A month ago our weekly menu needed a summer upgrade. I found two great pasta salads that appear bi-weekly on my menu plan. Both are “easily modifiable” for preschoolers (meaning I can leave the “yucky stuff” out and it’s still a decent meal for my kids). Also, it can all be prepped ahead of time- just toss all the ingredients together before serving. Try it; it’s delicious. (Especially if you take the extra 7 minutes and make the ranch dressing yourself. Don’t be scared; I did it during the melting hour and we all made it to the table just fine.) Let me know if you try it!
BLT Pasta Salad
2 1/2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta (cook to package instructions)
4-6 cups washed spinach leaves
1 container of cherry tomatoes, halved
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
“my” homemade ranch dressing recipe below (or a good 1/2 cup of store bought ranch)
optional: peas, pitted olives, garbanzo beans
Mix all the ingredients together (or leave out the “yucky” ingredients, dish up the kids and then add all the remaining goodness into the bowl).
FYI, I modified my BLT pasta recipe from the blog: Life in The Lofthouse.
Homemade Ranch Dressing
1 individual container of plain yogurt (keep the container to measure the milk)
milk: fill the empty yogurt container half way up with milk
2 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (use 1/2 teaspoon of salt if you use the dressing on the BLT pasta salad. It needs the extra boost)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon of dried dill
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
optional: a good squeeze of lemon juice (about 1 teaspoon)
Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Store in an airtight container or pour the whole thing over your BLT pasta salad. Miam Miam!
FYI, I modified my homemade ranch dressing from the blog: Better for You and So Delicious
Share with me some of your summer go-to recipes; I’d love some more inspiration!