My mom makes this HEAVENLY pasta salad all of the time, and though it is very different from my pasta salad recipe, it is one that I cannot avoid posting ;). I love that is has such a variety of veggies, has a good source of protein, and that it tastes as good as it looks!
Anyway, This particular recipe is one that you could either make it as a side, or I would even be so bold as to serve it as a whole meal because it has all the important food groups and is very filling. This makes a HUGE batch, like large enough that my biggest mixing bowl couldn’t handle it and I had to borrow a huge bowl from my mom so that I could finish posting this recipe…so, with that in mind, you can easily half the recipe, in which case a standard 4 Quart Mixing Bowl should handle it just fine… or make the whole thing, for a picnic, bbq, potluck, or any other large gathering and you will have plenty to go around.
Let’s jump right in to a few pics of the process and a little direction. Here are all the ingredients laid out…in two pics.
I bought pre-cut cheese and ham for no other reason than I suck at cutting things in uniform sizes and I wanted the pictures to turn out better. It is WAY cheaper to buy the cheese and ham in blocks and cut it yourself, so please keep that in mind. However, if you are short on time, it’s also good for you to know that you have options. Below are the veggies that got washed and were waiting to be cut.
Here is how big I cut the carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.
And the green onion, cherry tomatoes, and olives.
I steamed the carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli together and used the carrots as the reference for when it’s done… just when the carrots are tender enough to easily bite into. Then they were chilled in the fridge.
Once you’ve prepped all the ingredients, all that you do is add the ingredients to a very large bowl…for reference, the bowl in the picture below is a 12 Quart Bowl…but keep in mind you could just use two smaller bowls and put half in each… and mix well. Cover, and chill until ready to serve. Mix before serving.
Doesn’t it look so freakin’ tasty? I love it so much I can’t wait to be able to eat it on a regular basis again when I’m done slimming down and get to the “maintain” stage.
Anyway, you’ve been patient and it’s time to post the recipe! So here it is:
- 1 Large Head Broccoli (washed and chopped)
- 1 Large Head Cauliflower (washed and chopped)
- 1 Small Bag Baby Carrots (chopped)
- 1 (12 oz) Package Wacky Mac Veggie Spirals
- 2 C Mild Cheddar Cheese (in chunks)
- 1 C Ham (in chunks)
- 1 Can Olives (drained and halved)
- 1 T Garlic (minced)
- 8 Small Green Onions (washed and chopped)
- 1 Small Package Cherry or Grape Tomatoes (washed and halved)
- 1 Cup Italian Dressing (or half of a 16 oz bottle)
- Steam the Broccoli, Cauliflower, And Carrots until tender, then chill.
- Cook the Noodles, with the package directions, drain and chill.
- Add all the prepared ingredients into an XL bowl, or two large ones, and stir well.
- Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Stir before serving.
P.S.S. If you want to buy me a cup of “coffee” (I don’t drink that stuff, but a Diet Dr Pepper works too) for my efforts, you are welcome to do so via my PayPal account, found here. Thanks again!