Pasta Salad

You guys! I’ve discovered the best pasta salad ever. It has so much flavor, my mouth is still tasting it. We ate it for dinner, but it could be a good side dish or something to bring to the family bbq. Delish. Here’s the recipe!

Recipe: Curly pasta and veggie salad

Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients

For pasta and vegetables:

Vegetable oil cooking spray

3 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2- inch pieces

1 large orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 large yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

6 ounces sugar snap peas, strings removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound cavatappi or macaroni pasta

For dressing:

2/3 cup sour cream

2/3 cup safflower oil

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 lemons, zested

1/3 cup chopped fresh chives

1/3 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

For the vegetables: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Combine all the vegetables in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Spread out vegetables in a single layer on the prepared sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, until tender.

Image

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large serving bowl.

For the dressing:  In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, safflower oil, buttermilk, lemon juice, lemon zest, chives, mint, parsley, salt and pepper until smooth. Add the roasted vegetables and dressing to the cooked pasta. Toss until all ingredients are coated and serve.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Image

Easter & a Cake Recipe

We had such a beautiful Easter this year. Even though Paul and I both had to work in the morning, we made it to the family get together and were able to visit with his family. And what a beautiful day it was!

photo-1The boys enjoyed some whiskey.

photo-2

 

There was a lot of great food – ham, cheesy potatoes, salad, and yummy croissants. I made a carrot cake for dessert and I wanted to share the recipe! I love a good carrot cake and while looking for my old recipe, I found a new one in one of my favorite cookbooks, The Rodale Whole Foods Cookbook. It definitely met my expectations! And it was good for us too, as far as sweet cakes go, I guess.

photo-3

 

Glazed Carrot Cake

2 large eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup agave nectar

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups grated carrots (1/2pound)

1/2 cup chopped pistachios

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until well combined. Add the oil, agave nectar, and buttermilk, and beat until well blended. Stir in the carrots and nuts.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and salt. Fold into the carrot mixture and mix to combine.

Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, but with some moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool for 10 minutes.

So, I doubled this recipe and used a yummy cream cheese frosting which I’ll post in a second. I used walnuts instead of pistachios because I’m not a big pistachio person. This recipe suggests an Apricot Glaze, which sounded delicious, but I opted out.

Basic Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz reduced fat cream cheese

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup agave nectar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the agave nectar and the vanilla, until will combined.

And here’s a secret: I ran out of agave for the frosting, so I used maple syrup instead. It was delicious!!!