• 1/2 pound of pasta
  • a small can of sliced olives
  • 1 can of marinated bean salad from trader joe's drained
  • 3 roasted peppers
  • a handful of fresh basil
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • sometimes i add other herbs as well as basil, fennel shavings, parsley or lemon thyme.
  • 3 tbl of wish bone italian salad dressing

i crave carbs, one of my favorite meals during the summer is pasta salad. not only do i get the carbs i crave but the protein from the beans and the great tastes of all the veg i add. it is very un-yenta like :-) don’t expect a fresh homemade dressing or fresh from the garden ingredients here (which of course you can add), this is quick, it’s simple, and it tastes great. this is my shortcut to a great pasta salad that is good for you and really easy to make when you have no time or just don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen.

during the summer i cook fast and simple. everything is usually fresh except for a couple shortcuts i take when i am in a rush. do you have a trader joe’s near you? i do and during the summer i take advantage of a lot of their pre-made foods. salsas, condiments such a bruschetta and tapenade, all great for throwing a quick and tasty dish together in minutes.

one of my favorite canned items in trader joe’s is a marinated bean salad. it has 3 different kinds of beans, garbanzo, kidney and some kind of pinkish bean. the dressing is a white wine, vinegar, and garlic concoction.

i use these beans in of course pasta salad, but i also add them to salads or just serve them out of the can.

quick and easy pasta salad
  1. cook your pasta and add everything to a bowl, mix and refrigerate for about a half an hour.

are you wondering why i drain the beans with all that dressing? it’s not my favorite in pasta salads. when serving plain or over a regular salad with lettuce, it’s a perfect light accompaniment, but when i am adding them to a pasta salad it just doesn’t do it for me. i have tried a ton of dressings, and wish bone, zesty italian, even their reduced fat version, is a clear winner here.

we make this pasta salad every weekend and take it with us to the pool. the kids go crazy for it, especially p. the last couple weeks i have not been able to find the above beans, so as well as adding all of the above, i have been adding shredded golden beets, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and cilantro rather then basil or thyme.just a quick note: there is a new pasta that i have been finding in the stores, it cooks in 3 minutes, it is perfect for a quick meal and yes, even pasta salad.



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