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Archive for June, 2009

Pasta Salad

I LUH me some pastas.  And I LUH me some salads.  And I LUH me some pepperonis (only beef I eat!).  So what do you get?  Kristen’s yummy eye-talian pasta salad.  I made it all up, so I am smart.

1 bag of pasta, or tortellini (preferred)
½ pound shredded or cubed mozzarella (regular pasta, not tortellini)
Parmesan cheese to taste, fresh shredded preferred over kraft type powder….it really makes a difference.
1 cucumber, sliced/ cut in half
¼ to ½ cup chopped parsley
½ to ¾ of a regular bag of pepperoni, cut circles in half, or quarters
2 to 3 tablespoons of garlic/ onions/ shallots (I buy the pre-chopped mix at Trader Joe’s, its only like 1.29 and it’s a huge time saver)
1 can olives (I totally forgot to add them this time and didn’t realize until now, so there aren’t any in the picture)
About 3 ounces eye-talian dressing (red wine vinaigrette = the best)
1-2 tablespoons EVOO

Make the pasta, let it cool for awhile, then stash in the fridge for speedier results.  While pasta is cooking, I do the prep work, cut up the veggies, etc.
Saute the garlic/ onions/ shallots in the olive oil over medium heat until a little brown.
I mix all the non pastas together (without dressing) to let the flavors sit together for awhile, while the pasta is cooling.  Once the pasta is chilled (gotta be cold or else you have soggy, wilted veggies), add in the pasta.  Stir and mix.  Then add the dressing.  You can add more dressing, but I find that less is more with this.  Plus, I make it for lunches for a week, so it gets soggy if you overload it with dressing.

This is a great, easy, cheap do-it-all-on-Sunday work week lunch.  And its great for summer because it’s nice and cool.

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Ok so I can’t take credit for this one…I stole the recipe from Real Simple magazine (which I fucking LOVE), but I changed it a bit and I made it so yeah, go me.

Original Recipe:
1 cup walnuts
4 cups fresh cooked corn kernels (4 ears)
2 jalapenos seeded and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons evoo
salt & pepper
½ cup crumbled feta
Heat oven to 400, toast walnuts for 8 minutes.  Let cool and roughly chopped.
In a large bowl combine the all ingredients except feta.  Sprinkle with feta before serving

What I changed:

Bought already roasted (unsalted) peanuts.  Walnuts aren’t really my bag.

Skipped the jalapenos altogether.

I used sweet, white corn on the cob.

It’s easy peasy and tastes really yummy and refreshing.  I paired mine with a (boca) burger and it was a perfect compliment.  I added the ingredients (save the feta) while the corn was still warm, but then threw it in the freezer for about 20 mins, and then it was nice and cool and crisp. Next time I think I will add more lime juice for a little more kick.  I was also pretty liberal with the sea salt, which is rare for me, as I am not partial to salting my food.

TIP:  to boil the corn, just put the corn in room temp salted water in a big pot and then put the pot on the flame.  It takes a bit longer, 15 mins or so, versus like 7, if the water is already boiling.  But, I really feel it makes the corn a lot more crispy tasting.

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