a slow death

Because if flu season itself doesn’t kill me, people’s stupidity will. It’s only Tuesday and it’s been a rough week, people. I’m talking crazy phone calls, parents who can’t be bothered to use their common sense, a few hundred (maybe more) shots given to elementary, middle school, and high school students in two days, a huge mass vaccination clinic planned for Friday, plus more large ones each week throughout the month of October. ::dies::

I’m not even going to pretend that I’m still putting meals as top priorities, though we’ve had some tasty meals this since we got home from vacation. I actually made my dinner and breakfast menus the week before we left, but some cold pasta salad Erik raved over while we were in Utah made me realize that I’ve allowed myself to be pretty lazy when it comes to planning lunches. Sandwich, baggie of chips, dessert of the week likely gets pretty old. I know leftovers in my bentos gets rather tiring. I put Erik in charge of his pasta salad and he made a delicious version that 1) doesn’t need heated for his lunch and 2) can be packed with a small sandwich or bread and butter and he’s just happy as a clam about it. (Plus I’M happy when I don’t have to deal with making his lunch. It’s win-win, people).

Erik’s Cold Pasta Salad
(makes a large bowl that will last him all week)

You Need:
tri colored rotini pasta (he used half a large bag)
diced white onion (one whole medium one)
green bell pepper (quarter of a large one)
carrots, either sliced or shredded (or both, like Erik did)
one can artichoke hearts, cut into smaller pieces
a small can sliced black olives
roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
parmesan cheese, grated (eyeball it)

red wine vinaigrette:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
a Tablespoon or so of mixed Italian seasoning (we use the McCormick’s brand grinders set on the finest grind)
a couple minced garlic cloves (or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
fresh thyme, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Boil a large pot of water (and salt it) according to the pasta package directions. Add your pasta and cook it al dente. Drain, place in a large bowl. Toss in your onion, bell pepper, carrots, artichokes, olives, tomatoes, parmesan. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, thyme, and Italian seasoning. Add salt and pepper according to how you like it. Pour over the pasta salad, toss to evenly coat. Refrigerate and serve cold.

and if you’re feeling like some dessert, try some Moist Apple Spice Bread


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