love to eat these beans with enchiladas, or inside burritos, or on the side of any Mexican dish. It’s also a great chip dip! Enjoy!

‘Refried’ Beans
*serves 8-10

3 c pinto beans (or more if you like, just add a little more spieces), rinsed
1 c salsa (I like medium heat)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 8 oz can diced green chiles
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cumin

Put beans in a large crock pot and fill with cool water. Cook on high for 5 hours until soft. Drain beans and put back in crock pot(if you strained them in a separate dish). Add all of the other ingredients and mash with a potato masher until desired consistency.

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Mexican Kale Quinoa Salad

I can eat quinoa in so many ways, I throw it in stir frys, chili’s, in place of brown rice, but my husband doesn’t love quinoa, and will always go for the brown rice instead of quinoa. But this recipe is an exception. I think all the mexican foods, kale and the lime juice, masked the flavor and texture.He told me twice during dinner that he really liked this salad, and the next morning he had it for breakfast with some scrambled eggs on the side! If you’re looking for a good way to use this superfood, that contains all 9 essential amino acids, give this one a try!

THE RECIPE

Mexican Kale Quinoa Salad
Serves 6-8

1 c dry quinoa
1 1/2 c water
1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
3 c loosely packed, finely chopped kale, stems removed
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (include seeds if you like spice)
1/2  red onion, chopped (if you don’t love onion, try soaking in cold water for 10 min, drain then add to salad)
1/2 c chopped cilantro leaves
1 1/2 c cooked black beans (or a 15 oz can, rinsed and drained)
1/3 c lime juice (about 3 limes)
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c Feta cheese, crumbled (chopped olives work too)
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 c toasted pepitas (toast on cookie sheet in 350 degree oven for about 5-8 minutes)

In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring water, quinoa and 1/4 tsp salt to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until water has been absorbed. Transfer to a large salad bowl and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool. Once cool, add the kale, bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, back beans, lime juice, oil, Feta cheese and remaining 1/4 tsp sea salt to the quinoa and toss to combine. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Just before serving, top with the avocado slices and pepitas.

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Daily Food Journal: 7 days

“Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” -Michael Pollan

I love the quote above and try to follow it, eating lots of plants, and real foods as opposed to foods made in a lab, and not too much. The ‘not too much’ is probably the hardest part for me because I love food! Awhile back I read the book  “French kids eat everything”  and it was interesting to learn that snacking or grazing is something that is not done all over the world, and is, in fact, thought of as rude in some areas, like France. But it makes sense that if kids, and adults don’t snack, and are actually hungry at mealtimes, of course foods taste better and they’ll eat more variety! And it’s a good way to keep your weight in check. Anyway, that’s a bit off topic for today so let’s get back on track.

I often get asked what I eat in a day, or what a typical day looks like with food, so I thought I’d share a sample week. And since I’m a very visual person, I’ve made a collage of those foods I eat in a day. I really only have a couple of snacks(hummus and veggies, lara bar, fruit or shake) and lunch items(wraps, salad and oatmeal) that I eat regularly, though a couple of times a week I might have leftover dinner for lunch, so that does add variety. My breakfast almost never changes, besides adding a little something extra on Saturdays before my long run like a banana, rice cake with almond butter or a Superhero muffin. So you’ll see that I have my hot lemon water and green smoothie pictured daily. Also, the only thing I drink besides my smoothies/vegan protein shakes is water. And I drink a lot of water throughout the day, probably around 90 oz.

I’m pretty regular about when I wake up, go to sleep, and the times of day I eat so I thought I’d lay that out for you here as well:
515 am wake up, drink room temperature water from my water bottle on my nightstand (around 16 oz);
6-730 am exercise and drink water
8am  12oz hot lemon water
830am 32 oz green smoothie (I drink this over about an hour)
1130am lunch (if I’m really hungry before lunch, I’ll have a piece of fruit like a banana)
230pm snack
6pm dinner
930-10 asleep

Monday:
Breakfast: hot lemon water and green smoothie 
Lunch: wrap (lettuce, tomato, black beans, avocado, hummus, onion on Teff wrap)
Snack: rice cake with 1/2 Tbsp almond butter and apple slices
Dinner: salad and vegan Mac and Cheese

Tuesday:
Breakfast: hot lemon water and green smoothie
Lunch: Oatmeal with slice strawberries and coconut, and toast with coconut oil
Snack: banana and Lara Bar (my favorites are lemon, coconut cream pie, blueberry muffin and cherry pie; it’s nice to have a grab and go snack with no added sugars. Lara bars only have a few ingredients which are usually dates and some form of nuts and dried fruits)
Dinner: Enchilada Soup  and salad (not pictured)

Wednesday:
Breakfast: hot lemon water and green smoothie
Lunch: Granola with plain yogurt, honey and sliced strawberries
Snack: Maca Date Shake (I usually have this multiple times a week)
Dinner: veggie Stir Fry and watermelon

Thursday:
Breakfast: hot lemon water and green smoothie
Lunch: Oatmeal with toast
Snack: Vegan Protein Shake
Dinner: Baked Sweet Potato, Mexican Style (the rest of the family used Russet potatoes) and an orange

Friday:
Breakfast: hot lemon water and green smoothie
Lunch: Leftover veggie Stir Fry
Snack: 2 almond flax balls and a banana
Dinner: Homemade Whole Grain Pizza and salad (sometimes I like to put my salad on top and not use any dressing). We make pizza weekly.

Saturday:
Pre-long run: banana and Superhero muffin
Breakfast: hot lemon water and green smoothie
Lunch: Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich
S
nack : Hummus with veggies and sweet potato crackers or Ak Mak crackers
Dinner: Black bean, egg and veggie burrito (often Saturday night, Scott and I will go out to dinner and kids will get leftovers or something easy like spaghetti or Little Caesar’s Pizza…yes, I said it, we get Little Caesar’s for the kids. Don’t judge).

Sunday:
Breakfast: hot lemon water and green smoothie
Lunch: leftover Mexican Quinoa Salad
Snack: Banana
Dinner: Breakfast; usually pancakes or waffles with eggs and hashbrowns…sorry I couldn’t fit everything into the picture, but Sunday dinner is a BIG breakfast. Here is our pancakes with Squash and Onion Frittata.

And just so we’re clear here, I do have treats. Usually on the weekend I’ll have a bowl of popcorn with Strawberry Aussie licorice, and then probably once a week I’ll bake something using a healthier sweetener, like our peanut butter cookies, PB popcorn, candy bars, key lime pie or honey sweetened muffins etc and I’ll have some, but I try to limit my sugar consumption and stick to having a treat or two on the weekend.

 

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Butternut Squash and Onion Frittata

I have my second ever half marathon coming up this Saturday morning and I’m a feeling a little nervous. I feel prepared, I trained a lot over the past four months, usually running 6 days a week, doing some speed work outs, long runs and easy runs each week, and also doing some yoga and weights mid week, but I ran this same half last year and I ran it hard, and I really want to get a personal record. But it may not happen. And that makes me nervous. But I know that in the long run, it doesn’t really matter and that PR or not, it’s gonna be okay.

Besides all my running, I’m also trying to get really nutritious and quality foods in this week(and always), and I’ve already got my dinner, the night before the race, and my breakfast that morning, all planned out. I’ve been trying lots of new recipes from Runner’s World magazine and my ‘Run Fast Eat Slow’ cook book and this is a recipe I lightly adapted from the Runner’s World magazine.   Scott and I LOVED this Frittata, though most of our kiddos didn’t appreciate all the chunky veggies.  But, since I don’t always cater to our children’s tastes anyway, because I know that they need to experience these foods so that they will one day develop a taste for them, we still make them and I will for sure be making this one again!

