This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barilla, but opinions are my own.
As the weather gets warmer, I find that I don't make huge hearty meals like my Goulash, where you think of people sitting down around the table and eating as a family. Instead I have the tendency to rely on my husband's grilling skills for Steak Bites or Asian Chicken Kabobs, which means my responsibility is the sides. One of my absolute favorite sides to make for Spring is my Pasta Salad Recipe because of all the fresh Spring vegetables and both of my girls love pasta. Even though there's more grilling going on we still make it absolutely essential that we sit down as a family and share the table.
Pasta Salad Recipe
Ever since I was little I can remember sitting down to dinner as a family. My mom made my dad turn the television off even if it was the 9th inning of the Yankees game. Although, she usually waited until the game was over to let him know that dinner was ready. It was important to me that once Joe and I had our own children that we instituted the same expectation. Sharing the table together is an important part of fostering meaningful relationships and building healthy, strong families – families of all kinds. That’s why Barilla wants to inspire, empower and support all families to share more meaningful meals together. What better way to do that then with vegetables that came from our garden that was inspired by Creative Garden Ideas for Kids?
There's just something about knowing where the vegetables came from that has the tendency to soothe my daughter's pickiness. Her absolute favorite thing last Summer was tending to her Toddler Herb Garden which will make another appearance this year. Joe and I often find that Riley knows so much more than we thought she did and we usually find this out during dinner. She'll ask questions about where her food came from and how it grows. She was extremely intrigued with this Pasta Salad Recipe because of the fennel in it. I try to have Riley an active participant in making dinner so if there's a new food that I'm introducing I can put a positive spin on it right from the start. She loved the fennel because it tasted like "candy", which is of course the licorice taste it has. It worked beautifully in this pasta salad because of the fresh Spring flavor that it gave to the salad.
I am also a huge proponent of using pastas that have hidden vegetables in them or include an extra dose of protein & fiber. I'm always nervous that my girls are not getting enough of the nutrients that are valuable to their health and growth. Luckily, Barilla has a huge selection of products that do just that. For this pasta salad, I used Barilla Farfalle, because Riley refers to them as Minnie Mouse's bows, which most likely came from her Minnie Mouse 2nd Birthday.
- 1 box of Barilla Farfalle Pasta
- 2 small cucumbers sliced
- 3 carrots peeled
- ½ yellow squash sliced
- 1 fennel chopped
- 1 cup of balsamic vinegar
- feta cheese for sprinkling
- Cook the pasta according to the box directions.
- Meanwhile prep the vegetables.
- Once the pasta cools add the vegetables and balsamic vinegar and toss.
- Sprinkle with Feta cheese.
- Refrigerate to keep the vegetables crisp.
Feeding America is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to fighting domestic hunger through a network of food banks, and Barilla supports that goal. Be sure to watch the Share the Table Launch Video and then be sure to share your mealtime stories using the hashtag #sharethetable.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barilla. For every post using #ShareTheTable from now until 4/30/14, Barilla will donate a monetary equivalent of ten meals ($1.11) to Feeding America®, up to 1 million meals. Barilla will donate a maximum of $110,000. One dollar helps provide 9 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks.