Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pasta Twist Salad

When I was a starving student, I used to make cold pasta salad with mayonnaise for dinner all the time. It was an inexpensive, satisfying meal. Back in those days, there was little more to it than pasta, mayo, salt, and pepper (plus a little grated cheese if I was lucky). These days, I make a more elaborate version of cold pasta salad, loaded with goodies, that is a terrific addition to barbecue and summer picnic meals.


16 oz. spiral pasta (use rice pasta for the gluten-free version)
1 finely chopped red pepper
½ c. finely chopped onion or 1 tbsp. onion powder/granules
¾ c. finely chopped celery
½ c. sliced black olives
½ c. mayonnaise (more if desired)
½ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. paprika
salt to taste
1 c. grated parmesan or cheddar cheese on the side (optional)


Boil the pasta until it is done. When it is cooked, rinse it with cold water. Add the mayonnaise and the powdered herbs/spices.

Chop the vegetables into small pieces. Use fresh dill if possible. Add them to the pasta salad and toss the ingredients together so that they are thoroughly combined. Adjust the amount of mayo to suit your taste. This dish can be made vegan by using a vegan mayo.

The grated cheese makes a lovely addition as a topping if desired.

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Green Treat Sauté

Kale, collards, green beans, and red peppers – it doesn’t get much better than this for health or pleasure. My grandmother used to say “put butter and garlic on anything and it will taste delicious.” I expect she’s right. If you don’t do dairy, then olive oil can be substituted for the butter. Any way you choose to do this recipe, it really is a green treat.


1 bunch of collard greens (see below for preparation instructions)
1 bunch of kale (see below for preparation instructions)
1 lb. green beans
½ red pepper
2-3 tbsp. butter or olive oil
2 crushed cloves of garlic
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Black pepper and salt to taste


Fill a pot with enough water to amply cover the collards once they are chopped and bring the water to a boil.

Remove the central stem from the collards. Place 4-6 leaves on top of each other and roll them up width-wise into a tight tube, then slice them into thin strips. Follow this pattern with all the collards until they are all cut into thin shreds. When the water comes to a boil, simmer the collards, uncovered, for 6 minutes. After the collards have cooked for 6 minutes, toss them in a colander and rinse them with cold water to instantly stop them from cooking any further.

Remove the central stem from the kale. Place 4-6 leaves on top of each other and roll them up width-wise into a tight tube, then slice them into thin strips. Follow this pattern with all the kale until it is cut into thin shreds.

Snap the ends off the green beans and chop them into short lengths less than an inch long. Chop the half a red pepper into small bits.

Put the oil/butter into a deep dish frying pan and bring it to a high heat, then turn it back to medium and place the crushed garlic, red pepper, and kale in the pan. Sauté the vegetables, turning gently, for 2-3 minutes (until the red peppers soften). Add the collards and the lemon juice and mix to combine the veggies. Continue to sauté for another couple of minutes, until the collards warm back up. Add pepper and salt to taste. This dish is best if served immediately. It is an excellent companion dish to pasta, rice, and/or beans.

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!