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You can buy already cubed butternut squash to save prep time, but to save money I usually buy the whole squash and then peel and cut it myself. And when I say ‘peel’, what I really mean is, I take a sharp knife and slice off all the skin with a downward motion on my cutting board. Once it’s all cubed, I put mine on a large rimmed baking sheet with a silicone liner, drizzle with my olive oil, salt and garlic and cook it in the oven at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes. You can do this step hours, or even a day, before you throw the dish together. If not using within a couple of hours, cover your squash and store in the fridge until you’re ready.

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In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, feta cheese and cooked squash. Set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Saute 1 sliced onion and cook, stirring until brown and soft, about 10 minutes.

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Pour the egg mixture into the cast iron skillet with onion and stir gently. Transfer to oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until eggs have set.


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Butternut Squash and Onion Frittata 

2 cups butternut squash, cubed
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
9 eggs
1/4 tsp salt and pepper
1/2 c feta cheese

Cube butternut squash, if you haven’t already. Place on baking sheet, toss with 3 Tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and garlic powder,  and cook in 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in cast iron skillet (mine is 12 inches) over medium heat. Saute 1 sliced onion and cook, stirring until brown and soft, about 10 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Stir in  feta and 2 cups roasted cubed butternut squash. Pour into the cast iron skillet with onion and stir gently. Transfer to oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until eggs have set. Serve warm.

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Quick Veggie Stir Fry

I love stir fry! I often eat them for lunch and I love that I can take whatever random leftover veggies I need to use from my fridge, throw them into a pan with some already cooked brown rice, a little sauce and some cashews and I have a healthy, yummy meal in very little time! I make brown rice in my rice cooker about once a week and make enough that I’ll have some leftover for this very reason. Another way to make this meal even faster is to chop up your veggies before hand and just have them ready in your fridge. Usually when I make dinner, if a recipe calls for part of a pepper/onion/broccoli etc, I will just cut up the whole thing which saves time later because I don’t have to get my cutting board and knife out again and wash them etc.

This is the sauce I use when I make this quick stir fry recipe (I also have a recipe for a sauce I make from scratch that I’ll share another time). I either use the coconut aminos or the teriyaki flavored coconut aminos, both taste great, and you could also use soy sauce or braggs liquid aminos.

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Here’s a picture of another stir fry I made with some fresh pineapple I had on hand. I love that you can play around and add in whatever you like. Sometimes I’ll throw in a 1/2 cup of quinoa too.

 

Veggie Stir Fry

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 white or yellow onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 small package sliced mushrooms (white or cremini)
1/2 c raw cashews
optional: tofu, tempeh, broccoli, carrots, pineapple
1/4 c coconut aminos  (could use braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 c cooked brown rice

Melt coconut oil in a wok over medium/high heat. Add vegetables and allow to cook until softened and onions are translucent, adding 1 Tbsp water at a time, if necessary, to prevent sticking and burning about 3-5 minutes. Add cashews, coconut aminos, pepper flakes and brown rice and stir to combine. Turn heat to low and allow to cook for 2 more minutes. Serve immediately.

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Crock Pot Black Bean Enchilada Soup

December is an abnormally busy month with all the recitals and performances we have added into our already very full schedule, and because of that, I’m finding that the only way we’re going to get home cooked, warm meals is to prepare in the morning or afternoon, which means we’re doing a lot of crock pot meals this month. I’ve taken a few soup recipes we enjoy and made them crock pot friendly, so if you’re a busy and need to prep in the mornings like me, give this one a try. And it is more of a medium heat when it comes to spices, so if you’re more on the mild side, omit the jalapeno and you could even decrease the chipotle chili powder as well, but we love spicy foods, even the kiddos, so we do it all!

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This is fairly easy, and it probably only takes about 10-15 minutes of work. You’ll chop and saute your veggies, and while they’re sauteing, I mix together all my spices and put them into the crock pot, then I put the cooked veggies, tomatoes and a cup of the broth in the blender, blend til smooth, dump that into the crock pot with the rest of the broth, add your torn up corn tortillas and cook it on low all day or on high for about 4 hours.

