I decided I had better post a healthier recipe lest you think we don't have any ! :) We really don't eat that unhealthy for the most part. My cooking is a mix of everything and we are all big tossed salad eaters because we love most vegetables too. Also we do try to cut the fat down in our regular meals when we can and most of the time we choose to make desserts for activities so we can share them. This pasta salad is loaded with fresh veggies and uses Good Seasons salad dressing mix packets for the dressing but without oil. I usually use a whole wheat pasta, mini farfelle or tri-colored spirals but any fancy shaped pasta will work. Any low fat cheese can be substituted too. By cutting it into tiny bites you get flavor with every bite but are eating less calories and fat. Same with the olives. Add what you like to make it your own creation! With the protein that comes from the beans, pepperoni , and low fat cheese it's got most of your food groups covered so it's actually a meal in itself. Plus it's a large batch so you will have leftovers too !
Prepare the dressing and chill it.
Mix really well:
2 cups of cold water
2 packages of Good Seasoning dressing mix , Italian and-or cheese garlic
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbls paprika
1 tsp sugar
2/3 cup cider vinegar(more if you desire it)
1 tsp salt
Cook 1/2 box of pasta of your choice according to directions. Drain and rinse well.
Prepare the rest of the ingredients and put them in a large covered container with the pasta:
3 thinly sliced green onions
1/2 sliced , seedless cucumber
1/2 green pepper, slivered in thin short strips
1 cup rinsed , canned Garbanzo Beans (chick peas)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped broccoli
1 small can, sliced , drained black olives
1/2 container grape tomatoes, rinsed
1/2 chunk low fat Monterrey jack or pepper jack cheese cut into tiny chunks
1 package turkey pepperoni slices , low fat ham chunks or pepperoni crumbles , whatever you prefer
Pour the dressing over salad and stir it through. You can add more seasonings or vinegar to it if you think it needs it now. Refrigerate for several hours. Stir again before serving.