Back to School…it’s never an easy transition!
We are used to late nights, late dinners, too much dessert, lots of friends, lots of popsicles and a flexible laid back schedule. Not anymore folks! The alarm goes off at 6:00 (or earlier), you I have to PUULLLLLL your my kids out of bed, make a healthy breakfast, remind them of the day’s activities, and get them on their way all before 7:00am. And accomplish all of this while smiling and pretending I am happy and this is fun :)! We are having fun, right?
All that being said, back to school is a special time of year for renewal and reflection. The kids are a year older and ready to take on new challenges and adventures. I’m a year older (yikes – not quite the same). It is a time where I renew my “healthy eating” vows and declare that I’ll make at least 3 delicious meals for the family a week.
I fantasize about sitting around the kitchen table on those nights and laughing and talking about each other’s days. But the reality of multi sports, endless school activities and conflicting schedules makes this dream a bit more difficult…
We may not ALL eat together every night, but I do make a deliberate effort to incorporate more vegetables and healthier recipes into the mix. The Veggie Patch Pasta recipe here is light and healthy. It’s a wonderful accompaniment to grilled chicken, fish, or pork. The small pieces of veggies go almost unnoticed by the kids when tossed in this fresh tangy dressing. I love vinaigrettes just for this reason.
Feel free to substitute whatever veggies you have on hand or in the garden. Squash, zucchini, cucumber, etc….all would be delish! I’ve featured ABC-123 Pasta, but any short shape can be used. And don’t forget to save yourself some for lunch tomorrow. So farewell summer! Hello fall…football…cool nights…colorful leaves…comfort foods…farmers markets…actually, I think I’m ready!
If you are interested in seeing all of our pasta shapes, you can visit The Pasta Shoppe website. And if you have any fundraising needs, please check out Fun Pasta Fundraising! We’d love to hear from you!
- 14 oz. ABC123 Pasta (or other short shape)
- 1 cup green beans, blanched and halved
- 2 carrots, peeled and grated
- ½ cup red pepper, diced
- ½ cup green onions, chopped
- 4 T. lemon juice (fresh or frozen)
- 2 T. white vinegar
- 6 T. olive oil
- 2 t. lemon rind
- 1 t. sugar
- 1 t. Dijon mustard
- ½ t. salt
- ¼ t. pepper
- In a large mixing bowl, add the carrots, red pepper, and green onions.
- Vinaigrette: whisk the lemon juice, white vinegar, olive oil, lemon rind, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Cook pasta 6-8 minutes in gently boiling water. Add green beans with 4 minutes to go.
- Drain pasta and green beans and rinse with cold water. Add to veggie bowl.
- Gently toss pasta and veggies with dressing.
- Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Serve immediately.