Italian Pasta Salad

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For some reason when I was at the grocery store a cucumber told me to buy him and make pasta salad, crazy, I know but I think it was the cold weather/stay-inside-all-day-go crazies that made me want a summer-inspired pasta salad.  For me pasta salad screams summer probably because I usually make this with a ton of vegetables from the garden (doesn’t that sound awesome, summer garden).   Maybe Mr. Cucumber at the grocery store was just a nostalgic ghost from summer’s past, eh?

 

So .  . . start off with a diced green pepper, tomato and cucumber.  Other vegetables I like to add are broccoli, red pepper and red onions.  Note, I think cherry tomatoes would have been better than the roma tomatoes that I used in the dish.

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For the dressing, super simple: oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning and a couple packets of stevia.

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Here they are . . .

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Cook up some whole wheat rotini pasta noodles and don’t over cook them like I did, darn it!  Sometimes a busy like me wishes she had four hands and a couple extra brains to remember the pasta is done,yeah it was not a good day for multitasking.  On a side note, my husband now realizes why his mom would always burn the food, yeah it’s because she had FIVE kids!  Hello!

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This is a great out of the ordinary way to get in your veggies!  Plus did you know that even the herbs are loaded with antioxidants? 

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                                                  THE BENEFITS OF HERBS

HERB

BENEFIT

Oregano A traditional remedy includes healing upset stomachs but oregano is also beneficial for lowering blood pressure.
Basil Is chock-full of antioxidants, actually its ORAC* (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is 40 times higher than broccoli!
Parsley Noted for its “superman” powers for keeping the blood vessels  healthy and providing the availability of oxygen.

*ORAC is a unit of measurement for antioxidants developed by the National Institute on Aging in the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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Italian Pasta Salad

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat rotini pasta noodles

1 cucumber, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 roma tomato, diced (or 1 cup cherry tomatoes)

Dressing

1/2 cup canola oil/ olive oil

3 tbsp vinegar, preferably white wine (even though my picture showed rice, whatever you have is fine Winking smile)

2 tbsp Italian seasoning

3 packets stevia

1/2 tsp garlic salt

Preparation

Cook pasta according to package direction.  Drain pasta and cool.  Mix together dressing ingredients in a small container with lid.  Shake container to emulsify ingredients.  Combine pasta and vegetables together in a large bowl.    Add dressing to pasta and vegetables and refrigerate salad for at least 30 minutes. Note, a day later pasta is even better!

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