Winter Pasta Salad

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Pasta salad is one of those dishes that are supposed to be infinitely flexible.  It’s just cooked pasta, vegetables, and dressing.  What could be easier?  Well, nothing … which is precisely the problem.  Pasta salads can be so easy, they’re uninspiring.

That’s the dilemma I faced when I sat down to come up with the second in my series of recipes for easily made breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner dishes that can be substituted for store-bought items typically loaded with added sugar.  I knew I wanted to do a home-made pasta salad, but finding one that was both tempting and convenient seemed difficult.

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Sweet Potato and Arugula Salad

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Now that the holidays are over, I have a confession to make.  I’ve never been a fan of sweet potatoes.  Sure, they’re good for you – seven ounces (about half of a large one) contains more than twice the daily recommended intake of beta-carotene (which the body turns into vision-friendly vitamin A) plus ample amounts of fiber, minerals (manganese, copper, potassium, and phosphorus) and B vitamins, and antioxidants. Yet the dessert-like concoctions that typically appear on holiday dinner tables have never held much interest to me.

This year, however, things have changed.  Blame it on the blog, but now that I spend my days thinking about food rather than tax law, it occurred to me that sweet potatoes shouldn’t be any less versatile than other root vegetables.  Since salads are a great way to showcase these staples of the winter kitchen, I thought I’d create one using cubes of roasted sweet potatoes. Read More