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Once it’s all done cooking, add in coconut milk and some black beans for texture and extra yumminess! Serve this warm and top with whatever toppings you like; I LOVE avocado so that’s always a must for me, and my kids also add some cheese and tortilla chips.

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Crock Pot Black Bean Enchilada Soup (vegan, gf)
*serves 8

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 carrots(12 baby), peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1-2 Tbsp jalapeno pepper, chopped  (canned or fresh; can omit this if you’re more of a ‘mild’ person)
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1  tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
6 c vegetable or chicken broth
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
5-6, 6” corn tortillas, torn into quarters

salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c coconut milk (full fat from a can; I like the thai kitchen brand)
1 1/2 c black beans

Toppings:
chopped green onions
sliced avocado
cheddar cheese
tortilla chips

In a frying pan, saute vegetables in olive oil over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Chop and saute your veggies, and while they’re sauteing,  mix together all the spices and put them into the crock pot. Put the cooked veggies, tomatoes and a cup of the broth in the blender, blend til smooth, dump that into the crock pot with the rest of the broth, add your torn up corn tortillas and cook it on low all day or on high for about 4 hours.  Add coconut milk and black beans and stir to combine.  Serve warm topped with any of your favorite toppings ( I LOVE avocado).

*You can also make this on the stove; just saute veggies in a larger stock pot and add spices, broth and tomatoes(blending the tomatoes in blender or with immersion blender) and bring to a boil. Tear the tortillas and add them to the soup. Cover and turn the heat down to low and simmer 30-45 minutes or until tortillas are breaking apart. Remove from heat and add the coconut milk and beans.

 

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Sloppy Joes

This is a pretty fast and easy, whole foods recipe, for Sloppy Joes. As I’m a vegetarian, I’ve never actually tasted this recipe before (I always pull out my frozen, chipotle black bean burger when we have meat on buns) but I’ve made it multiple times for my husband and children, and they all say it’s great, so give it a try! Most sloppy joe recipes call for ketchup, but as it has some added sugar, and many brands have high fructose corn syrup, I decided to use extra tomato sauce as a substitute (make sure you buy the can that doesn’t have sugar listed in the ingredients) and it turned out well. I usually make this with a ground chicken or turkey for my family, but my husband prefers sloppy joes with beef so on special occasions I will use beef since I rarely cook and serve red meat.

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Sloppy Joes

1 1/2 lbs ground meat (chicken, turkey, beef)
1/2 white or yellow onion, chopped
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vinegar

Brown ground meat and onion together on medium high heat. Add a little water, a tbsp at a time, if needed to keep from burning. Add remaining ingredients and let simmer for at least 15-30 minutes. Spoon on buns and serve. Can optionally top with grated cheddar cheese.

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Vegan Mac and Cheese

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This recipe came from my baby sister Becca who is gluten free and vegan and who also has this recipe posted on her food blog, so be sure to check her out at: https://glutenfreeplantbasedgoodeats.wordpress.com/ 

Although I’m not vegan or gluten-free, I do a lot less dairy than most because my stomach can’t handle too much, and if you’ve ever read The China Study, which is the most comprehensive study ever done on nutrition, you’ll know that cutting down on all animal products is a good thing (and I didn’t say cutting out, but cutting down. Should be less than 10% of your diet). So I love that I can get the creaminess from this recipe from cashews and sweet potato and almond milk, all blended together, but then I use a little bit of cheddar cheese (only 1 cup), but you can always use the dairy-free cheese as well for the vegan version.

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You’ll want to start off by cooking your pasta elbows, gluten-free or not(I used whole wheat), and peeling and cooking your sweet potato in the microwave for 6 minutes. Or you can cook it in the oven at 400 degrees for almost an hour, but if you do it that way, don’t peel it before hand, just wait for it to cool and slip the skin off.  Once the pasta is done, drain the water, place them in a large mixing bowl, drizzle a little olive oil over top and give it a stir so they don’t stick together. Set that aside and you’ll combine the rest of your ingredients in a blender and blend until it’s smooth. If it’s too thick and your blender is having difficulty blending, just add a little more milk about 1/4 c at a time, giving it a stir and then blending again.

