Pasta Salad- Vegetarian

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Pasta Salad- Recipe adapted from Ina Garten, Serves 6 This Ina Garten recipe is made using Rotini (spiral-shaped) pasta and earned rave reviews from all the grown-ups in attendance at my daughter’s recent birthday party. Boil the pasta, cool, and add sun dried tomatoes, black olives, tomatoes, Parmesan Reggiano cheese, Mozzarella cheese, and dressing (super delicious!) made from sun dried tomatoes, red wine vinegar, capers, garlic and olive oil. Enjoy! Ingredients: 1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta (I used Rotini pasta) Kosher salt Olive oil 2 medium sized ripe tomatoes, medium-diced 1 small can black olives, pitted and diced 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, medium-diced 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped For the dressing: 5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Mung Bean or Green Gram Salad

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The sprouted “Mung” bean (or “green gram”) is a nutritious legume that makes a great salad. To sprout, soak the beans overnight in water. Drain the water the following day and cover for 6-to-8 hours in a dark, warm place (like inside the oven). Then steam the sprouted beans, add cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, green chilly and fresh cilantro. Squeeze some lime or lemon juice with a dash of sugar and salt to taste and your salad is ready! The spouted beans lasts for about 3 days in the refrigerator. If you prefer, you can boil till soft instead of waiting for the beans to sprout. I love to serve this salad with Indian food or as a quick healthy . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Quinoa Salad with Arugula

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“California Pizza Kitchen” is our favorite restaurant and we visit it at least once a week to enjoy their amazing salads and pizzas. Last weekend, I tried out their new salad, quinoa with arugula, red onions, sun dried tomatoes, asparagus and a sprinkle of feta cheese and was completely blown away by the flavors that I had to recreate it at home as it looked fairly simple. Just cook the quinoa ahead of time, and keep in the refrigerator. This salad tastes best when all the ingredients are cold. I made just a few changes by substituting the asparagus for french beans and made a white wine vinaigrette (using Ina Garten’s vinaigrette recipe). Needless to say, it’s a hot favorite . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Roasted Artichoke Hearts

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Roasted Artichoke Hearts -Recipe by Ina Garten. This is the first time I tried my hand at making artichokes at home. What I loved about this easy recipe was that there was no need to deal with fresh artichokes – no headache of cutting those artichokes. February is the month of birthdays at my place and the celebrations seem to go on without end. For me it’s a great time to experiment with different recipes. I served this as a salad to go with a baked shrimp scampi (again one of Ina’s recipe’s), store bought garlic bread and linguine. The salad was enough for 6 people and was a hit! The basil in the vinaigrette gives it so much flavor, . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad

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Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad- recipe by Ina Garten (serves 4 to 6) This is such a hearty and satisfying salad, made regularly at my place as quick weeknight meal. It’s got chickpeas (canned – making life even easier), cucumbers, tomatoes and lots of fresh herbs, packing it with flavor. I am flexible with the amount of ingredients while making this recipe. Except for the can of chickpeas, I cut the recipe in half . After all, we are only 2 1/2 people eating. I like to serve it with whole wheat pita bread (toasted). Ingredients: 10 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced 1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded, cored, and 1/2 -inch diced 1 hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise,seeded, and 1/2 . . . CLICK TO READ MORE