My son stands against anything with pasta and rice. He does eat both, but with such a long face that it almost makes me guilty. Almost… But I don’t give up on these two foods and keep bringing them to the table irrespective of the nasty looks, sighs and nays.
The kid does like salads, so I have started adding a bit of pasta to his salad. He seems to be okay with that. So now, once in a while, I pack a cold pasta salad for his lunch. I prepare it the night before and refrigerate so that the flavors can mingle.
A good thing about salad is that you don’t need to have an exact recipe. Whatever is available in the fridge paired with a bit of dressing makes an excellent one. My go-to salad dressing is a mix of mayonnaise and honey mustard, but I am slowly including more of the classic olive oil and lemon juice now a days.
For a salad, I like the combination of vegetables with beans and fruits. The bit of sweetness that the fruit imparts gives a lovely flavor and the beans fill you up. Cheese is more for my son’s taste buds. For this particular dish, I had some ready made taco seasoning to be used up. So that went into the dressing with olive oil and lemon juice. This video from Tasty is what I followed for the dressing. I had to skip the jalapenos and garlic since it was for my son’s lunch box. Taco seasoning is a mix of spices and can be made at home as well. Here is a recipe if you want to make it at home.
Recipe adapted from: Tasty – Pasta Salad 4 ways
- 2 cups cooked pasta
- 1/2 cup cooked red kidney beans
- 2 slices of cheese torn into small pieces or 1/3 cup shredded cheese
- 1/2 cup diced mangoes
- 3 tablespoons sliced olives
- 1 big tomato, diced
- handful of coriander leaves, chopped
- salt as needed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon ready made taco seasoning
- 1 clove garlic, minced, optional
- 1 tablespoon jalapenos, optional
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Cook roughly about one cup pasta in boiling water with salt to get two cups of cooked pasta. Drain and let it cool completely.
- Combine the salad ingredients to the pasta. Slowly add the dressing, mixing it in. You don’t have to use all the dressing, you can stop when you feel that the taste is fine.
- Do a taste test before adding salt, since pasta was cooked in salted water and taco seasoning also has salt.