Garden Pasta Salad

or a base to build on, a pasta salad for daily use.

I apologize for the short post today, but it turns out that these last 5-6 weeks of pregnancy do a number on me both physically and mentally.  I thought I would at least take a moment to share one of my favorite vegetarian lunches of recent weeks - a base for pasta salad.  This one is kind of nice because it doesn't make an over abundance of food like you would need for a party, it makes enough for dinner and maybe a lunch or two depending on how many you are serving and if it is a side or main dish.

The ingredients here are what I have used most recently, but the great thing about this is that it can work with just about any veggies you have in the fridge (though you may need to steam or blanch them first).  That is why I call this a "garden" pasta salad, that and because I really like the flavors of the multicolored garden rotini with it since it brings its own base flavor to the party.  I personally like the salt factor of the green olives but if that turns you off just switch to black olives or omit it entirely.  Check it out, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:

4 servings

Pasta - 1 cup (garden rotini)
Mayonnaise, reduced fat or olive oil - 1/2 cup
Sour Cream, reduced fat - 3 tbsp
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Cider Vinegar - 2 tbsp
Green Olives - 1/4 cup
Paprika - ½ tsp
mustard - stone ground - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Pepper - to taste
cherry tomatoes - halved - 1 cup
cucumbers - diced - 1 cup

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.

2. Whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, cheese and pasta, folding in carefully until the salad is evenly covered with the dressing.

3. Store in refrigerator or cooler until served.

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