Chard, Mushrooms, and Sun-dried Tomatoes Pasta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

We live with my mother-in-law…well, kind of. After the kids grew up, she had the 2nd floor converted into an apartment to rent out for some extra cash. After we transitioned to the family mindset, we decided that we wanted to live where Mark’s parents are, outside of a village in the mountains. Mark’s dad has slowly been laying adobe bricks on a foundation that Mark laid in the back of the family property when he was in his early 20s. Our home–or at least the first part of our home (we’ll add a couple extra rooms later on)–is being built right next to us (Mark’s parents are divorced, but live next door to one another). I give you all this unnecessary information to explain that I made lunch for my mother-in-law today. Mark is still out of town, and I thought it would be nice to have a lunch with my mother-in-law. She held the baby, while I threw together a quick lunch.

I had some rainbow chard that was on its last leg, so I wanted to incorporate that into the dish. From there, I just started pulling veggies and the pasta salad came together. I originally intended to cook the veggies in balsamic vinegar, but I left it upstairs in our apartment (I was cooking at my MIL’s house). Instead, I made a dressing to drizzle over the top. I think it ended up just as good, if not better.

Ingredients:

1 package of egg noodles, prepared

1/2 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, diced

1 cup of carrots, chopped

8oz of mushrooms, sliced

1 bunch of rainbow chard, chopped

1 zucchini, sliced

1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes

salt and pepper, to taste

balsamic vinegar (2 parts)

olive oil (1 part)

oregano

thyme

Preparation:

1. In a large frying pan, cook the onion and garlic in a little olive oil for about 3 minutes over medium heat.

2. Add the carrots and cook for about 8 minutes.

3. Add the mushrooms, chard, and zucchini. Cook until the chard is tender and the mushrooms are soft. Add salt and pepper to the veggies.

4. In a large serving bowl, mix the egg noodles and the veggies. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, and mix well.

5. In a mason jar (or preferred dressing container), mix 2 part balsamic vinegar and 1 part olive oil. Add salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, or any other desired spices. Serve over the salad.

This was one of those “think while cooking” sort of meals. One nice thing about it is that it can be eaten cold or hot–or warm, as this busy mama ended up enjoying it. I hate to see any veggies go to waste, so this was a perfect way to use up the chard.

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