I was inspired to make this delicious summer pasta salad after viewing the great looking salads behind the glass counter at Earth Fare. With summer heat upon us, I like to use my oven less and cook out more! It makes my job easier and gets my hubby involved in the cooking, plus keeps my kitchen cooler! A pasta salad is quite filling, and added to a grilled meat, is a perfect summer time dinner.
First, I boiled 12 oz whole grain penne pasta, drained, and tossed with a little olive oil and vinegar salad dressing. I put this in the refrigerator to cool. Right before dinner, I added the following to my pasta: goat cheese crumbles, raw spinach, pitted kalamata olives, chopped cucumber, white kidney beans, and chopped pepperoni. You really have the freedom to add anything you like: red bell pepper, garbanzo beans, sunflower seeds, a different pasta, etc.
I tossed with more olive oil and vinegar dressing and served. My family loved it (except Logan and I are the only ones who liked the olives!)! I must share a picture of our grilled chicken that went along with our salad last night. It not only looks great, it tasted great! Kudos to Brad for being an awesome griller!