Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pasta Salad

A's sleep schedule has been really weird lately. She used to consistently take 2 naps ranging from 1.5-2 hours each. This meant that DH would come home for lunch right after she woke up and we could have a nice family lunch and some play time before he headed back to work and we got on with our afternoon. Unfortunately, she is now switching to one longer nap right smack in the middle of the day. Gone is the family lunch unless we can managed to eat really late or really early. A late lunch works okay, unless we have plans for the afternoon in which case we can't get anywhere before 3 or 4. Then I had an idea, we'll have a family picnic. There is a nice, shady park close to DH's work and if I have lunch ready before A. wakes up from her nap we can go eat lunch together, drop him back at work and make it to our activities. Unfortunately, I came up with this idea after she was down for her nap and we didn't have sandwich makings in the house so I needed something else that would make good picnic food and be baby friendly (she eats what we do). I thought of pasta salad, but none of the recipes I found fit what we had so I had to get creative. Here is what I came up with, it has the added advantage of letting me use up some of the veggies from our CSA share, feel free to add whatever veggies you have on hand. You could also cook dried kidney beans for the salad which is much cheaper (and healthier) than canned, but it takes thinking ahead. This makes a giant batch so we will have plenty of left-overs for quick snacks and lunches later in the week. Enjoy!

1/2c olive oil
1/2c red wine vinegar
1/4c canola oil (or more Olive Oil)
1tsp. oregano
2 cloves minced garlic
1tbs. sugar
1/2tsp. salt
8oz uncooked pasta (bowties or spirals work well)
1 red onion
1 bell pepper
1 can kidney beans
2 medium zucchini
other veggies (optional)
1oz. crumbled feta
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. 2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, oregano, garlic, sugar and salt. 3. Chop the onion and dice the bell pepper and add them to the dressing. 4. Add the cooked pasta to the dressing and stir. 5. Chop the zucchini and any other veggies and add them along with the beans and the feta. 6. Give everything a good stir and refrigerate it at least an hour, though preferably overnight. 7. Add salt and pepper as needed to correct the seasoning right before serving.

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