Italian Pasta Salad

imageThis is the easiest way to make a pasta salad if you are short on time and need to make a quick side dish or appetizer for a party or event. I would make this super easy pasta dish when I was in college because it was cheap, delicious, and everybody loves pasta salad! Especially with salami and cheese in it how can you go wrong!? Mix up the ingredients to what you like and you can’t mess up this recipe ­čÖé

Yield: 10

Ingredients:
1 lb multi colored rotini pasta
1/4 cup Wish Bone light Italian dressing
8 ounces mozzarella cheese; cubed
1 cup salami; chopped
1 can black olives; sliced
1 cup fresh spinach; chopped
1/2 cup fresh cherry tomatoes; cut in half
1 small jar of roasted peppers; sliced
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
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Steps:
1. Bring a large bowl of water to a boil and cook pasta for 10-12 minutes or until al dente (cooked but has a bite to it). Once cooked drain and let cool.
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2. Once pasta is cooled place in a large bowl, add salad dressing, mozzarella cheese, salami, olives, spinach, tomatoes,red peppers, and seasonings. Toss with two large spoons until evenly coated. This dish is best when its served chilled. This is so easy and simple anybody can do it!
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Spinach Caesar Salad topped with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

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Weekday nights are so rushed for dinner so I try to make the easiest dinners possible. I had no intention of blogging my dinner tonight but I came up with a new creation I just couldn’t resist sharing. I love LOVE love all of “Annie’s Naturals” organic salad dressings and I found one that tastes just like a caesar salad dressing–except it’s natural and half the calories of other caesar dressings. There is just something about warm roasted brussel sprouts over a fresh spinach salad. You will have to try it to believe it!

Yield: 2

Ingredients:
4 cups fresh spinach
2 Tbsp Annie’s Naturals Artichoke Parmesan dressing
2 tsp grated parmesan cheese
1 avocado; cubbed
My Roasted Garlic Parmesan Brussel Spouts recipe
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Steps:
1. Make my Roasted Garlic Parmesan Brussel Sprouts

2. In a salad bowl, toss spinach, avocado, parmesan cheese, and dressing with tongs. Serve and top with a serving of brussel sprouts. The combination of the two in a salad is absolutely delicious! I ate my salad with Minestrone soup my Nana made so it really goes perfectly with anything!

Tomato, Mozzarella, Avocado, & Spinach Caprese Salad

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If you couldn’t already tell, I love re-creating and adding an extra twist on original recipes. I was craving a tomato caprese salad for lunch today and I just picked up some beautiful looking avocados at the grocery store so I was craving that as well. However, I did forget fresh basil at the store (Oppps!) but I had fresh spinach so it worked out perfectly! Don’t be afraid to try new things and add your own spin to your favorite dish because it may come out better then you ever expected.

Yield: 1

Ingredients:
1 Half of a medium sized heirloom tomato; cut into 1/2 inch slices
3 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese; cut in 1/4 inch slices
12 fresh spinach leaves
3 slices of an avocado; cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 tsp dried basil
Sprinkle of sea salt
Sprinkle of pepper
1/2 Tbsp basalmic vinegar
1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Steps:
1. You can layer your salad any way you would like! I recommend layering it with a slice of tomato, mozzarella cheese, avocado, and 4 spinach leavess..then repeat. Sprinkle salad with salt, pepper, and dried basil. Lastly, drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Amazing and healthy!

Tip***When slicing the avocado: cut avocado in half (longwise), remove pit, then with a spoon remove avocado from shell. Carefully with a sharp knife, place avocado on cutting board and slice with knife (lengthwise).

Chinese Chicken Cobb Salad with a Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette

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I love Cobb salads and I also love Chinese Chicken salads so I decided to combine the two! You can even add shrimp or another type of seafood or meat if you would like as well.

Yield: 2

Ingredients:
4 cups romaine lettuce; chopped
1 avocado; cubed
4 ounces of grilled chilled; chopped
1 (12 ounce) can mandarin oranges; drained
1 (12 ounce) can corn; drained
1/4 cup green onions; chopped
1/4 cup red bell peppers; chopped

Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp honey (heat in microwave for 10 seconds to melt)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

Steps:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together sesame oil, slightly melted honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder, and vinegar. Add lettuce and toss together with tongs until evenly coated.

2. Assemble salad on plate or bowl with the salad on the bottom. Then top with rows of mandarin oranges, bell peppers, avocado, chicken, corn, and green onions.

Southwestern Bean & Corn Salad

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First off, Happy New Years! ┬áOne of my new years resolutions is to eat and be healthy–just like every other year. So of course the first thing I think of is all the “healthy” recipes I will be making! ┬áThe holiday season and food seemed like it was never coming to an end so I decided to do a 14 day detox challenge.. BUT that doesn’t mean starving yourself. I am just staying away from all kinds of white breads/starches, processed foods, dairy products, and alcohol. Also, I will be eating extremely “clean”.┬áI will be positing all kinds of healthy, delicious, and satisfying dishes┬áStay tuned!

Yield: 3

Ingredients:
1 can Kidney beans; rinsed & drained
1/2 can sweet corn; rinsed & drained
1/2 medium red onion; chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper (about 1/4 of large pepper); chopped
1/4 cup cilantro; chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp basalmic vinegar
1/2 lemon

Steps:
1. Rinse and drain corn and beans. Mix in bowl with bell pepper, cilantro, salt, pepper, garlic powder, olive oil, and vinegar. Mix until combined and then squeeze in 1/2 of lemon.