Well…helloooo from the gorgeous, sun-kissed Ireland!!
We have just had a fantastic week with a lot of blazing sun…Yay! Irish weather constitutes of a lot of rain and cold weather most of the year, with just a couple months of warm weather squeezed in between…if you are lucky, that is.
So past week, the skies dramatically cleared up of all the dreary dark clouds and sun started smiling, coaxing us to step out of the house to soak up all of its sunny goodness. Are you thinking that I am being a tad bit too sentimental about the weather??? Well, if you have ever lived in Ireland or even the UK for that matter, you would empathize with my feelings completely.
Drastic change of weather also proved to be a bit funny on our digestive systems. Just the other day, hubs and I both began to feel this heaviness in our stomachs and the mere idea of eating a full-fledged meal sounded disagreeable. For me, even standing near the burning hob and cooking frugal weekday meals felt sweaty and hot. Therefore, I made a lot of iced-teas, milk shakes and no-cook salads in these past days.
Summer days call for fun-filled picnics and pot-luck lunches. The most popular side-dish for such kind of gatherings is always a creamy, chilled potato salad or a traditional cold pasta salad that is a huge hit with kids and grown ups alike. Today, I am sharing with you the simplest and also a low-fat version of the classic summer pasta salad that is equally delicious as well as healthy for a sweltering hot day in the sun.
Adding Greek yogurt or hung curd to my salads work great for me! A little over-dose of mayo or cream in our meal and my health-freak man starts repelling the food on his plate, irrespective of whether these components are low-fat or not . That is why… Greek yogurt to the rescue!
Try it on the next beach day or the blazing afternoon you experience and I assure you the bowl will be licked clean in no time. Enjoy summer days to the fullest my friends, and get burnt as lobsters in the sun.. (Kidding, don’t forget your sun-screen now!!)
Chow and have fun! xx
- 1 cup pasta of your choice
- 1 red bell-pepper or 2 halves of red and yellow bell peppers
- 2-3 shallots or 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 bunch of spring onion greens/scallions (finely chopped)
- 2 carrots (grated)
- 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
- 1 cup lettuce, finely chopped
- 1 big clove of garlic, peeled and grated
- 2 boiled eggs, chopped
- 1/2 cup boiled sweetcorn kernels
- 6-7 cherry tomatoes, sliced into halves
- 1 cup low-fat/light mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt/ Hung curd
- 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
- 1 tbsn Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsn distilled white vinegar
- 2-3 tsp sugar or to taste
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
- 1 tsp of extra-virgin Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Boil your pasta until tender according to the instructions on the pack. Rinse the pasta under cold water and drain completely. Add 1 tsp of extra-virgin olive oil to the boiled pasta along with your distilled white vinegar. Mix gently with a spoon and set aside.
- Roast your bell pepper over medium heat on the gas stove, with the help of the tongs till the skin seems a bit charred in places. Cool and chop finely. You can also use the raw bell-pepper but I feel that the roasting add a beautiful flavor to your salad.
- In a deep bowl, combine your mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, sour cream, Dijon mustard, garlic, sugar, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper powder. Whisk everything together until smooth and uniform. If the dressing looks a bit thick for the salad, you can also add a couple teaspoon of milk to loosen it up.
- Add all the veggies, greens, cubed eggs and the pasta to the dressing and give a good mix. Taste and adjust the seasonings according to your personal taste.
- Cover the salad with cling-wrap and chill in the refrigerator for minimum of 1 hour.
- Serve chilled and enjoy!
- You can use fragrant herbs like chives and dill leaves to give an extra flavor boost to your salad.
- You can substitute fresh garlic with 1 tsp garlic powder.
- You can substitute eggs with any protein of your choice like cooked shredded chicken, turkey or even chopped crispy bacon. Vegetarians can try adding cubed boiled potatoes instead of eggs like in potato salad but I do not know personally how potatoes will go with this particular combination of veggies and dressing.