Editor’s Note: The weather may be a bit cooler. But, that means the backyard will be the perfect temperature for that family BBQ you’ve been putting off all summer. It also means that refreshing, hearty, yummy fare like a gourmet take on pasta salad are in order. Kid-Friendly Gourmet Christine Buchholz is here this morning to share her delicious, simple recipe for salmon pasta salad – the perfect addition to any late summer meal. Enjoy!
So far, this summer has been one of extreme heat and we all know what that means. It means no one wants to be stuck in their kitchen cooking. That’s right – when the temperature in my kitchen is equal to or more than the temperature outside and I’m not already cooking anything, I balk at the thought of starting.
But, we have to eat – or at least our kids do. They need energy so they can drive us crazy and get tired enough to possibly flake out early and we need to eat to keep up with them. So, I put together a recipe that is easy for us adults and fun for the kids.
We have to enjoy this hot weather while it lasts. Before the kids are back in school and the schedules and routines take over our days – take some time for a leisurely lunch or dinner. Sure, you can plan a date with other families and their kids, but wouldn’t it be nice to plan a date with your own kids.
It’ll give you a chance to talk with them about the upcoming school year, their favorite things they did in the summer, or what they still might want to do. You could go to the beach or the lake, a city park, into the bush or take a bike ride. Don’t forget the sunscreen and a hat.
Or, if you’re lazy like me, take a blanket to the furthest corner of your yard and picnic there. Bonus – a clean bathroom is close by and if you have forgotten something… you can go get it. Grab a blanket, some cold water or juice, fresh fruit and this easy pasta salad.
Salmon Pasta Salad (serves 4)
Creamy Garlic Dressing
My brown thumb has turned a slightly more acceptable shade of green this summer so I was able to harvest most of the veggies out of my garden. The garlic, tomatoes, spinach, onions, and dill took almost no effort to grab. I’m also lucky enough to go salmon fishing every so often so this was an easy choice as well.
1. Cook your pasta, drain and let it cool.
2. Cook off your salmon and roast your garlic. You can do all of this the night before once your kitchen has cooled off.
3. Mash the roasted garlic with a fork and add the yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, dill and salt and pepper.
4. Break up the salmon into chunks and cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
5. Gently toss the pasta and veggies together and add the dressing on top. Yes, you’re done.
Here’s the fun part. You can put it on a plate, OR you can let your kids layer it up in a jar. It looks great and tastes the same and is a great way for them to help out.
Layer 1/2 cup of pasta, some spinach and green onions, 1/4 of the dressing. Then add the salmon, tomatoes and basil. Twist on a lid and your ready for your picnic.
This is one of those recipes that if you plan out a couple meals, your prep will be done throughout the week. Cook a couple extra pieces of salmon one night and when you put something in the oven, add a couple heads of garlic in foil to roast away. It’s the two birds with one stone method. It seems to be very popular with the “organized people”.
If you end up going far from the house, show your kids how to pack the food basket. Remember, cold things together. Use an insulated lunch bag or use a cold pack. Try and use reusable cutlery, plates, napkins and water bottles.
Some other great picnic snacks are fresh or dried fruit, cheese, yogurt, nut/seed mixes and muffins.