Tag Archives: easy fast way to cook brussels sprouts

Simplest Pasta Salad

Simplest Pasta Salad

If you’re looking for a REALLY easy salad to put together, look no further. This salad is fast to assemble, and allows you to include literally any vegetables you have available. They can be chopped fresh vegetables of choice, cooked leftover vegetables, or frozen and thawed vegetables. Literally, whatever you have that you want to include. AND, the dressing is just as flexible. Use your favorite dressing, whatever it is. Just be sure it’s fluid enough to coat your cooked pasta and chopped vegetables without being too thick. If you want to use a thick dressing, it’s advisable to thin it out first with a little liquid that goes with the dressing, such as juice, water or milk of choice. Suggestions are in the written recipe. Below is a video demonstration of how to make this salad, followed by the recipe I used in the video. Experiment with this one!


Simplest Pasta Salad
Makes 4 to 5 Servings

1-1/2 cups (3 oz.) uncooked spiral pasta
3 baby carrots, chopped
½ cucumber, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
12 sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half
6 grape tomatoes, cut in half
½ of a large scallion, chopped

3 to 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove garlic, crushed)
½ tsp dried parsley flakes
¼ tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp dried oregano
pinch of sugar, optional

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool under running water. Allow to drain well, then transfer the cooked and cooled pasta to a large bowl. Add prepared, chopped vegetables and toss to combine.

Combine dressing ingredients or use your favorite salad dressing. Pour dressing over pasta-vegetable mixture. Toss to combine. The salad may be enjoyed immediately or covered and placed in the refrigerator for an hour to allow flavors to combine. Store any extra salad in a covered container in the refrigerator. Use within 3 days.

Tips: Literally any vegetables may be used in this salad. Leftover cooked vegetables, thawed frozen vegetables, other chopped fresh vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, celery, snow peas, zucchini, yellow squash…literally anything you have available that you would like to add to your salad. The scallions may be increased, substituted with sliced red onion, or simply left out if you don’t want onion in your salad.

The above dressing is just a suggestion. Any favorite dressing will work in this salad. However, it is helpful if the dressing is not overly thick. A thinner dressing will coat the pasta and vegetables better. Also, as the salad sits in the refrigerator for a day or more, the pasta will absorb some of the dressing, so you may want to add a little more dressing to compensate for that, or simply add more as needed. Enjoy!

Easy Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Lemon

Easy Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Lemon

Here’s a fast and easy way to cook Brussels sprouts. They are not mushy this way, nor are they bitter. Below is a video demonstration of cooking sauteed Brussels sprouts, followed by the written recipe. I hope this helps!


Easy Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Lemon
Makes About 5 Servings

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic (or 4 medium cloves), chopped
1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts
Salt to taste
About 1/3 cup water, or more if needed
Juice of 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons)

Wash the Brussels sprouts and remove any damaged leaves. Trim a small slice off the stem end, and cut them in half or into fourths, if large; set aside.

Warm a skillet that has a lid, over medium heat. Add the oil then the chopped garlic. Sauté the garlic about 1 minute. Add the prepared Brussels sprouts. Sprinkle with salt, as desired. Sauté the vegetables briefly. Add water, 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time, then cover and allow them to steam. Stir them often to prevent burning and monitor the liquid, adding more water as needed. Reduce heat to medium-low if needed to keep the vegetables from burning. About half way through the cooking time (after about 5 minutes), add the juice of one-half of a lemon, about 2 tablespoons. Continue cooking, stirring often, and steaming with the lid on, until the sprouts start to brown and are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes, or until they are as tender as you want. When finished, remove them from the heat and drizzle with the remaining lemon juice, about another 2 tablespoons. Serve.