Seasonal vegetables add nutrition to pasta salad

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 6:29 PM | by mitch

By Heather Tallman of Basilmomma.com

In this month’s Door to Wellness cooking class, we made use of seasonal veggies to make a hearty, yet healthy, pasta salad. This is a great meal served warm or cold and is a great make-ahead lunch.

The best part is you can use what you have or that is in season from diced cucumbers to zucchini, yellow squash to peppers. Lots of color is the key!

I like to toss my trimmed green beans in the pasta water in the last minute or so of the boil. Then I drain and rinse the whole thing in cold water. It saves time and doesn’t affect the pasta at all. We learned a new tip in class as well- cooking the corn (in the husk) in the microwave. Place 2-3 ears (husk and all) in the microwave for 3 minutes. When done, allow to cool just a bit. Cut off the stalk end with a knife and simply pull the husk and silks off. Corn is perfectly cooked and ready to cut off of the cob for this salad.

We had a helper in this class and he shared that cutting the basil with scissors would be a great way for him to get involved in the kitchen- and he was right!

Sweet Corn,Tomato and Green Bean Pasta Salad

●    1 lb pasta shells, whole wheat or enriched

●     2 ears corn, cut off kernels
●     2 medium tomatoes chopped, or 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
●     ½ lb. green beans, snipped and cut into 1” pieces
●     2 small cloves garlic, minced
●     3 Tbsp. olive oil
●     ½ tsp. salt
●     fresh black pepper
●     4 oz feta crumbles
●     ½ C basil
1.    Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2.    Cook pasta according to package directions until just tender to the bite.
3.    Drain and rinse with cold water.
4.    Meanwhile, shuck corn and cut off kernels.
5.    Set aside.
6.    Blanch corn and green beans either: in their own pot OR in the last 2 minutes of pasta cooking time and drain/rinse together.
7.    They just need to be slightly soft-not full on cooked.
8.    Mix salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil in a large serving bowl.
9.    Add pasta and vegetables and blend with oil.
10.  Toss in tomatoes.
11.  Before serving add cheese and basil.
12.  Serve warm or cold.

Recipe Cost:

1 lb box of whole wheat elbow pasta: $1.09 (on sale at Kroger)

1 pint of grape tomatoes: $1.79

2 ears corn: .70

½ lb fresh green beans: .45

oil/salt/pepper- pantry items

Feta cheese: $2.49

½ C fresh basil: $1.49

Recipe total: $ 8.01