Cooking is a passion for me. I am more than happy to spend hours and hours in the kitchen that will result in just one meal. As much as I love to cook and am perfectly content to be buzzing around the kitchen, I live a very busy life that sometimes doesn’t afford me the time. Some nights when I get home from work, am finished with a workout session or a long run, and have fed the dog, etc. all I want to do is eat, I don’t want to wait for a long elaborate meal to be prepared, I just want to eat.
I try really hard to not eat out often, to not eat a lot of processed foods, and to really make my meals at home, so I’ve had to come up with some quick meals that I can whip up easily and quickly to satisfy myself on the nights I just can’t wait. One of my staple “weeknight” meals is pasta salad. I make my pasta salad with tri-colored rotelle pasta noodles, artichoke hearts, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and brocoli. Just top it off with 1/2 cup of your favorite light italian dressing and you will have a delicious meal in less than 30 minutes that will last up to four days that you can enjoy again and again. YUM!
Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
- 1 1/2 Cups Artichoke Hearts (you can use the ones marinated in oil for added flavor, but I usually use the ones cased in water for this pasta salad, less fattening)
- 1 4 oz. can Black Olives, chopped
- 1/2 Cup Dried Sun-Dried Tomatoes (get the ones with the least amount of salt, the less sodium the better)
- 3 Cups Brocoli Florets
- 3/4 – 1 Pound Tri-Colored Rotelle Pasta Noodles
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Basil, cut into strips – Optional Topping
- 1/2 Cup Light Italian Dressing (I use Whole Foods 365 brand, its delicious)
- Add water to a large pot and set on medium-high heat to boil
- Add a small amount of water to a medium-sized pot and place a steamer basket in (if you don’t have a steamer basket you can simply boil the broccoli, but to retain all the minerals and nutrients of vegetables the best way to cook them is with steam so you should invest in a steamer basket.)
- Once both pots of water are boiling add pasta noodles to the large pot and broccoli florets to the medium-sized pot.
- While broccoli and the pasta are boiling, quickly chop the sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts.
- Add sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, and artichoke hearts to your serving bowl
- Once broccoli has turned bright green take it out of the pot and add to the serving bowl
- Once pasta noodles are al dente, drain and then add to the serving dish, pour in Italian dressing then stir to combine. You can top it with basil if you have it and serve. Can be kept refrigerated for up to 4 days.