Summer’s End Vegetable and Pasta Salad

To eat more vegetables, they need to be available, convenient and look fantastic.

We eat with our eyes.  The more colorful and attractive a food is, the more enticing it is.

This one is pleasing to the eye and the palate.

The secret to the zesty flavor is the dressing.  You can alter the kinds of vegetables and even the type of pasta to your taste.  Check the produce drawer of your refrigerator for some fresh, crunchy vegetable options.  (Anything in there that looks like a science experiment, toss, wipe the drawer clean and vow to check it more often.)

VEGETABLE AND PASTA SALAD

Salad

1 (16 oz.) pkg. California Blend frozen vegetables, cooked to tender-crisp, drained

4 c. vegetable-flavored pasta spirals, cooked firm, drained, rinsed with cold water

1 c. celery, chopped

1/2 c. onion, chopped

4 tomatoes, cut in small wedges

1 c. red, yellow, orange or green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 c. black olives, sliced

1/2 c. green olives, sliced

Dressing

1 (1 oz.) pkt. Hidden Valley Ranch original salad dressing mix

3/4 c. Seasoned Rice Vinegar, such as Marukan

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, combine dressing mix and rice vinegar.  Stir with a small whisk until dressing is completely dissolved.  Pour over salad ingredients and toss gently.

You can make this ahead and refrigerate several hours or overnight, terrific for potlucks, picnics or any get together that includes food.  I usually serve it immediately.  I think it has the most flavor before it’s cold.

Signature Recipe from Luanna Diller, RD

About Luanna Diller

Luanna Diller's professional expertise includes nutrition, health behavior change, and wellness. She has three decades of experience in counseling, teaching and motivating thousands of clients to achieve healthier lifestyles. She is a wife, mom to two teenagers, Registered Dietitian and Christian women’s ministries leader. She is a creative cook, loves to dance and recently discovered a knack for hand making glass beads.
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