Once it’s all creamy, dump it over your macaroni noodles and stir to combine.

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Grease a 9×13 pan (I smear coconut oil over the whole inside of the pan) and then dump your mac and cheese inside and spread it even. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.

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Serve warm!

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THE RECIPE:

Mac n’ Cheese (lightly adapted from Becca)

Ingredients:

1 lb of whole wheat or brown rice pasta elbow noodles (good price at Trader Joes)

1 sweet potato

1 cup grated cheddar cheese (can use dairy-free cheese like the Daiya brand- mozarella or cheddar)

3 cups of raw cashews

16 oz. almond milk (more if needed to thin so it will blend)

1/2 cup of nutritional yeast(Fred Meyer, Whole Foods or Winco)

1 teaspoon of dijon mustard

1 teaspoon sea salt

pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon garlic, minced
optional: 1/4 tsp paprika

Instructions:

 Cook noodles according to directions on package. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potato and cook in the microwave for 6 minutes (or in the oven, unpeeled, at 400 degrees for 1 hour; can do this before hand). Drain noodles, dump back into your pot, drizzle with a little olive oil and mix so they don’t stick together. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

 In a blendtec or food processor, add almond milk first and then all the other ingredients and mix until a creamy consistency. If you need to add more milk so your blender won’t burn out from the thickness, add 1/4 cup at a time. Pour over your noodles in the pot and stir to combine.

 Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13 pan with coconut oil, or something like it. Add stirred mac n’ cheese into the 9×13 pan and place in the oven. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees

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Pasta Salad and Dressing Recipe

We eat a lot of different salads for dinner during the summer; it’s nice to have something cool to eat on a hot day. I’ll typically add whatever veggies I have on hand in my fridge at the moment, so it changes from week to week, and in the pasta salad pictured below we have tomatoes, celery, bell pepper, cubed cheese, white beans and onion. Sometimes we’ll add nuts or serve some chicken or pepperoni on the side for the meat lovers in our house.

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I will sometimes use an Italian salad dressing or something similar for convenience, but I actually love homemade dressing so much more; it really makes the salad. So if I have 5 minutes, I’ll whip this up.

Here are your ingredients for the dressing:

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Whisk it all together in a glass measuring dish and stick it in the fridge while you cook your pasta.

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We use various shapes but one of our favorites is the bowtie, and it’s fun when we get a pasta with a little color. We cooked up a bag of costco pasta which is just over a pound, drained it, rinsed it with cold water as I swish the pasta around with my hand (to help quickly cool it down…we don’t want our cheese cubes melting onto our pasta), then transfer it to a large mixing bowl, add the dressing, stir it to combine and then you can serve it from there or transfer it to a pretty bowl. If you’re not going to eat it right away, you can store it in the fridge for at least a day.

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Pasta Salad:
*serves 6-8

1 lb uncooked pasta (we love to use bowtie)
Topping Ideas:
bell pepper, chopped
grape tomatoes, halved
celery, chopped
red onion, chopped
1 c cooked and drained white beans
1 c cubed cheddar cheese
1 c cubed chicken, or pepperoni quartered

Pasta Salad Dressing:
*makes enough to cover 1 lb pasta

1/2 c mayo
1/3 c white wine vinegar
1/4 c  olive oil
1/4 c plain yogurt (or sour cream)
2 cloves minced garlic (1 tsp)
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sea salt

Combine all your pasta salad dressing ingredients into a glass measuring dish and whisk to combine. Set aside, in fridge. Follow package directions for uncooked pasta, bringing water to a boil and cooking until done. While it’s cooking, chop up any combination of veggies/cheese/beans/meat you like and place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.  Dump pasta into a strainer over your kitchen sink, then rinse with cold water as you move pasta around with your hand (be careful, it’s hot). Once pasta is cool, add it to your veggies in the large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over top. Stir it all together to combine. Serve right away or cover and store in fridge.

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