Greek Yogurt Pesto Pasta Salad

Juggling work and school everyday leaves me in a bind for lunch most days because I’m usually driving from one to the other during my lunch.  I don’t want to go through the drive-thru but also don’t have time to make something most days. I love pasta salad and figured it would be easy to throw into a container and take on the go. Instead of using the normal italian seasoning and dressing I decided to use pesto and cut back some calories by using greek yogurt instead of mayo. 

Ingredients:

Box of Rotini pasta ( I used Veggie Delight blend)

1/2 pint grape tomatoes

1 cup cubed mozzarella cheese

1/2 jar of pesto (I used pre-made in jar but you could always make your own)

1 cup greek yogurt

Step 1:

Prepare pasta according to directions on box

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Step 2: 

Prepare the dressing by combining the greek yogurt and pesto—simply stir

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Half the grape tomatoes and slice up your mozzarella to toss into the pasta

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Step 3:

Now this is the really hard part (hehe) simply pour the dressing in the pasta and stir until it’s coated evenly and then dump in the tomatoes and mozzarella and toss. 

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Let the pasta refrigerate for a few hours or overnight so the flavors can properly get to know each other. 

This pasta was a very yummy and convenient lunch and helped save myself from being lazy and opting for the drive-thru. 

Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Ice Cream

I bought an ice cream machine earlier in the summer with high hopes of getting a lot of use out of it. Welllll…before this post I had only used it one time. So, I decided to break it out of the box stuffed in my closet and try another recipe out. I am guilty of eating peanut butter with a spoon right out of the jar. I originally had the intention to just make peanut butter ice cream. Then half way through the process I noticed a bag of Snackwell 100 calorie pack chocolate covered pretzels and decided to throw them in.

Normally, ice cream recipes call for whole milk and whipping cream. I just can’t bring myself to use these ingredients and never have them on hand so just used 2% milk and half and half cream. 

What you need:

1 cup peanut butter

1 1/4 cup milk (any variation–I used 2%)

2 cups of half and half cream (1 pint)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate covered pretzels (optional)

Step 1:

Melt the peanut butter in a sauce pan 

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Step 2:

Take the sauce pan off the burner (make sure you do this–I forgot for a second and burned the milk) and add in the milk and cream. Then wisk in the sugar and vanilla. Place mixture in a bowl and then cover and refrigerate overnight. 

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Step 3:

After the mixture has been refrigerated overnight it’s time to let the ice cream machine do its magic. Pour the mixture into the machine and use according to the manufacturer’s instructions (mine says around 20 minutes). 

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Now, if you are using pretzels or any other type of topping pour them in during the last 30 seconds or so of the churning process.

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Once the churning process is completed put the ice cream into a freezer safe container for a few hours to let it set and achieve the right texture. 

Ok, so I did not take a picture of the final product because I didn’t feel like it did justice to how good it tasted (probably because I was too impatient to let it sit in the freezer for long enough before I tried it). The combination of the creamy peanut butter and crunch of the pretzels was so good! 

Post Numero Uno

I’m starting this blog as a way to chronicle my cooking conundrums. I have always had a passion for eating and good food. However, it was not until I started law school and moved out on my own and actually had to cook for myself that I became interested and fell in love with cooking (eating Lean Cuisines and Chick-Fil-A for every meal starts to get old). 

 I have been around good food and cooks my entire life. Coming from a family of mostly women, food has always been a way for us to connect and have fun together.  My mom is a home-ec teacher who was constantly cooking and coming up with creative ideas while I was growing up. Her breadth of cooking/food knowledge has never ceased to amaze me. I have called her countless times asking for advice, tips, and ways to fix some disasters that I have created.  Some of my fondest memories are of baking cookies with my Meme Deskins and helping my mom, aunts, and cousin Kristy cook. 

Please join me on this journey of learning, discovering, and falling in love with yummy food!