Quick, easy and tasty pasta salad

So I will freely admit up-front that I totally stole this idea from a former co-worker. She brought the most delicious pasta salad to work one day to share with a number of us and it was so fresh, vibrant, colorful and delicious that I asked her how she made it. I quickly realized that this was a great way to use up lots of veggies and make a healthy meal in well-under 30 minutes (boiling the pasta is the part that takes the longest). And what’s nice is that you can use just about whatever ingredients you want!

The one she made had pasta, shrimp (which I didn’t eat since I don’t eat shrimp), cashews, chopped up green olives, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, some kind of crumbly cheese (feta, perhaps?), and an italian/dilly dressing. Mix it all together and wah-la! You’re done!

So, after picking a bunch of cherry and little plum tomatoes off our plants (finally, we’re getting some!), I thought it was time again for a tasty little pasta salad. So, off to the grocery store I went with a list. That apparently I forgot to look at again before checking out because I came home with no cashews and no feta cheese. Hmm. Well, digging through my fridge, I found a few other tasty things to try, so here’s what I added:

Pasta (I chose shells since I had some in the pantry), salmon (we cooked it up on the grill and then just threw it in after cutting into smaller chunks), fresh dill (since I had some), green olives (that were pimiento ones. I think next time I would get it without spicy peppers inside), cherry tomatoes, cucumbers (which I peeled, cut in half, de-seeded and then sliced into cut little half-moon wedges), red pepper and herbes de provence salad dressing. Again, super duper easy, filling and very tasty! And when you have a fridge that is as full of veggies as ours is now (we belong to a CSA and can’t eat the veggies as fast as we get them), finding ways to use lots (in something other than a stir fry, which gets boring after a while), is a happy thing!


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