Oh man! I have been waiting all week for this day! I joined a group called the #SundaySupper and have met incredible foodies! For this weeks celebration we are hosting “The Perfect Memorial Day Menu!” One big group of great recipes to fill your picnic or patio table! How exciting is that?! It’s almost like an instant menu, made in full and delivered to you pronto.
I have to be honest, I could feel the heat. Not of my food, well because I made a cold dish, but of me just pressuring myself to make that perfect dish. As being my first week, I wanted to make an impression. I went from stuffed sweet potatoes with maple syrup to hamburgers to baked beans and then back to a few more ideas. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why make something harder than what its supposed to be? I can come up with some pretty brainy, intense, layers of flavored dishes that will explore your taste buds, but I was seriously going to hurt my head if I thought any more. After all, two kids, a husband, a homebased business, a dog, a cat and blogging can be an overwhelming choice. Although I choose to live my life this way, sometimes I need to learn to let go of being so hard. I mean, come on, we do the best we can in the situation that we are in. Next lesson please!
As I made many phone calls to many people asking for what they expected on THEIR Memorial Day menu, I finally took a step back and thought of my first idea – a cold pasta salad. One of my favorite pasta salads was made by a girl that I used to work with. She was in my wedding and we have kept in touch through the years but I have no idea why she was giving me this pasta salad. Anyways, it was so simple and I live for simple. Cook pasta, add vegetables and throw on Italian dressing. Yup, that’s it. I started to make it for every function after she introduced me to the fresh veggie/pasta world. It feeds a lot of people, its fresh, tastes great and is filling. Really, what more could I ask for? Oh that’s right, its simple.
- 2 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 freshly squeezed lime
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 clove garlic: minced
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- 1 pinch of pepper
1. Freshly squeeze lemon and lime in a strainer over a bowl. (This bowl is what the dressing will be made with).
2. Discard strainer seeds and pulp.
3. In lemon and lime bowl mixture, add grapeseed oil, garlic, sea salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
4. Refrigerate until ready for use.
I love to taste different dressings. It really helps shape a salad. This is refreshing and light which goes wonderful with the summer filled vegetables and pasta. I love most varieties of food and there is very little that my taste buds don’t go like except for mayonnaise based dressings. I don’t enjoy one bit of the taste of mayo and have always avoided these kinds of dressings because of it. From this, I have missed out on many pasta and macaroni salads. (Wah! Wah!) This is unfortunate for my taste buds but I have opened a whole new world of opportunity, the oil based world. Which may I add, is delicious!
Summer Pasta Salad
- 1 lb rotini pasta noodles
- 1 red pepper: chopped
- 1 red onion: sliced
- 1 container fresh mozzarella balls
- 1 yellow squash: peeled and sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes: sliced in half
- sea salt and pepper
- Walnuts: chopped (optional)
1. Make pasta noodles according to package.
2. Drain noodles and place back in pot.
3. Meanwhile, slice and cut all vegetables and place in a bowl.
No lie, when I’m trying to make all my vegetables even and give a good presentation, I use a vegetable slicer. I like everything to be the same size.
4. Combine vegetable and cheese mixture with pasta.
5. Pour dressing on top and mix to combine.
6. Place in container and in refrigerator until ready to serve. (Add walnuts, optional)
Nothing says simple, filling and delicious like this pasta salad. It’s clean, refreshing taste will remind you of why you love Mother Nature so much!
And of course, you must check out the rest of this delicious Memorial day menu from my fellow foodies. Hopefully we fill you up until next week!
- Creamy Bacon and Avocado Pasta Salad by Daily Dish Recipes
- Sweet and Savory Ham and Mango Salad by Rambling Notebook
- Summer Pasta Salad with Lemon Lime Dressing by Mama’s Blissful Bites
- Soba Noodles with Swiss Chard and Mushrooms by Soni’s Food for Thought
- Malaysian Pickled Vegetables by Cookistry
- Wedge Salad & Homemade blue Cheese Dressing by In the Kitchen with KP
- Grilled Cesar Salad with Homemade Caesar Dressing by The Messy Baker
From the Grill:
- Grilled Balsamic Pork Kebobs by Momma’s Meals
- Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps by That Skinny Chick
- Grilled Shrimp Po Boys with Radicchio Slaw Pescetarian Journal
- Bourbon Soy Sauce Pork Chops and Tilapia Family Foodie
- Green Chile Bacon Cheeseburgers by Damn Delicious
- Kalua Pulled Pork by Juanita’s Cocina
- Mocha Latte and Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding Cups by Mrs. Mama Hen
- Ice Cream Pie by Make Dinner Easy
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Rice Crispy Treats by Chocolate Moosey
- Lite Mango Coconut Ice Cream with Berry Ginger Topping by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Stars and Stripes Pound Cake by Big Bear’s Wife
- Chocolate Lava Cake Cositas Bonitas
- Mango cardamom Cupcakes Beetle’s Kitchen
- Watermelon Muffins The Meltaways
- Mango Swirl Cheesecake Baker Street
Our recipes will be perfectly paired by Wine Everyday