Friday, May 30, 2014

Tortellini Primavera Salad

I took my son (who just graduated from high school Wednesday) to get his wisdom teeth removed today. He recorded himself talking non-stop all the way home and then his sisters took over until he fell asleep. He wasn't as out of it as I thought he would be, but there were some silly moments. By the time I got his prescriptions, got him home and gave him medications and put him into bed, I didn't have much energy for making dinner. I was so glad that I had planned this easy salad.

I just chopped up some veggies, boiled the tortellini and mixed it all together. I left out the peas and thyme. I really like the fresh flavor that the orange peel and fresh basil added. I forgot to buy non-fat plain yogurt, which I was going to substitute for the mayonnaise, but I'll do that next time. This was a filling meal, which I served with a baked potato, and I'll be making it again for sure. You can make it meat-less like I did or add turkey or ham or whatever to it if you'd like.  Thanks to Good Dinner Mom for posting this super recipe.

Tortellini Primavera Salad
8 oz. pkg. refrigerated tortellini
2 c. broccoli florets
1 c. sliced carrots
½ c. chopped green onions
½ c. chopped red bell peppers
½ c. chopped green bell peppers
½ c. fresh baby peas (or thawed from frozen)
¼ c. diced jalapeno pepper (optional)
1 c. mayonnaise
2 t. grated orange peel
2 t. dried basil or 1 T. plus 1 t. fresh basil, chopped
1 t. dried thyme or 2 t. fresh thyme, chopped
1 t. salt
½ t. black pepper
½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain well.
Steam broccoli florets and sliced carrots just until tender-crisp. Cool under running water.
Combine tortellini, broccoli, carrots, green onions, bell peppers and jalapeno in a medium bowl. Place in refrigerator while making the dressing.
In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, orange peel, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Add about ½ of the dressing to the salad ingredients and then taste. Add more as desired (3/4 cup seems perfect for us. If adding chicken, use all the dressing).
Note: You can serve the salad immediately if you must, however, the flavors are bolder if allowed to incorporate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.
Spoon individual portions of salad on plate and top each portion with shredded mozzarella, or add all the mozzarella into large bowl of the salad, toss and serve family style.

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