Sunday, May 27, 2012

perfect for a potluck or picnic: simple rainbow pasta salad

As I mentioned yesterday, being offered food samples from companies is a perk of this popular blog. Companies see a blog that written by a real mom, with real kids, and a real busy life and they think bingo! Not so fast. I do not get paid to write this blog, so my reviews are brutally honest. Sometimes the product does not pass muster with me, or my family, in which case you never hear boo about it. And sometimes we don't even get to the point of me trying their wares. After all, I am a tough critic. Not everyone wants to test their luck! But this was a super easy product review. First, I love Whole Foods. Second, I love salsa. Now I sort of wish I'd taken them up on their offer to try a whole host of Memorial Day fixins, since the 365 brand salsas they sent me were delicious. But anyway, let's stick to what I made with what they sent this go round: a make-ahead, protein-packed, salsa-infused pasta salad that will make you the star at any potluck you may be attending this Memorial Day weekend! This is one of those dump it all in a big bowl recipes... my favorite kind! We test drove the salad Friday night and my kids and husband loved it as well. So, this is a keeper. Here's what went in. I'll condense the ingredients into a recipe at the bottom of this post.  

Rainbow Pasta Salad
(makes a large least 24 side dish servings)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups al dente cooked pasta (I used DeBoles brand corn elbows which are gluten-free)
  • 15 oz can black beans, rinsed
  • 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 2 organic bell peppers, chopped
  • 8 oz frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 pint organic tomatoes, chopped
  • two or three 16 oz jars salsa (I used a jar each of 365 brand Black Beans & Corn and Tequila Lime varieties)
  • fresh cilantro (optional)
  • zest of 1 lime (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve chilled or room temp. May be made a day ahead. Pasta may soak up some of the liquid from the salsa, so you might like to add a bit more before serving. I hope your family enjoys this pasta salad as much as ours did!! Have a wonderful long weekend with family and friends!    -Eila

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