I had one semester in college where I attempted to work nearly full time hours while maintaining a full time school schedule. I think I had all of four days where I didn't have school or work. Meals were usually either at the mall food court or the campus cafe. It got expensive quick. One day, I found a little bit of time and threw together a pasta salad with a bunch of ingredients I found laying around. I had a portable meal that was cheaper (and healthier) than fast food, and it could keep a couple days. I started doing this whenever life got hectic: the same basic dressing recipe, a protein, a vegetable, some pasta – and I freed up some time.
Life is seldom that hectic anymore (especially when you work for an NHL team right now...). However, the Shine Supper Club is doing favorite pasta recipes this month, and I happened to have some leftover Miracle Noodles from last night's dinner. So lunch was set.
When I can plan for this (it's a pot luck favorite, in fact), I have a set recipe:
Secret Mustard Dressing
~1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
~1/2 cup Mustard (I use about half yellow and half brown)
Hot sauce, to taste
- Mix ingredients. This recipe is forgiving and adaptable – adjust it according to your tastes. (Personally, I like it sinus-clearing spicy, but this is the pot luck version!)
Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad
1 Box Pasta, preferably elbow noodles
2 medium zucchini, shredded
1 medium tomato, diced
1 cup shredded Jack cheese
Secret Mustard dressing (see above)
- Prepare pasta to al dente. Drain, rinse and allow to cool
- Toss with dressing. Mix in other ingredients
- Serve. If this is a pot luck, it goes fast!
Now, that's the pot luck version. Obviously, zucchini is out of season, and I didn't have a tomato handy. Besides, I was making a single serving. I had a couple of baby carrots from feeding the bird and turtles, and some leftover bacon. So I chopped up some carrot and tore up some bacon to throw together this version. Plus, I used a packet of Chinese mustard and quite a bit of chili powder in the dressing. And the Miracle Noodles. If you're expecting these to taste like regular pasta, you will be disappointed, but they work for me. However, this recipe works just as well with regular pasta.
I do wish I had bought a shape other than fettuccine, but that's what makes it the “Kitchen Sink”. It's less of a recipe and more of a technique. Use what you have and what you like, and you can't be disappointed.