Tag Archives: pasta salad

Food Matters Project #44: Pasta with Tuna, Tomatoes & Capers

I’m so happy to be the host of this week’s Food Matters Project.  It’s a perfect recipe for our household these days.  Between a new schedule and a new job, our lives have been a bit busy.  Easy, make-ahead and delicious recipes are perfect for us.

A while back I chose Mark Bittman’s Pasta with Tuna, Tomatoes & Capers.  It’s a great recipe that can be changed to what you have in your fridge.  It’s fantastic prepared the night before, and wonderful for lunch the next day!  Check out what other FMP participants did with their recipes here.

I love tuna salad, but I really hate to order it in deli shops or restaurants.  There is always so much mayo in there, it doesn’t have the tuna flavor.  And it’s heavy, loaded with calories.  I loved this pasta salad- served cold, it was perfect for a hot summer day, and it’s still light enough that it doesn’t make you too sleepy after you eat it for lunch!

Food Matters Project: Tuna SaladPasta with Tuna, Tomatoes & Capers
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 232)

1 lb pasta (type: your choice)
4-5 tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 cans 5 oz can of tuna in water, drained
1 small onion, chopped
3 tbsp capers
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Cook pasta according to the directions on the box.

In a large bowl mix together the following ingredients: cooked pasta, tomatoes, tuna, onion, capers, parsley, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Stir well and serve.

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Eggplant & Broccolini Pasta Salad

I’m sure many of you having cravings for different foods.  About this time of the year, tomatoes tend to be in the top.  Definitely love fresh tomatoes (check out the latest tomato recipe), but right now I have also been craving eggplant.  And specifically- roasted eggplant- something about the crunchy outside, and soft inside.  Yum!

When I spotted this recipe in June’s Vegetarian Times, I had to make it.  It’s a great recipe that tastes delicious the day you make it, but this is a great cold pasta salad for some leftovers.  Most pasta salads do not have eggplant, so this is definitely a tasty difference.  It’s a little fancier than you regular pasta or pasta salad, but just as easy to make!  Great for those busy summer days!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Eggplant & Broccolini Pasta Salad
Inspired by: Vegetarian Times (June 2012)

1 lb pasta
2 medium eggplants, washed
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
8 oz broccolini, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Heat up a large pot with water, once it’s boiling add in the pasta.  Cook the past according to the directions on the package.

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.  Cut the eggplant into 1-inch pieces and spread it all onto a cookie sheet.  Add 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes.  Then using your hands, mix the seasoning with the eggplant.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the eggplant is slightly browned.

Once the eggplant is done baking, spread the broccolini on a cookie sheet (can be the same one).  Sprinkle it with 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes.  Once again, using your hands (be careful if the cookie sheet is still hot) mix the ingredients together.  Bake the broccolini for 15 minutes at 425ºF.

When all of the ingredients are cooked and baked, toss them into a large bowl.  Then add in the grape tomatoes, regular tomatoes, onion, garlic cloves and 1 tbsp olive oil.  Stir all of the ingredients well.  Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Southwest Pasta Salad

Marathon training has started, only 118 days until the Marine Corps Marathon!  Which means Saturday’s start early, and lunch becomes significant.  During the rest of the year, on the weekends, we tend to have a bigger breakfast, which then leads to a skipped lunch and early dinner…or something along the lines of that.

Since we ignore weekend lunches, I need some quick and healthy ideas.  It’s probably not a good idea to do a long run, and then fill my tummy with some greasy stuff, right?  This salad was great: easy to make, delicious to eat and nutritious.  And when you’re like me, the Mexican flavors are always welcome in my tummy.

Since it is 4th of July weekend, some of you might be picnicking- well this would be a great addition.  This can be made a day ahead and takes almost no time.  In addition, pasta salads are always liked by many.

Southwest Pasta Salad
Adapted from: Aggie’s Kitchen

1/2 box spiral pasta (or other fun shapes)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
1 15-oz can of black beans, rinsed
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Cook pasta according to directions on the box.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then add the onion and garlic.  Cook for a couple of minutes until the onion turns translucent.  Add the chili powder and dried cilantro, stir well.  Then add the red bell pepper and jalapeño.  Cook for another couple of minutes.  Finally, add the black beans- cook and stir this mixture for 3-4 minutes.

Finally, add the pasta and vegetable mixture into a bowl.  Add the tomatoes, cilantro, salt and pepper.  Toss the salad well.  You can serve it warm, or you can put it in the fridge for some time to cool it off.