Monday, August 8, 2011

Jewell of a Pasta Salad

"They want to have their pasta, but they're willing to eat a sensible portion with lots of vegetables."
Keith Ayoob

"Life is too short, and I'm Italian.  I'd much rather eat pasta and drink wine, than be a size zero."  Sophia Bush

When you start to write a food blog, you find that you are always on the look-out for recipes that you can tweak to your own style.  So it was that I found myself sitting at my hair stylist waiting for the color to set and doing some heavy reading from one of my journals, aka People magazine, when her cell phone rang.  She took the call and I heard her rattle off some ingredients, which seemed to be pantry staples, and offered a few cooking suggestions.  When she finished her call, I told her that I was not eavesdropping, but happened to have overheard her conversation and asked her about the recipe she had just shared.  She told me that at every family event she is asked to bring this pasta salad because no one else can make it the way she does.  After a few shared tricks of the recipe I figured this could be a vegetarian pasta salad bonanza with just a little tweaking.  I have already served it several times with rave reviews.  So next time you need to bring a dish to a family event or would like a light, vegetarian pasta salad to serve your family on a hot, summer night do not hesitate to hook yourself up with this delicious, simple, inexpensive, yummy vegetarian food!

Ingredients:




1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
1/2 package cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 green onions, white and green parts sliced thin
1/3 green pepper, diced
1 can large black olives, sliced in half
1/4 head broccoli, chopped
1/2 package frozen corn
1/2 package frozen peas

1 box tri-colored rotini, cooked to package directions
1 bottle Ranch dressing, lite ore regular
1 package Ranch DIP packet
2 soy Italian Sausages, cooked according to package and sliced thinly

1/4 cup shredded cheese




Instructions:
1.  Slice and Chop veggies according to ingredient instruction.

2.  Prepare noodles according to package directions.  After cooking, rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process.

3.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Season to taste.  Sprinkle top with cheese.
"I wonder if anyone ever successfully mixed anti-past with normal pasta.  I bet the reward for that would be huge, possibly interdimensional."  Joel Zimmerman

*Note, you can use any combination of vegetables you may have on hand.
**Be sure the packet is for Ranch Dip, not Ranch dressing as it will affect the final taste.
***Recipe adapted from Angela Jewell of Mango Bay Spa.  She is the greatest hairstylist in the world and she makes an awesome pasta salad!

Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Servings:  4-6
Cost Per Serving:  $1.80

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