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Oct 29

Making Pasta Salad Is Easy And Tasty

Pasta salads aren’t just vegetarian recipes, even if they lend themselves beautifully to vegetarianism. In actual fact, there’s something of a formula for making a pasta salad, and the great thing is that when you come to the “protein” category, you are just as free to add beans and cheese as you are to add cold ham or slicked chicken. You really just need to remember this formula, and you can almost do without consulting formal recipes at all.

Melody Thacker has done a Squidoo feature at squidoo.com/pasta-salad-recipes called “Quick and Easy Pasta Salad Recipes,” and among other details she provides a section about the basic ingredients for such a salad. These start with the pasta, something bite-sized rather than long shapes, like spaghetti or the big lasagna noodles. She suggests raw vegetables like broccoli, carrots, peppers, onions and tomatoes as the first addition, for flavor and crunch. You might also add a protein like cold cuts or cooked chicken, or flaked seafood, beans or cheese. A creamy or vinaigrette type of dressing finishes off the pasta dish.

The website allrecipes.com/HowTo/Five-Steps-to-Perfect-Pasta-Salad/Detail.aspx has a feature called “Five Steps to Perfect Pasta Salad” that starts, of course, with bite-sized pastas themselves. The next step includes key ingredients, such as slightly cooked or raw vegetables, some protein like seafood or sliced cooked chicken, or perhaps canned beans and crumbled mild cheeses. She suggests one major flavor supported by two others. Her third step is “Intense flavors,” which involves things like peppers, onions or stronger cheeses. Step four is onions and herbs, and then you would want a creamy or vinaigrette type of dressing.

If you’d rather just follow a recipe, though, then visit Chef Jamie Oliver’s website, at jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetarian-recipes/the-best-pasta-salad. Many celebrities and well-known cookbook series have their own particular favorites, so you’ll find a few pasta salads on websites like companyscoming.com/index.php?par=search_results&search_string=pasta+salad&searchmethod=recipes. And of course, at epicurious.com/tools/searchresults?search=pasta+salad&x=0&y=0, you can narrow down the salad recipes by ingredients or ethnic cuisine, or which ones are quick and easy and which take more work.

Pasta salad can certainly be made from a more formal recipe if you want to get more ideas than you are coming up with on your own. But as long as you remember the suggested formula for putting this dish together, you can exercise your own creativity as well. If you’re into healthy cooking, and really want to keep an eye on what goes into your meals, this is an ideal way to do that. It’s also a good way of making sure you use up what’s in your fridge, and don’t let any food go to waste.

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