Monday, June 14, 2010

Food and Budget: Hot weather cooking

It's gotten to the point where I'm scrounging through the fridge looking for things that don't require heat to prepare.  It's just too darn hot here, even with air conditioning, to want to cook.  I *may* go so far as to heat meatballs for subs in the microwave, but that's about it.

One summer staple I like to haul out is a pasta salad.  It's not only a relatively cool dish to prepare and eat, it's another one of those recipes where you can throw just about any leftovers into it and it will still be delicious.  I've thawed out some ham from Christmas out of the freezer, but this could as easily use tuna, chopped cooked chicken or turkey, leftover veggies like corn or carrots... just make sure it's bite-sized or smaller.

Pasta Salad mashup

3 C. cooked pasta (elbow macaroni, penne, etc.)
1-1/2 C. Cooked meat (ham, turkey, chicken, pork, bacon) diced
1/2 C frozen peas
2 green onions, chopped
1 C. mayonnaise or Miracle whip, more or less to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl with a lid.  Salt and pepper to taste if you like.  I sometimes add a dash or two of hot sauce.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

*End of Recipe*

I will sometimes add a bit of mustard, chopped bell pepper, yellow onion, or other odds and ends from my leftovers, depending on what's in there already. 

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