Yesterday evening, I realized that I needed a dish to take to a function. Was determined not to go to the grocery store yet again, and so I raided the pantry and fridge.
This salad turned out really good, not loaded with fat (even though it is not entirely low cal), and it is suitable for vegetarian eaters (may be also vegans?).
This is not a recipe that needs to be followed exactly; it’s more like “a little bit of this, and a little bit of that” kind of recipe….
Pasta (I used bow ties because that is what I had at home; corkscrews, macaroni, shells, wagon wheels, even spaghetti will also work)
“Salad” kind of vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes, green/red/yellow peppers, scallions)
Any other kind of vegetable you think will go (I used canned corn and green peas I had in the pantry)
Olives (if they are whole slice or half them)
Salad Dressing (Italian works best; I would stay away from creamy dressings like ranch)
Cook the pasta according to directions, drain well. Rinse really well in cold water; this will not only stop the cooking process, but also cool the pasta down quickly and get rid of some of the starchiness.
Cut the vegetables into mouth size pieces; I cannot stress enough: any vegetable is fair game.
Put the pasta in a large bowl and mix the salad dressing until the pasta is well coated. The pasta will absorb a lot of the dressing so be generous! Add the vegetables after you have mixed the pasta and dressing; that way you are handling them less and they will not get crushed.
Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours (overnight is best). Serve
I added some chopped tomatoes and mint on the top for garnish. I purposely did not add cheese to the salad, although it would lend itself well to Feta cheese, grated Cheddar or even Parmesan cheese. The function I am taking it to is a pot luck where a lot of the dishes usually have plenty of cheese in them –