School starts for me on Monday, and I will have a period of adjustment just like the students do. That includes, of course, settling back into a meal time routine. My mind is still in Summer mode so my August dinner plans will reflect that I know. Hubby and I tend to hang on to every little bit of Summer that we can. On Sunday I will be making this salad which will serve us well for Monday evening’s meal as well as a lunch or two.
Several years ago I attended a fundraiser in our community for a project called “Safety Zone.” The idea behind the project was to provide an immediate safe house for abused children when they have been removed from their own homes. Each safe house was to be staffed by qualified caregivers and counselors. The project was funded strictly through donations and operated successfully for some time. I wish it was no longer needed, but unfortunately the problem still exists. Supposedly, that care is now being provided through other means.
I obtained a little yellow cookbook the day of that initial fundraiser that I still use often. I think community cookbooks are some of the best anyway. One of the recipes in it was this one for Spaghetti Salad. You may have heard of it, but it bears repeating especially at this hot and humid, who wants to turn on an oven, time of the year. Hubby loves it and it is just nice to have on hand in the refrigerator.
1 12-ounce package vermicelli
1 package McCormick Salad Supreme seasoning ( I find this in a bottle on the spice shelf. I don’t think I have ever seen it in a package.)
1 16-ounce bottle Italian salad dressing (I use Zesty Italian and I seldom use this much. You may want to add some additional dressing later as the pasta absorbs the dressing.)
2 large tomatoes, chopped (I often use cherry tomatoes, halved.)
1 green bell pepper, minced (or use a mixture of red, yellow, orange and/or green)
1 medium white onion, minced
(I usually add about 1/2 cup sliced black olives as well.)
salt and pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse and drain well. Mix vegetables, salad seasoning and pasta together in a large bowl. (I usually use a plastic container with a sealable lid.) Pour in the Italian dressing; stir to thoroughly combine. Salt and pepper to taste.
Optional: add precooked chopped shrimp or chicken. chopped pastrami or pepperoni, chopped cucumber, zucchini or yellow squash, and/or sliced black olives. Some people add avocado; I don’t because I don’t like the way it looks in the salad after a day. As I said, we dine on this for several days usually.
This is better if made ahead by several hours. It makes a great light lunch or dinner.
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