Living Healthier, Uncategorized

Rework of an old favorite

One of my husband’s favorite dishes is pasta salad.  It’s always been one of my “go to” recipes because it’s healthy, easy, make-ahead, makes a lot, and he loves it!  Now that he is Day +31 from his stem cell transplant, he needs to be eating more veggies; however, raw vegetables aren’t safe for him.  For today’s venture I decided to rework my pasta salad recipe.  It took an extra step, but it turned out really well!

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

  • 1 box bowtie, penne, or other medium size pasta (I used Barilla Protein Plus because I’m trying to up Bobby’s protein intake.  Most of the time I just use a good whole grain version.)
  • 1/2 large purple onion, quartered
  • 4-5 large whole garlic cloves
  • 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper cut into 1/2″ wide strips
  • 1 large or 2 small zucchini cut into 1″ rounds and then halved
  • 1-2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes cut in 1/2
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (portabella add extra flavor)
  • 1/2-1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • juice of 2 lemons (or 2 drops Young L lemon vitality essential oil)
  • 1/4 cup white or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2-3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used basil infused.)
  • oregano, basil, red pepper, salt, pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (or goat cheese or shaved parmesan)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Boil water for the pasta.  While waiting on the pasta water to boil, prepare the vegetables.  Spray a sheet pan with olive oil spray.  Place onion, garlic, bell pepper on the shroasted vegetableseet pan, drizzle or spray more olive oil on top, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for about 5 minutes.  Add zucchini slices to the pan, mix with other vegetables, and roast for approximately 7 minutes.  Add mushrooms and tomatoes, mix in with other vegetables, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with fresh oregano and basil (or dried), red pepper, salt, and pepper.  Roast for another 5 minutes or until everything is soft but not falling apart.  Take out of oven and set aside to cool.

pasta (2)

While vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta until aldente , drain, and set aside to cool.

In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, press or crush roasted garlic cloves, add lemon juice or lemon essential oil and vinegar, and slowly whisk in olive oil. Add one drop of YL basil vitality essential oil if desired.

In a large bowl gently mix pasta, vegetables, olives, cheese, and dressing.  Add more spices to taste.  Refrigerate.

completed pasta salad 2

*I believe that using the highest quality and freshest ingredients available is extremely important both for the taste of the food and the health of my family.  I choose to cook using organic, local, and chemical free ingredients as often as possible.  I also understand that everyone has to make their own choices for their family, and organic ingredients are not always available.  While making purchasing decisions, referring to the EWG’s Produce Shopping Guide is an extremely helpful resource.  Using Thieves fruit and veggie soak or spray, mild soap & water, or even just rinsing is an important step before eating all produce as well.

**This recipe is extremely versatile.  Use raw vegetables if preferred, change-up the vegetables based on taste and availability, or add cooked shrimp or chicken.  Make your salad as colorful as possible for the best health benefits!