Saturday, July 27, 2013

Zesty Pasta Salad

More fun with summer salads made with pantry goodies purchased at +Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market.  With the Friends Card, Made for Me coupons and mailer coupons I usually save between $5-$10 a visit.  I know I sound like they're paying me, but they kinda are.  Have you seen my bonus points?  They cash it out for me and I get to use it to help pay for my purchases.  Plus, they help fill a large budget gap for me when I can't afford to shop exclusively at Whole Foods.

On to the ingredients:

One pound of tri-color rotini, cooked al dente (really al dente, it needs to absorb the dressing), drained.
1/2 to 1 box cherry tomatoes, halved.
1/2 to 1 jar of artichoke hearts, drained.
1-2 small cans of sliced olives, drained.
2-3 oz. sliced sun-dried tomatoes in oil, about 2-3 good forkfuls.
Bottled Italian salad dressing, to taste.
+Follow your Heart Vegenaise, about a 1/4 C.
Olive oil, about 2 tb.
Salt, red pepper and black pepper, season after chilling, before serving.

As always, make it how you like it.  Use different fresh ingredients, different preserved ingredients, make it Southwestern style or Asian style. 3/4 to 1 C is one  portion, about two starches and lots of fat.  You can cut the fat by rehydrating bagged sun-dried tomatoes, using water packed artichoke hearts, and using fat free Italian dressing.  You could also cut the carbs by halving the pasta and adding significantly more fresh veggies like bell peppers and cucumbers, or using a higher fiber content pasta.