Summer Pasta Salad with Baby Greens

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Fresh baby greens tossed with whole wheat pasta noodles, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette! This salad is perfect for summer and a great option to take to a potluck or cookout because it can easily be doubled to feed a crowd. It is vegetarian friendly, and can be made gluten-free by substituting brown rice pasta. The original recipe called for capers, but my husband and I are not fans of that ingredient so I omitted them! You can absolutely add them if you’d like.

There are so many ways to serve this salad. It can be the perfect side dish to a grilled chicken breast or fillet of fish, but it can also be a meal in itself! The vinaigrette is perfect and after making this salad, I made extra to be able to serve on top of other salads throughout the week. It is delicious!

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Summer Pasta Salad with Baby Greens

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz (about 4 cups) baby arugula and baby spinach mix
  • 5 oz high fiber or whole wheat pasta (use brown rice pasta for GF)
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1) Boil pasta in salted water according to package directions. When done, drain and rinse under cold water.

2) In a large bowl, combine the pasta, baby greens, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss well, then just before serving top with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Makes about 6 cups.
Servings: 4

Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 169 Fat: 5g Carbs: 29.5g Fiber: 4g Protein: 6g Sugar: 4g Sodium: 271 mg without salt Cholest: 2mg

WW PointsPlus: 5 Old points: 3

Recipe adapted from: skinnytaste.com

Red Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette

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If you do not usually get excited about eating a salad, you have to try today’s recipe! In fact, if you are an avid salad-eater you too need to try this vinaigrette because it is so unique and different from anything I have had in the past. Lately I have been enjoying making my own salad dressings. They’re very quick and easy to make, and the extra 5 minutes it takes is worthwhile when you consider how much more exciting your salad is with it! This vinaigrette brightens up your salad and makes it come to life with both sweet, spicy, and savory flavors. Absolutely amazing, and so simple to make! It is also beautiful–I love the contrast of the red dressing against the green salad.

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Around Christmas time I received a jar of homemade red pepper jelly from a friend at work (who is an excellent cook!). I had never tried red pepper jelly until earlier that year and I was excited to add it to my pantry. When I received last month’s Southern Living and saw their recipe for a red pepper jelly vinaigrette, I bookmarked it immediately because I knew exactly how I was gong to use that jar of homemade jelly. The only bad thing about the original Southern Living recipe is that it calls for a whopping 1/3 cup of olive oil, which seemed like entirely too much, so I brought that down to just 1.5 tablespoons. It was plenty, and next time I may use even less!

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Serve this vibrant dressing on top of crisp greens or use it as a marinade for chicken or pork!

Red Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red pepper jelly
  • 1 tbsp coarse-grained mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black peper

1) Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl or shake in a glass jar until well combined. Serve about 2 tablespoons on a salad per person.

Makes about 6 servings. Approximate Nutritinal Information per serving: Calories: 56 Fat: 4g Protein: 0g Carbs: 7g Sugar: 6g

WW Points Plus: 2 Old points: 1

Recipe adapted from Southern Living.