2017_05
04
(Thu)10:22

Springtime Pasta Salad

Springtime Pasta Salad is an easy, light, refreshing and yet such a satisfying recipe with a simple lemon vinaigrette, olives and fresh veggies. It is the perfect make a ahead dish for company, potlucks or cold lunches during the week.

Springtime Pasta Salad recipe is light & savory. Perfect make ahead meal for company or potluck. Has simple lemon vinaigrette, olives and fresh veggies.

Springtime Pasta Salad recipe is light & savory. Perfect make ahead meal for company or potluck. Has simple lemon vinaigrette, olives and fresh veggies.

In all my years working as a weight loss counselor I could always tell which clients were going to have success and get to where they wanted to be, or very close to their goal. There were certain key attributes that always gave it away, such as, being willing to change behaviors, planning ahead and focusing on eating a TON of veggies. I would always cringe when I would hear a client tell me that they hated veggies and were not going to eat them. In the politest way I could, I would share that weight loss success is very minimal when veggies are not involved. Sometimes I could persuade these veggie hating people to at least give them a try and others it was a flat out, “nope, not gonna do it”. I could almost predict what I would hear from the group that would dig in their heals. “I am so hungry!!! You don’t understand, I am so hungry that I want to eat my foot off.” We would laugh and then come full circle back to how important those veggies are.

If you study nutrition and all the different diets available, there is one thing that is common between most all of them. Eating plenty of non starchy veggies each and every day across the rainbow of colors. This is what I would see consistently during my almost 10 years of supporting clients with weight loss that made a world of difference. The ones that had success were the ones that would be willing to go grocery shopping a few times a week to always have fresh veggies on hand. They were also the ones that would be willing to take time every night to prepare their veggies for not only their dinner, but lunch the next day. Last but not least, they were willing to experiment with different ways of preparation so that boredom wouldn’t set in.

Let’s be honest though. Sometimes it is easier said then done getting in those veggies every single day. If you have been reading my posts for awhile you probably have noticed how obsessed I am with salads. Check out how many I have done in the short time I have had my blog:

Grilled Pineapple Sesame Chicken Salad

Chicken Peanut Udon Noodle Salad

Rocket Your Mind Salad

Harvest Turkey Salad with Orange Sherry Vinaigrette

Lazy Day Chinese Chicken Salad

Bacon Belly Button Pasta Salad

Flavor Explosion Mexican Salad

Lemon Dill Shrimp Salad

See what I mean? This doesn’t even count the salad dressing or vegetable recipes that I have done. You would think that it is my quest in life getting people to eat their veggies. Well, it kind of is. I fully understand how boring it can be to eat a plate of steamed broccoli for the bazilyionth time, you know, because it can be kind of stinky. Or how frustrating it can be to cruise the produce aisles and not come up with one idea that sounds as good as creamy mac n cheese. As wonderful as veggies can be, they are not always the easiest or most exciting to eat. This is where recipes like this Springtime Pasta Salad can be a huge support. It is full of flavor, easy to make, and both little ones and adults love it.

Springtime Pasta Salad recipe is light & savory. Perfect make ahead meal for company or potluck. Has simple lemon vinaigrette, olives and fresh veggies.

Springtime Pasta Salad recipe is loved by adults & little ones alike. Simple, savory and easy to make. Perfect way to get those veggies in.

Tips for Springtime Pasta Salad:

  • Use Quinoa Noodles for an even healthier and gluten free version of this Springtime Pasta Salad. (affiliate)
  • Not as excited about the veggies choices in this Springtime Pasta Salad? No problem, mix and match your favorite veggies, just remember it will be about 12-13 cups of veggies in total.
  • If your not a lemon lover or are allergic to citrus, substitute your favorite vinegar in place of the lemon.
  • My favorite part of this recipe aside from the lemon and garlic is the dill. I am absolutely in love with Simply Organic Dill because it tastes so unbelievably fresh. (affiliate)
  • When making this Springtime Pasta Salad make sure to keep the cold veggies apart from the hot noodles until they have cooled down a bit. This step keeps the tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet bell peppers, etc. beautifully crisp.
  • Add a little protein and you have a great cold lunch for packing during the week.
  • If you have 2 perfectly ripe avocados, then they go great in this recipe. Dice them in large chunks and stir them in.
  • This may seem like a large amount of pasta, but trust me, if you have 3 or more hungry adults eating, it goes really fast. Plus it makes great left overs that are actually fun to eat.
  • I would be lost without my set of stainless steel mixing bowls and stainless steel whisks, as often as we make salads and pastas in my house. (affiliate)
  • I used Trader Joe’s Ripe Medium Green Olives. They have a wonderfully mild flavor and are a favorite at our house.

Olives for Springtime Pasta Salad

One last tip that is a complete time saver. Place the broccoli florets in the colander and pour the cooked noodles over the top. It blanches them perfectly for the pasta salad and saves you about 15 mins.

Blanching broccoli by pouring hot noodle water over the top for Springtime Pasta Salad.

Save time by draining noodles over broccoli florets to blanch.

Springtime Pasta Salad recipe is light & savory. Perfect make ahead meal for company or potluck. Has simple lemon vinaigrette, olives and fresh veggies.

Springtime Pasta Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
An easy, simple, light and refreshing pasta salad that both little ones and adults will love. Perfect way to get your veggies in.
Author:
Cuisine: Lunch/Dinner
Serves: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb spiral pasta of choice
  • 2 tbsp sea salt *for boiling noodles
  • For the Vinaigrette
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 3 lemons {little over ½ cup}
  • 2-3 garlic cloves *minced or crushed
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 lg English cucumber *peeled & cut into half coins
  • 3 cups tear drop tomatoes *cut in half
  • 1 can whole olives drained
  • ¾ cup red onion cut into small strips
  • 1 cup mini sweet bell peppers cut into rings {about 4}
  • 5 cups broccoli florets {about 2 broccoli crowns}
  • 1 bunch asparagus *ends cut off & cut into thirds
Instructions
  1. Prepare noodles of choice to al dente, following instructions on package and boiling in heavily salted water.
  2. Wash and cut broccoli into florets. Place in colander and when noodles are done drain over top of broccoli.
  3. While water for noodles is coming to a boil prepare vinaigrette. Place olive oil in large mixing bowl. Whisk in lemon juice until emulsified. Add garlic, dil and salt. Stir well.
  4. Wash and cut asparagus in thirds making sure to cut off tough ends. Bring a med pot of water to boil. Once boiling turn off heat and add cut asparagus. Let sit in hot water for 2-4 minutes or until desired doneness. Time will vary depending on thickness of spears. Drain and add to vinaigrette,
  5. Prepare cold veggies (cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, & olives) and set aside until noodles are cooled off to almost room temperature.
  6. Once noodles are done cooking drain over top of broccoli florets. Add to vinaigrette and stir well. Let sit for about 10 mins, cooling to almost room temp and add cold cut up veggies. Toss well.
  7. This recipe tastes great fresh or chilled.
Notes
*Please use as many organic ingredients as possible.*

This recipe is part of Meal Plan Monday.



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