Monday, November 27, 2006

Petite Pasta Salad

I found some charming little pasta shapes at my local grocery store and knew I wanted to feature them in something other than soup, where they tend to sink to the bottom and get lost. So I made up this Petite Pasta Salad, filled with big chunky pieces of cucumber, tomato, sugar snap peas, and olives and teeny weeny pasta stars. Shmoo usually doesn't like pasta salad; he says it is "too sour"; I think the amount of vinegar in most commercial dressings is too strong for his taste. So I took it easy and added just a touch of white vinegar mixed with white balsamic vinegar, which is mellower and sweeter.

Next to the pasta are lightly blanched cauliflower and carrots with what surely must be the Fastest Dip in the West: toss a spoonful of Vegenaise with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a pinch of pepper, and a pinch of dried dill weed.

Above the veggies are fresh kiwi fruit and Fuyu persimmon, a fruit we've been enjoying for the first time this fall.

As a very special treat I also tucked in a Kidz Dream Orange Cream Smoothie. I never realized how nicely a juice box fits inside his lunch box.

Verdict: Shmoo really likes these new soy smoothies and was excited to have a juice box in his lunch. He ate the vegetables with dip first and insists that this is the very best dip I've ever made. Gee, I wonder if I could simplify it even more and just pack him a scoop of Vegenaise! That stuff is so good! Shmoo grumped about having to pick bell pepper out of the pasta salad, which I had added to make my husband happy. I think shmoo is right; I've never gotten a taste for peppers, either. 4 stars.

19 comments:

Melissa said...

I love small pasta shapes, they have a great texture in soups (or salads). I can't wait to get home and try that dip, I love Vegenaise. I've packed a juice box a few times in my laptop lunchbox, you're right, they fit so well.I'm going to keep an eye out for those smoothie boxes...I'm intrigued

PS. Thanks for answering my e-mail yesterday. The breadsticks came out great!

Cherice said...

I have some of those pasta shapes and they always seem to want to burn on the bottom of the soup pot unless I stir constantly while they're cooking.

What I really want to know is where did you find the fork/spoon utensil?

Cherice said...

Never mind I see that you got the spork do-dad from REI, I may make a stop by there tonight on my way to Whole Foods :)

funwithyourfood said...

that drink box is awesome. I bet it makes things a bit easier for you.

teddy

amaupin0402 said...

yay! we are now carrying your new book at work. i work for peta, so thats a really good thing! for anyone who wants to order and have a portion of their order donated to peta, please shop www.petamall.com or www.petacatalogue.com

congrats, and happy shopping!

Ana said...

Very nice lunch!! My son also likes these smoothies, his favorite is the berries one! I used to send to him for snacks at summer camp!!
Ana

Roo said...

I have a package of that same pasta. I've been disappointed coming up with a grand way to show them off. I'll try the pasta salad idea. Thanks!

Roo
http://plussign.blogspot.com/

Sandy said...

Received your fabulous book today (international order to Australia via Lunch Matters) and am inspired. Congrats on such a fantastic achievement. I don't have kids but have a niece or nephew due in January and will definitely be passing this on to my sister when the time is right. In the meantime, I'll be using it for myself!

TheWay said...

Hmmm I had never heard of Kidz dream. It sounds delicious.

Roxy said...

What are the colorful balls on the end of the toothpicks? This lunch box looks beautiful! I love the idea of using the pasta shapes in the salad! Yum!

Jennifershmoo said...

>>What are the colorful balls on the end of the toothpicks?

They're little plastic "party pics" with decorative balls on the end. Aren't they cute? :-)

NightOwl said...

LOVE the teeny tiny pasta stars! Delish, as usual!

lilmagikkisses said...

Absolutely love the idea of mini pasta salad. Pasta is one of my sons favorite meals

Pixie said...

I don't know why I never thought of putting the juice box in that space. I just had a duh! moment. I actually love those Kidz Dream smoothies. My kids on the other hand...they don't care for them. Crazy kids...oh well, more for me then.

anny said...

I am also interested in where you got your fork/spoon-in-one.

Stacie said...

I agree with Shmoo about the peppers and the general dislike of pasta salad. It is either sour or loaded with mayo. Bah! I am really down on pasta and pasta salad these days.
Congratulations on your book! I am so happy for you. I am also glad that you still continue to pack up that lunch box pretty regularly. :)

red said...

thank you



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