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Healthy pasta passes the family taste test

Pasta offers the home chef almost limitless recipe options. (©iStockphoto.com/Andres Peiro) Pasta offers the home chef almost limitless recipe options. (©iStockphoto.com/Andres Peiro)
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By Maria Bailey

As the holiday season winds down, many moms feel like they could give up cooking forever! Perhaps it's not just at the holidays, either. But even if we would be content eating a salad for dinner, the children require something more.

Often, pasta is the go-to food of choice for many moms, including me. So I was pleased to discover a new pasta from Ronzoni that the whole family enjoys, and I can feel good about serving any time. Ronzoni Garden Delight Pasta, with five pasta types and a full serving of vegetables in every portion, is a hit in our house.

For my older children, serving pasta is easy; in fact, they often cook up noodles on their own for dinner or a quick snack. Younger children will love this pasta, if only for the pretty colors. I'm careful about what we eat, so I consider a pasta with a serving of vegetables a good choice, not to mention the versatility of making a box of Ronzoni, then adding anything to it, from red sauce to cheese to vegetables. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I made a delicious pasta salad with fresh vegetables for my own dinner, but my kids ended up eating most of it.

Cold Pasta and Chicken Salad

12 oz. pkg. Ronzoni Garden Delight Rotini
1 1/2 c. vinaigrette dressing
10 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 c. broccoli flowerets, blanched slightly
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 c. cooked, cubed chicken
1/3 c. fresh basil or 1 1/2 tsp. dried
1/3 c. pine nuts, toasted, or 1/3 c. sunflower seeds
Salt & pepper to taste

Cook pasta, add 1/2 cup dressing and toss. Let cool for 3 hours in refrigerator. Place remaining dressing in another bowl and add broccoli, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Stir and chill. When ready to serve, add chicken to pasta and toss. Then add vegetables, basil, and nuts. Toss and enjoy. Make early in the day to serve in evening.

This pasta salad was delicious and a great meal for any time and anyone.

Maria Bailey brings a unique voice to today's moms. She is an award-winning author, a radio talk show host, a nationally known speaker, and the foremost authority on marketing to moms. She is the author of The Ultimate Mom Book (HCI Books, May 2009), host of Mom Talk Radio, and co-host of Good Day with Doug Stephan, the #7 ranked morning talk show in America. Online Maria is the founder of BlueSuitMom.com and co-founder of Newbaby.com. Her Mom Talk Moments are carried on Nestle's Verybestbaby.com, and she serves as the Work/Life Balance Expert on Johnson and Johnson's Baby.com.

 

 

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