5.13.2013

How to get lots and lots of veggies into your family the easy way

We are on a pasta salad kick at our house lately. I'm not sure why, but I'm not complaining, because I LOVE pasta salad. Fortunately my husband is liking this particular kind, and Fat Toddler eats everything, so there you go.
The key to this recipe is veggies. Lots and lots of veggies. Since not much is in season yet we're using mostly frozen, and that's ok! As long as (and here is the trick) you cut them small and cook them. Lightly! You don't want mush! But you ALSO don't want hard crunchy pieces that neither blend texturally nor stay properly mixed. So cook each thing, lightly and quickly in a little boiling water, then rinse in cold water to keep the colors fresh. Mix it up with some mayo, mustard, spices and a handful of cheese, and presto! Pasta salad.

In this particular batch I used peas, raw onions (VERY finely chopped), cauliflower (once you chop it up it literally DISAPPEARS. It's amazing), grated carrots, shell pasta, and broccoli. But I've also used: zucchini (grated and uncooked), fresh spinach (finely chopped and also uncooked), chick peas (canned), olives, napa cabbage, corn and canned beans of various sorts. I haven't used but intend to try: shallots, turnips, yellow squash, green beans (probably shredded lengthwise), and pretty much anything else I can think of.

For the dressing I just combine mayo with a bit of yellow mustard, some salt and pepper, a dash or Worcestershire sauce, and some garlic powder.

Then you add it all together (check out how full the bowl gets) with a handful or two of shredded cheese and om nom nom. Pasta salad!

Ok, I'll try to come up with some measurements for you. Here goes!

Om Nom Pasta Salad

1 lb pasta in a fun shape
(at least) 1 cup each of a few different kinds of veggies, cooked until tender
1 onion, finely chopped
4-6 ounces grated cheese 
1 1/2 cups mayo
2 Tbl yellow mustard
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Whisk together the last six ingredients. Stir together with the first four. Add a bit more mayo if needed. (It depends on the wateriness of the veggies that you choose.) Enjoy!

No comments: