Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

Alert, I am trying something new. I know you’re busy, and there are likely times that you don’t even read my blog posts. Don’t worry, I’m not mad, I totally get it. You just want the recipe.

To honor that need for quick info, I’m attempting a new format for my blog posts from time to time. It will include fewer paragraphs and more simple bullet points intended to accommodate you, the time-strapped individual. These simpler posts will include what I want you to know about the recipe, but without all of the fussy wording and paragraphs.

Here we go! To start this blog session off right, I’m sharing this recipe for Greek Pasta Salad. Bon appetit friends!

Why I made this dish: Because my husband loves pasta and pasta salads.

Why I love this dish: Because I don’t like store-bought pasta salads which are often made with refined white pasta with way too much dressing and not enough vegetables.

How this recipe is healthy: Whole wheat pasta adds fiber for satiety and extra vitamins and minerals. Lots of fresh vegetables, which is always a good thing, add even more fiber, vitamins and minerals. And a vibrant, homemade dressing adds brightness and loads of flavor without a bunch of additives, preservatives or other crazy, hard-to-prounounce ingredients.

IMG_0075

 

IMG_0074

 

IMG_0078

 

IMG_0077

 

IMG_0072

Print

Greek Pasta Salad

In need of a recipe for a hot summer day? Or are you looking for a great dish to bring to a picnic or potluck? This Greek Pasta Salad is the perfect dish for really any occasion. The familiar Greek flavors are all here and it’s a refreshing, yet hearty dish that’s simple to make.

  • Author:
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Pasta

Ingredients

Pasta Salad

  • 12 ounces whole wheat penne (or whole wheat pasta of your choice)GF
  • 1 cup (about 8 ounces) seeded and sliced cucumber
  • 1 cup (about 5 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ small (2 ½ ounces) diced red onion
  • 1 medium (6 ounces) red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium (6 ounces) green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, halved (about 20 olives)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
  2. To a large bowl, add the cooled pasta along with the cucumber, tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, olives and feta cheese.
  3. Whisk the mustard, lemon juice, garlic, oregano and black pepper together in a small bowl. Stream in the olive oil while continuing to whisk. Blend until fully incorporated. Pour the dressing over the top of the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Notes

  • Makes about 10 cups pasta salad.
  • To boost protein, add some rotisserie chicken or cooked shrimp to this dish.

Homemade Marinara Sauce – Recipe Redux

iphone052015 140

Pizza and pasta are staples in my house. You can safely assume then, that I’ve purchased more than my fair share of jarred marinara sauce. Blown away by the cost of a jar of organic pasta sauce, I decided there was no reason I couldn’t make my own. So after some trial and error, I was finally able to come up with one that I really liked and it’s been a staple in my kitchen ever since.

This month’s Recipe Redux theme invited us to share our recipe for something that we once purchased, but now make from scratch. I am happy to share this marinara recipe, a healthy, low-sodium alternative to the jarred stuff. Don’t worry if you can’t eat it all at once, it freezes amazingly and also makes the perfect gift.

 

Simple ingredients are the key to this marinara.

Simple ingredients are the key to this marinara.

 

Peppers, onions and garlic add layers of flavor!

Peppers, onions and garlic add the right touch of sweetness and complexity.

 

Bay leaf is a perfect, flavorful addition.

Bay leaf is a perfect, flavorful addition.

 

This marinara can be blended right in the pan, but be careful with the hot liquids!

This marinara can be blended right in the pan, but be careful with the hot liquids!

Print

Homemade Marinara

A simple homemade tomato sauce that’s perfect for pizza or tossed with pasta.

  • Author:

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red (or yellow) bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil a deep-sided sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and the peppers and cook, stirring frequently until vegetables are slightly tender, about 10-12 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one more minute. Add the tomato paste, stirring constantly, and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the diced tomatoes (entire can with juices), water and vinegar. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to lift off any of the brown bits stuck to the pan. Add the Italian seasoning, bay leaf and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  2. Remove the bay leaf and add the salt. Using an immersion blender, carefully puree the mixture until smooth. Alternatively, work in batches using a blender or food processor for pureeing, exercising caution with the hot mixture (follow manufacturer’s instructions for pureeing hot or warm ingredients).
  3. Use immediately or allow to cool then refrigerate or freeze.

Notes

  • This recipe makes about 4 1/2 to 5 cups of marinara.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 402
  • Sugar: 35
  • Sodium: 1325
  • Fat: 15
  • Saturated Fat: 2
  • Unsaturated Fat: 12
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 66
  • Protein: 9
  • Cholesterol: 0