A light and fresh mix of pasta and your favorite veggies. Perfect for summer bbq’s and picnics!
Hey y’all! Guess I’m a Texan now, cause that just rolls off the tongue a little too easy 🙂 As some of you know, I’m a meal planning crazy. It comes in handy most of the time, but is also a curse at moments. Like, for instance, when Kev wants to wrap his scrambled eggs in a tortilla for breakfast and I practically fall out of my chair in protest because those were so specifically reserved for quesadillas and enchiladas this week. Or like when I have an itch to get creative in the kitchen, but I literally have no ingredients that aren’t already promised to another dish. I’m a big fan of getting my meals organized at the beginning of the week because it takes so much stress out of the day to day, but I’m also trying to teach myself about flexibility and adaptability when things don’t go as planned.
This week when I was trying to plan my meals, my brain froze trying trying to piece all the days together. I was struggling trying to figure out what I was going to make for our small group and how I could tie that in with the blog and the recipes I need to test for my contribution to Pressure Cooking Today, and on top of that figuring out if we have enough for lunch and dinners for the week! It can be a lot, and I know many of you are also having a hard time trying to figure out this whole meal planning thing.
I’ve found that in these busy summer months, it’s most simple to have a rotating schedule of recipes that are my go to’s for the nights at home, and then when we have special occasions or bbq’s to attend, those are the times that I’ll add a fun new recipe into the rotation. That way all I have to figure out for the week is which of my stand by recipes I need to make for dinner and then add any extra ingredients to the shopping list for outside engagements.
A fresh pasta salad is one of my favorite recipes to throw together with minimal labor, minimal cost, and it’s something that almost everyone loves! I tend to go simple with pasta salad because why overcomplicate something that’s so good already with only a couple of ingredients? In the time it takes the pasta to cook, I can get my dressing whisked together and my veggies chopped and ready, only leaving me to combine the pasta with the rest of the goodies! I love the balsamic and lemon combination because it adds a zing to the crisp veggies and pairs well with the bright flavor of the fresh parsley. I prefer my pasta salad cold, but if you like it slightly warm, you can assemble your veggies and dressing, stir with the warm pasta right out of the pot, and serve immediately!
- 16 oz bowtie pasta
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- 2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- ¼ cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
- Boil bowtie pasta according to package directions, cooking until al dente and then rinsing in cold water and straining.
- In large bowl, combine cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, parsley, and feta.
- In small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients then pour over top of veggies.
- Add pasta to veggies and dressing, stir to combine, then refrigerate until ready to serve.