Everyday Mom's Meals: Side Dish or Lunch

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Side Dish or Lunch

When the thermometer starts to creep up on 90, I don't know about you, but we start eating lighter and lighter. We still want to be full and satisfied, but huge plates of hot food don't even sound appetizing. So I love finding dishes that can fill us up but still be refreshing enough they aren't heavy and "brick like" in our stomachs.

Pasta salads are one of those things I don't think you can ever have too many versions of. There are a thousand different ways to make them, and everyone has their preferences. Some like them creamy, some say hold the mayo. Some like lots of veggies. Some want meat added in. However you create your favorite one, I think there is always room to adapt and change to make it just a little bit different every time.

Now, most of the time I am 100% a creamy pasta salad lover. I want my pasta salad dressed with mayo, sour cream, or both! But I am smart enough to know these don't always work well on hot, sunny days, and that's when a oil based dressing needs to become the star. I also love the fact that when I make a huge bowl of a pasta salad as a side dish for supper, most of the time I have enough left for lunch the next day. They only taste better after they sit! In fact, this one is so good, you might want to make a batch of it specifically for lunches all week, leaving it to "soak" in the flavor in the fridge.

When I created this, I knew 2 things. I wanted to include artichoke hearts because we love them and I hadn't cooked with them in a while, and I wanted a non mayo dressing. The veggies I used were simply what sounded good at the time, but this would work fantastic with the bounty I know some of you are getting fresh from the garden. In fact, the next time I make it I want to include some of our cherry tomatoes, and add in hearts of palm...another favorite of ours!

Side dish or lunch, a good pasta salad is a favorite summer time treat of many. Add in lots of veggies and a flavorful dressing, it truly is a party in a bowl!

Artichoke Pasta Salad
1 lb. raditore pasta, or other short pasta
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts in water, chopped
3 mini sweet peppers, 1 each orange, red and yellow, finely chopped
3/4 c. broccoli florets, chopped
3/4 c. cauliflower, chopped
1 TBS Italian seasoning, plus extra for garnish
1 small bottle Italian dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cool water and drain well. Set aside. In a large bowl combine artichoke hearts, peppers, broccoli and cauliflower. Mix well. Add pasta. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Pour dressing over. Stir gently, but very well to combine. Chill until serving, at least 2 hours. Garnish with extra seasoning.
*NOTE* If you can't find the mini sweet peppers, 1 large bell pepper in any of the colors would work great too.

Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain July 10, 2013
Shared on The Country Cook July 12, 2013

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I love how good you made the pasta salad looks. This would a nice change for my lunch. I'm sure I'll end up making it over and over :)