Monday, June 11, 2012

Lock Down and Italian Pasta Salad

I'm back! Hope you enjoyed Terry's awesome guest post about Belize. He said it was tough to write it all up, and he has a new appreciation for bloggers. :-) I thought he did a great job.

I briefly mentioned on Saturday that I wanted to recreate an Italian pasta salad we enjoyed from Claro's, an Italian deli near my current work. Well, last night I made good on that promise--and managed to spruce up the health factor in that bad boy.

It turned out to be delicious!

Italian Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound whole wheat pasta (we used bowtie)
  • 3 medium zucchini, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
Set a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain, set aside to cool completely.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the zucchini with about two tablespoons of the olive oil, plus salt and pepper to taste. Spread on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes, until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool completely.

Meanwhile, chop onion, green pepper, and cheese, and rinse beans. Mix together in a very large bowl. 

Once the pasta and zucchini have cooled completely, add to the veggie mixture, along with remaining olive oil and red wine vinegar. Chill at least 30 minutes before serving. (It's even better the next day, after the flavors have really marinated together!)

We served it with some Italian salami--an excellent choice!

I can already tell this summer will be filled with delicious pasta salads. We have at least three other ideas for creative cold pastas, and I can't wait to share them with you--as long as they're as good as this one! I love the colors...perfect to complement a main dish or to be the star!

A few other notes to catch you up on the last day or so: 
  • We spent yesterday sleeping in, cleaning house, doing laundry, grocery shopping, napping, and trying a new recipe (above). I love those kinds of Sundays.
  • I enjoyed a rockin' yoga session (I almost said "sesh" and had to just stop right there and remember myself), courtesy of Elise Gulan, my all-time favorite yoga instructor--I think. I've only done her videos, but she gets me every time! Challenging, fast-paced, and not boring, even after several times through.
If you're following Courtney's June Yoga Challenge, I recommend this DVD!
  • We were supposed to run five miles tonight (since we didn't yesterday, because I opted to sleep in and do yoga), which Terry accomplished quite successfully. I, on the other hand, ran about three and walked about two of those miles, thanks to some awesome stomach issues. Feeling a little better now, and glad I at least moved five miles, even if it wasn't all running. No excuses!
  • We are currently on lock down in our apartment. It's never happened to me before, but we've been told to stay inside with our doors locked because there may be a suspect barricaded nearby. Helicopters started circling overhead awhile ago, and when we noticed they were super close to us, we locked our doors, closed the blinds, and turned out our lights. Now we're just listening to the gentle lullaby annoying roar of a helicopter. Only in LA.
  • I'm starting to compile my summer bucket list. I have two months before I start my next adventure, which I'll share tomorrow, and I want to make this summer a great one!
For now, I'm off to sleep, as long as the helicopters go away. Otherwise, it's TV and cuddling with my favorite boys!

And Scout's straw, of course.

What's on your summer bucket list? 


  1. Ah! My cat's name is Scout, too. I apologize for not commenting on the killer recipe or anything else. I just thought you should know you're not the only one who thinks Scouts make the best cats.

    1. Aww Scouts ARE the best! I love our little guy!

  2. I heard about that lockdown last night! It was actually in my friend's apartment building or something like that...freakin' LA. Glad you guys are okay though!

  3. This looks amazing! And Germany even has all the ingredients! Thanks for inspiring an upcoming dinner :)

    Hope you have a great week!