Saturday, June 20, 2009

Quick And Easy Salads For Busy Families

(NAPSI)-Salads can be a tasty way to add more vegetables into your family's diet and get closer to the five to seven daily servings recommended by the USDA.

Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad is a healthful and delicious recipe to serve your active family; a light, flavorful salad packed with nutritious vegetables and drizzled with a canola oil vinaigrette.

It's easy to improvise on this basic recipe. You can substitute other vegetables that your family loves and use a different vinegar or other seasonings. For a heartier meal, add chopped, cooked chicken or cubes of cheese.

Versatile canola oil is great in salads like this because it allows the flavor of other ingredients to come through. High in omega-3s yet free of cholesterol and trans fat, canola oil is the lowest of all vegetable oils in saturated fats.

Prepare this salad the night before and store undressed until dinner. Just add the vinaigrette before serving.

Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 broccoli top, cut into bite-size pieces

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

3 yellow squashes, blanched and sliced (or 2 small zucchini, chopped)

1 cup fresh basil, torn

1 pound penne pasta, cooked according to package directions

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup good red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Toss all the ingredients with the pasta. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Yield: 8 servings

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