After being blessed with such beautiful spring weather this past week, I knew it was time to start firing up the grill. There is nothing better than fresh vegetables on the grill. Normally we chop up some peppers, onions and zucchini, toss them in a little EVOO, salt and pepper, wrap them in foil and throw them on. They make a great side to a delicious steak or BBQ chicken. But for this dish, the veggies are taking center stage. Tossed with whole wheat pasta and some light dressing, this dish makes a perfect meal for those perfect summer nights.
GRILLED VEGETABLE PASTA SALAD
Makes 4-6 Servings
1 lb. WHOLE WHEAT penne pasta
2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 1/2 thick wedges
1 lb. asparagus spears, trimmed
1 sweet green bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut in half
2 sweet red peppers, cored, seeded and cut in half
1-1/4 cup FAT FREE Vidalia salad dressing
10 fresh basil leaves, stacked, rolled and cut into thin strips
salt to taste
In a baking dish, toss the vegetables with 1 cup of dressing. Place in the refrigerator for one hour.
While veggies are marinating, cook pasta and heat up the grill.
Working in batches, grill the peppers, asparagus and onion (3 minutes on each side). Veggies should still be firm.
Remove the vegetables from the grill and cut into large pieces.
In a large bowl or serving platter, toss the veggies and pasta together. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of dressing. Toss in the basil leaves. Serve at room temperature.
It was just as delicious and refreshing as I had hoped. Sometimes my body just craves fresh veggies. When the weather turns warmer, I tend to favor lighter dishes such as this. Well, this one hit the spot! Now, if you read my comments on the veggie quesadillas from a couple months ago, then you know that hubby doesn't take kindly to meals lacking in the meat department. So, to satisfy my caveman's husband's appetite, I added some grilled chicken.
For the chicken, I pounded it thin and seasoned it with a little of Paula's House Seasoning. I sliced the chicken into strips, then tossed the strips in with the pasta and veggies. Simple and delish!
If you are not a fan of Vidalia dressing, another suggestion would be a fat free Italian. The next time I make this dish, I am going to give the Italian a try.
Overall, this recipe is easy, fresh, light and delicious. It doesn't get much better than that!
Hi all! Just wanted to tell you a little bit about myself. In a nutshell, I am a 31-year-old mother of one little girl,an elementary school teacher, fitness lover and slightly new cook. My interest in healthy living goes way back to my years growing up in an active family. I have always been involved in athletics and made efforts to eat well. With a Bachelor's Degree from Elon University in Exercise/Sport Science, I am able to make educated choices about health and nutrition for myself and for my family. Exercise and healthy eating have gone from something I study, to simply a way of life. To top it off, my new found love for cooking has been a way to apply what I know and to tap into my creative side. This is my passion.
Just to let y'all know, I am not Paula Deen. Although I did get to cook with her in Savannah last June, Paula is not affiliated with this blog. The same goes for Bobby, Rachael, Ina and Giada. I am simply a woman that loves finding inspiration in their fabulous recipes and making them work with my passion for healthy eating. The content of this site is protected under copyright law. Please do not use or reproduce without consent. Oh, and one last thing. The nutritional information provided was calculated using information gathered from www.livestrong.com and the packaging of the products used. They were not figured by a nutrition professional, but they are as close as I can get.
THE LADY'S HOUSE SEASONING
Many of Paula's recipes call for the "House Seasoning". This is how she likes to spice up her dishes:
* 1 cup salt *1/4 cup black pepper *1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix it well and store it in a shaker near your cooktop!