Those Pesky Leftovers (and what to do with them)

So, remember that stir fry I made the other day? Well, as I was dumping the frozen vegetables and frozen fake beef into the pan, I began to think, What if I just dumped ALL the veggies and ALL the crumbles in and saved some for later? To be honest, I don’t really know if I actually thought about it, but that’s what I ended up doing.

Day Next: I feel like a snack. What do I do? Oh no, it’s the dreaded snack attack. The very thing that leads so many to failure. The “I have absolutely no food at the moment besides the kind that comes in a can or a colorful box (which is true because, for some reason, I haven’t gone to the grocery store in over a week)”. I could a) Eat cereal and figure out how to count the “points” (no milk) b) Eat those protein bars I bought for no good reason the last time I was at the store or c)…………………………………..THINK FAST!

So I did that thing where I open my fridge, open my freezer, pitter around for awhile wishing I had a red pear or even just a peach, open my fridge again…Hmmmm…there’s those veggies/beef from yesterday. There’s no seasoning in them but I bet I could do something with them.

I look around. What to do, what to do, what to do??? Then, I see it–pasta! I could make pasta salad! Not regular *eh* pasta, no, but rather hydrating, soothing, crunchy, refreshing pasta salad. How I loved pasta salad. It was one of the few things (food wise) I actually asked my mom to get for my high school graduation party. To me, it always seemed so sinful–pasta disguised as salad–so I didn’t eat it much (eating disorder “fear food”), but I always liked it (unlike regular pasta and pizza, which I very quickly lost the taste for)!

So, I ate. And here it is, my quick pasta salad…

Not the best picture, but I'm working on the camera thing.

Not the best picture, but I'm working on the camera thing.

Last-Minute Rotini Pasta Salad

  • Vegetables of your choice (I had asian vegetables left over from the previous day so, for me it turned out to be about 1 serving out of a small bag of frozen asian stir-fry vegetable mix)
  • Meat product of choice (for me, this was already mixed in with the veggies–1 serving (1/2-2/3c) of vegetarian beef style crumbles)
  • Pasta of choice (always rotini for me…I went with a 2oz serving of Ronzoni Healthy Harvest)
  • Dressing of choice (since the veggies were asian style, I cheated and used Waldern Farms Asian Dressing…I realized as I was eating it that my asian dressing (with extra soy sauce and a little ginger instead of the orange marmalade and splenda) would have been even better)
  • Any extra toppings or spices (I threw in extra garlic powder, as always)

→Boil the pasta per package directions and rinse under cold water. Set aside (or put it in the refrigerator for awhile as well).
Prepare veggies per package directions (I had mine done from the day before but, if you were using frozen, you would either stir-fry them or boil them).
Prepare meat product (I didn’t really have to do anything. Even if the veggie meat hadn’t been prepared, I would have just pulled it out of the fridge and dumped some out).
Mix the pasta, the veggies, the meat product and the dressing together in a bowl.
Enjoy!

Note: Here’s another alternative: Use rotini, chopped FRESH red, yellow and green bell peppers (bell peppers have to be fresh unless the end dish is cooked), chopped red onions, a few sliced olives (if you like them, which I don’t), sliced veggie pepperoni and fat-free italian dressing. You can even top with some low-fat parmesan or fat free mozzarella. It’ll be a more traditional pasta salad, but just as tasty.

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