Veggie Pasta Salad

pasta_salad_ingredientsIf you go to any grocery store or specialty food store, they usually have an array of pre-made foods for anyone to pick up and grab on the go. Among those pre-made foods is usually at least one type of pasta salad. While they may look good and taste even better, many of these include heavy dressings, mayo, added calories and large amounts of fat. Instead of stopping by a store to get a packaged meal, I’ve found that it is easier, cheaper and healthier to make your own! This pasta salad that I made has asparagus, red peppers, sliced red and yellow cherry tomatoes, and some mozzarella balls. I used multiple fresh ingredients to add both color and flavor. I found that the more natural flavors you add through vegetables and cheeses, the less need there is for calorie loaded dressings.

pasta_saladThe first thing I did when I made my pasta salad was to cook the ravioli. I decided to use spinach and ricotta ravioli instead of regular pasta to get some extra flavor and add more substance to the meal. While the ravioli was cooking, I chopped the asparagus and peppers into bite sized pieces and sautéed them in a frying pan with coconut oil, garlic, salt and pepper. The extra coconut oil and spices made a sauce that I used as the dressing for my pasta salad. Once the ravioli was finished cooking, I added it, the tomatoes and the mozzarella into the sauté pan to combine it all and coat it with the sauce.

Not only was this meal quick and easy to make, but it also was healthy and satisfying.