Monday, September 10, 2012

Pasta Salads

There are few things more satisfying or easy than a bowl full of pasta. I guess by now we've all heard this debunking of pasta as a high-calorie indulgence: "it's not the pasta but what you put on it." Well - kinda. It is certainly true that cream-based sauces and meaty additions kick up all the numbers in the Nutrition Info chart. But all alone pasta is, I think, still quite high in calories per ounce. This is an especially meaningful distinction if, like me, you come from a good ol' Italian household where a bowlful of spaghetti meant a bowl FULL of spaghetti. And I don't mean a little cup-sized bowl - I mean a big, nearly-serving-dish-size bowl! So rather than give up this beloved staple I have chosen to re-imagine pasta. It is now one of my go-to options for a great workday lunch. The key: start with a small serving of pasta (2 oz, dry) then layer in all kinds of goodness. I cook up a half (or sometimes a whole) pound of Rotini almost every Sunday. If I do half a package, I cook it, I drain it and I portion off 1/4 of the batch to each of four 2-cup containers and pop them in the fridge. Then in the morning I can grab one, throw in some flavor-makers and take-along for a very satisfying lunch at my desk, the park or in the lunchroom. Here are some of my favorite combinations:
{1} Mediterranean Olives, Applegate Farms Roasted Turkey, Crumbled Goat Cheese with Lemon Juice and Olive Oil {2} Avocado, Heirloom Tomatoes, a Crumble of Feta and Pine Nuts with Balsamic Vinaigrette {3} Pumpkin Puree, Sliced Cooked Pork, a Dash of Cinnamon Sugar, Olive Oil and a Sprinkling of Feta Cheese {4} Warm Chicken, Black Olive Tapenade, Gaeta Olives, Heirloom Tomatoes {5} Grape Tomatoes, Diced Celery and Carrot, Applegate Farms Maple Breakfast Sausage and a Dollop of Pesto

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