Vegetable Pasta Salad

Photo Credit: Barefeet In The Kitchen

This healthy pasta dish is a good way to use up all those vegetables you've been meaning to eat. This is also an easy salad recipe that can be brought along to picnics, family gatherings and potlucks. The recipe uses simple ingredients, many of which you probably already have, and it can be adjusted to suit your tastes. This is the best pasta salad recipe; you can make it the night before so the ingredients have time to marinate, then grab it and you are ready to go. Provided you already have the macaroni noodles you can use a variety of vegetables for this healthy pasta dish. Some of the veggies suggested for this easy salad recipe include broccoli florets, diced cucumber, diced red bell pepper, diced green bell pepper, red onion, tomatoes and more. You can season this recipe with some salt and pepper to suit your taste.

If you choose to add the broccoli florets to this healthy pasta dishes you are probably doing yourself more good than you realize. Broccoli is one of the most healthy vegetables that you can add to your diet. And the suggestion for this easy salad recipe is to add the broccoli to the pasta cooking water just before the noodles are done the cooking. You add the broccoli florets to the pot, and let the broccoli boil for approximately 30 seconds and then drain everything into a large colander. It's important to remember not to overcook the broccoli because this is where it will lose nutrients. You also want to be sure and rinse the broccoli well with some cold water, so that it stops cooking. Rinse well with cold water. One of the best ways that you can cook broccoli is to quick steam it, this is because studies show the nutritional benefits from the steaming of broccoli versus other cooking methods. Included in these nutritional benefits is that quick cooking is better in the retention of vitamin C and sulforaphane when the broccoli is steamed rather than boiled. Also noted in these studies is that broccoli will also be more firm and a vibrant green color from short-term cooking versus long-term steaming which is a good thing. Short-term cooking typically means five minutes or less of steaming, with long-term meaning more than five minutes, and usually more like 15-20 minutes.

Broccoli is known to have anti-inflammatory benefits because of the sulphur compounds found in the vegetable. Eating broccoli also has carotenoids and a good source of folate. In a recent study on organically grown broccoli, researchers noticed that there was an association between the deep green color of the broccoli florets and their total carotenoid content. So in other words, the deeper and more rich and green the florets were in color, the more carotenoids the broccoli contained. And that might seem surprising given that carotenoids are yellow-orange in color and they do not contribute to the greenness of food. But it may change the way you pick out your broccoli stalks when you go to the grocery store, as you try and choose the broccoli with higher carotenoid content. Broccoli is just one of the cruciferous vegetables you want to eat on a daily basis. At a minimum, it is recommended to eat approximately five cups per week.

This is just one of the healthy pasta dishes you will find on the Barefeet In The Kitchen site. On the site, you will find easy salad recipes, main dish recipe ideas, appetizers, side dish recipes, vegetable recipes, dessert recipes, bread recipes, slow cooker ideas and so much more. **

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