pasta salad with italian dressing - No Diets Allowed

Summer is busy.  BUT it’s the good busy.  Family BBQs, reunions, trips, and simply just enjoying the beautiful weather.  With all this fun, who wants to spend lots of time in the kitchen?  Not this girl!  I’m all about the quick and easy recipes during the summer.  However, doesn’t mean we need to skimp on the healthy side.  This easy Italian pasta salad is quick to throw together and will be gobbled up at any family function… including dinnertime tonight.

easy pasta salad with italian dressing - No Diets Allowed

I like to think I’m a pretty nice person, but when it comes to some things… I’m a total snob. Such as water.  I’m a total water snob.  I’m a HUGE water lover and drink around 3 liters each day.  Play one round of my health challenge and you’ll get me.  Water does not taste the same!  I have a few favorites but totally loving my alkaline ionized water from the wellness center.

Just like my water, I’m pretty attached to quality ingredients.  The couple extra pennies make a HUGE difference for my tastebuds and health.  I’ll share a couple tips on how to make this salad as tasty as possible.

cold italian pasta salad - No Diets Allowedcold italian pasta salad - No Diets Allowed

I recently found Garfalo pasta at Costco and instantly could taste the quality.  Cheaper pastas seem to either get mushy or rubbery when cooked.  Higher quality, like Garofalo, has better flavor and texture than regular store bought pasta.  I’m hooked.  Cheap pasta… ciao!

Same with mozzarella. I usually stay far far away from dairy, but I do add mozzarella to this salad.  There’s a vast difference between mozzarella quality.  You don’t have to go too crazy, but I recommend purchasing some quality mozzarella for this pasta salad.

pasta salad italian - No Diets Allowed

Cucumbers and tomatoes?  Organic, my friends.  I’m quickly becoming an all-organic produce type of lady.  Not only do you bypass all those chemicals, but organic produce tastes garden fresh.  I suggest you doing your own experiment.  Purchase one regular and one organic cucumber and tomato.  Check out the difference in color and then compare taste.  Any difference?

I also found a brand of olives where I instantly fell in love with the ingredients… ripe olives, water, and sea salt.  Sign me up! Lindsay Naturals has some pretty tasty olives minus any dyes or additives.

 

italian pasta salad - No Diets Allowed

I love Zesty Italian dressing.  I love the tangy pop of flavor especially when combined with pasta, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and mozzarella.  However, it’s not always the healthiest.  I like to make my own.  I combine 1/4 cup white vinegar, 2 Tbs water, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil with 1 packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix.  If you use their cruet kit, they make it super easy by having pre-measured lines on the side for the vinegar, water, and oil.

Keep enjoying all your summer fun and hope you enjoy this Italian pasta salad!

Easy Italian Pasta Salad

Easy Italian Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 oz) tri-color rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 small can of black olives, drained
  • 1 large cucumber, washed and cut into chunks
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 16 oz of fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
  • 1 to 2 cups Zesty Italian dressing or make own dressing according to instructions above

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine ingredients and stir until coated well with dressing.
  2. For best results, refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
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