Lenten Fare – Something New From the Kitchen

Lent is here and you might be looking for a light, meatless lunch some meatless Friday this Lent. This is a good one and you can always add a protein when serving it on another day of the week. Slices of leftover chicken is nice. Tuna puts it back on the Friday list. And, if you have some favorite salad add-ins, you won’t be reported.

Minestrone Salad . . . Sort of!

8 ounces your favorite pasta (NOT spaghetti!)
1 15-ounce can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can of yellow wax beans, rinsed and drained
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded cabbage
4 Roma tomatoes diced
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
½ cup crumbled Feta cheese
Black olives or green olives to taste
½ cup Italian or Greek-style bottled dressing
2 teaspoons of dried Italian herbs
½ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions but you don’t want it mushy. Drain the cooked pasta and place in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Put in a covered container and make sure it is chilled before serving.

Italian Pasta Salad – Recipe

I enjoy salads of all kinds. Even for events, like Thanksgiving, there have been times when I included a side dish of a new salad even though it didn’t traditionally fit into the menu. I’ve also noted that salads like the one following here, actually taste even better the next day so many vegetable treats are time-saving, do-ahead dishes.

Italian Pasta Salad

3 ripe Roma tomatoes, diced
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 cup cooked, rinsed, and cooled pasta – shape is your choice!
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese
3 tablespoons your favorite Italian dressing
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Combine the tomatoes, chickpeas, celery, pasta and cheese in a serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until serving. Goes nicely with toasted rounds of sour dough bread brushed with melted butter and garlic.
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