Cookout Confessions and Pasta Salad Recipe

I am not a fan of cookouts.  There I said it.  Something about the combination of heat, the smoke from the grill flying in EVERY direction, the flies, warm potato and pasta salads, lukewarm meats…..Oh dear Lord….The thought of it just….ew!!!!!  It is literally sabotage on a healthy eating plan. And there are the fireworks that sound like gunshots to me that go boom in the middle of the night.  Being that Lady S has severe peanut/tree nut allergies, that adds another layer of anxiety for me at these functions.  Now so that I don’t confuse anyone, I can handle Mister S’s grilling for a few reasons…1)  I can patrol food safety 2)  His food is immaculately cooked and hot when we eat it and 3) I can patrol food safety 🙂   (See a running theme here?)

Ok, so now that I got that out, I can move on to the meat of the post.  I respectfully and nicely declined an invitation to a cookout today for the above stated reasons.  Instead I decided to make myself a good ole pasta salad!  I guess you could say that I am obsessed with pasta salads and those delicious looking one pot wonders that I see everywhere.   I have been stalking Pinterest this summer for healthy, filling pasta salads that I can make at home that maybe Lady S will eat.  I have successfully done the first thing but Lady S refuses to even partake in the pasta salad goodness!  Shame on her.  It was the broccoli that turned her off from it!

For lunch today I made the most delicious pasta salad that took all of 15 minutes to put together and it is choked full of good veggies and good carbs to help keep you full.  My challenge, in terms of eating, has been to eat cleaner this summer and to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet.  I will fully admit that I don’t eat enough vegetables and fruit is an entirely different story.

So you want the recipe right?  The ingredients are listed below in the quantities that I used.  You are more than welcome to double, triple, or quadruple the recipe if you are feeding a larger group of people.  The below recipe will serve 4 with the calorie content coming in at 124 calories per serving.

Caesar Veggie Pasta Salad


  • 6 Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 cup DRY vegetable farfarlle or rotini pasta
  •  1/2 cup of pitted, black olives
  • 2 tbsps of grated Parmesan or Parmesan Romano cheese
  • 4 tbsps of Creamy Caesar or Italian Dressing


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil and cook pasta to package directions.  Do not overcook the pasta or it will become mushy and not hold up well.
  2. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and then quarter, placing in a bowl
  3. Cut the stalks off the broccoli, using on the florets.  Chop into preferred size.  Add to the tomatoes.
  4. If using whole, pitted olives, cut in half.  If using sliced olives, leave as they are.  Be sure to drain the liquid from them.  Add these to the tomato/broccoli mixture.
  5. Once the pasta is done cooking, drain very well being sure to remove the majority of the water.  Rinse with cold water until pasta is no longer warm.  Drain again removing as much water as possible.  Add this tot he broccoli/tomato/black olive mixture.
  6. Add the Parmesan cheese and toss it all together.
  7. Lastly, add the Caesar or Italian Dressing and mix it all well being sure everything is incorporate together.  Chill and serve or eat immediately.  Be sure to store leftovers properly in the refrigerator.

***You can tweak this recipe anyway you wish even adding in grilled chicken for a protein boost if you like ***



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