Alright, a little “confession corner” time … between busy work schedules, volunteer commitments, friends and family time, planning the wedding, etc., it’s hard for me to get motivated to consistently make meals.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook. However, I find myself wasting ingredients … a lot. I’ll have this grandiose plan with amazing recipes to cook all week, so I’ll head to the market and load up on groceries, only to find myself snacking for dinner instead (I’m really bad about thinking popcorn or cheese and crackers suffice), or grabbing Chipotle on the way home. Horrible, I know.
A friend of mine sent me a free Blue Apron box to try, and I can’t wait to check it out, but I also decided it’s time to start making this meal thing a priority. So to get me started, here are a few guidelines I’m going to try to make myself stick to.
It’s not a weeknight meal option if:
it takes longer than 30 minutes to make
it has more than 7 steps or 10 ingredients
it requires ingredients I can’t use in other recipes
it’s not something I’d eat for lunch or dinner again later in the week
Ok, so with that being said, the first recipe I’d like to share is a semi-homemade option one of my closest friends, Rachel, shared with me a few summers ago. Rach and I are often swapping ideas on how to jazz up old recipes or semi-homemade meals.
Creamy Italian Pasta Salad
- 1 box Betty Crocker Creamy Italian Pasta Salad Mix
- 1 cup mayo, you can substitute plain Greek yogurt for a healthier option
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, sliced
- 8 oz cubed mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups diced chicken, I like grilled or the West End Grilled Chicken Skewers from Costco
- Cook the pasta as directed on the box
- Mix Italian seasoning packet from box with mayo (or Greek yogurt)
- In a large bowl, combine black olives, corn, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, mozzarella cheese and chicken
- Drain pasta and add to bowl
- pour Italian seasoning mix over pasta and stir until combined, refrigerate until cold
- Serve as is or over romaine lettuce and croutons for extra crunch
I have to say, this pasta salad is one of the easiest meals to make, and you can swap out ingredients and dressings to mix up the flavors.
Stay tuned for my review of Blue Apron, and feel free to share your favorite easy-to-make weeknight recipes!