Picnics are back.
With our current need to stay physically distanced from one another, al fresco dining is a great option. Old fashioned picnics can be a fun way to bring a small group together in the fresh air, and still enjoy each other’s company while distancing and staying healthy.
A DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) meal plan goal is to add more vegetables into your diet. Why not take a basic pasta salad and “veg it up”? Try my Very Veggies Pasta Salad. I like to think of it as a veggie salad with pasta, as opposed to a pasta salad with veggies.
Very Veggie Pasta Salad
- 6 oz spring pasta You can use regular, whole wheat, tri-color, or a combination.
- 1 jar marinated artichokes drained
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced bell peppers assorted colors
- 1 small can sliced black olives drained
- 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
- 1 cup sliced cucumber halved
- 1 small can chick peas drained
- 3 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt-free Italian herb blend
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and let cool
- Place artichokes through chick peas into a large serving bowl and toss. Add cooled, cooked pasta and mix to combine.
- To make the dressing, mix olive oil and remaining ingredients in a small bowl or glass jar. Stir to combine.
- Pour dressing over pasta salad and toss well. Gently fold in the sunflower seeds and feta cheese. Add more freshly ground black pepper if you like.
- Chill for at least one hour, or up to overnight. Serve.