Prep 5 mins
Cook 15 mins
This is mom's recipe for a quick all-in-one lunch idea: it is quickly whipped up, lasts several days in the fridge, is hearty/filling, nutritious, and versatile. This recipe can have many variations depending on what you prefer. The main idea is: one pasta noodle, the canned 3 bean salad, some sort of vinaigrette (or and combination of several), and any extra veggies you want in your salad.
- 1 (15 ounce) can 3 bean mix (Read is the brand I find)
- 1 (8 ounce) box thin spaghetti
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen broccoli (spears)
- 1⁄2 cup vinaigrette dressing
- fresh cracked pepper
- Bring 3 qts water to boil.
- While bringing water to a boil, set frozen broccoli pkg in microwave to defrost for approximately 6-7 minutes.
- Open, drain, and rinse canned 3 bean salad in colander.
- When water is boiling, add pasta> Boil pasta for 8-9 minutes to al dente.
- As noodles are cooking, prepare the broccoli> Cut stems away from broccoli flowerettes> Cut flowerettes into bite-sized pieces> Use the stem portion as well if you prefer.
- Place broccoli pieces and rinsed/drained bean salad in mixing bowl.
- Once noodles are cooked, remove and strain in colander while running cold water over noodles to stop cooking, and cool down the pasta> With a sharp knife or kitchen scissors cut up pasta slightly (if using long noodles).
- Once cooled and drained place pasta in mixing bowl with bean salad and broccoli.
- In measuring cup pour dressing (s) of choice to 1/2 cup measure> Blend if using multiple dressings>*I use a combination of Newmans Light Balsamic Vineagrette and Kraft Fat Free Caeser Italian.
- Pour dressing over salad and add fresh cracked pepper and salt to your liking>*i use about 1 1/2 tbs of salt to cut the sweetness of the bean salad.
- Mix gently and well> Nice if chilled, but if time does not allow, it can be eaten immediately.
- Some add-in ideas: diced cucumber, tomato, black olives, onion, chicken/ham, sunflower seeds.
Thanks, Caseylaine, for a very adaptive and tasty salad. This one is so easy to make and modify to personal preferences. I basically eyeballed ingredients, using whole wheat spaghetti, fresh broccoli and Kraft Light Sicilian Roasted Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette. It's yummy--instead of reaching for that unhealthy snack while watching Judge Judy, I'll be eating this! I did NOT add any salt to cut sweetness--it did not seem necessary.