One of the things I was looking forward to when going back to school this semester was the chance to eat lunch at work. Last semester I always had time to come home, so I didn’t really do anything creative with my lunches.
I decided to switch things up and try a pasta salad last week. We had a lot of random veggies lying around, and I pretty much always have pasta on hand, so it was an easy recipe to whip up Sunday night while D. was watching football.
I started off with some rainbow rotini, since it’s not something I eat very often. I’m not sure D. likes it, and he doesn’t eat much pasta anyway. They were perfect for trapping the dressing, and were a great change from my usual boring pasta.
Next, I raided the refrigerator for some vegetables to add to it. This is by no means a formal recipe – just use what you have on hand and what you like. I went with cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots. I kept them uncooked so they wouldn’t get soggy if they sat for a few days. I’d say if I was eating it all in one day, I’d throw them in the pot with the pasta for the last minute or so. Keeping them fresh meant they were good and crunchy – just like I like my veggies!I also threw in some cubed cheese for good measure (and a little protein). I didn’t have a lot on hand, so I went with a mix of mild cheddar and mozzarella. I’d love to experiment with different cheeses, though – they were a bit bland.Once I had everything ready to go, I threw it all in a large pot, and tossed in some Italian salad dressing to coat, and a little sprinkle of Parmesan for some added flavor. Super simple, and it lasted the whole week for lunch!It held up great throughout the week, and tasted great from the first day to the last. I also chose pasta salad because I can eat it cold, which saves me from having to use a microwave to heat things up. I like that it’s also a great base recipe to add in whatever else I want to, whether it be chicken, radishes, or different pasta (I have some tortellini I want to try out this week).
So if you’re dealing with the winter blahs, and need something easy to prepare ahead of time, and works in a bit of color to your lunch, don’t rule out a good pasta salad!
Which reminds me…I should work on making some for lunch the rest of this week. I’ll share what I come up with on the blog later this week!