Pesto BLT Pasta Salad

I love bacon. Lettuce and tomatoes are good too. And so is pesto. And I love pasta. I know, it gets a bad rap and everyone is supposed to eat “zoodles” or quinoa noodles and what not but I’m not quite ready (doubt I’ll ever be) to ditch pasta completely.

I bought a basil plant while grocery shopping a couple weeks ago and it has been thriving so I knew I had to make pesto and figured I’d use in for an epic creation for last night’s dinner.

Enter my newest creation, Pesto BLT Pasta Salad.

Pesto BLT Pasta Salad

BLT Pasta Salad

Serves 4-6 depending on if you eat it as a side dish or a main dish

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. (half of a box) of pasta, try using a fun shape because well, its fun!
  • 2 T pesto, store bought or make your own like I did*
  • 1/2 lb. sliced bacon, cooked until crisp, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3-4 cups of crispy lettuce, chopped (I used romaine because its what I had, arugula would have been awesome in this too)

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta to your desired doneness, drain and let cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, make your pesto (or get it out of the fridge).
  3. Stir pesto into pasta until coated.
  4. Add bacon, tomatoes, and lettuce to the pasta mixture and toss.
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve chilled.

*My pesto recipe1 1/2 cups basil, 3 T pine nuts, 3 T olive oil, 1-2 cloves of garlic (depending on size and how much you like garlic), 1/4 t course sea salt. Add to processor and process until smooth. I don’t like cheese so I do not add parmesan to y pesto. Fell free to add to your if you want. Just take an educated guess on how much. This makes roughly 3-4 T of pesto which is more than you need for the recipe but there’s nothing wrong with left over pesto. Use it to top salads or spread on sandwiches.

Pesto BLT Pasta Salad

I hope you guys like it as much as SL and I did. Ā I bet this would be delicious over a bed of baby spinach or kale for a healthy(ish) quick lunch. Note: Bacon becomes healthy(ish) when mixed with lettuce and tomatoes in my book šŸ™‚

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Spring Cleaning Soup

I am not a huge fan of cleaning but occasionally I’ll go on a tear and want to clean everything.Ā This weekend SL and IĀ focused on a couple rooms in the house and cleaned all of the windows, inside and out.

Last night, I decided to tackle the pantry/refrigerator and because it has been so cold and raw outside I thought making a soup would be a great way to warm me up and get rid of bits and piece of things in the pantry and the refrigerator.

Spring Cleaning Soup

Here is what I found for my soup:

  • Chicken stock
  • Celery (I love using the leafy part in soups, gives a huge amount flavor)
  • AĀ small handfulĀ of mushrooms
  • Baby carrots
  • Chickpeas
  • Garlic
  • A seriously small amount of Orzo (who leaves that small of an amount in the box…probably me)
  • Left over chicken sausage (roughly two links)
  • Green onions
  • Chia seeds (I hadĀ never done this before but Google said it said it was ok so I went with it)
  • Can of diced tomatoes (Garlic and onion flavored because I’m crazy like that)

soup ingredients

The best part about soups is they are extremely versatile. You can throw almost anything into a soup pot and it will be delicious. Except watermelon, but it was delicious to eat while making soup!

quazi melon

This personal watermelon did not have an optimal rind to deliciousness ratio but it still tasted great…while it lasted. Back to my soup.

soup collage

I chopped the celery, carrots and garlic and put them in a pre-heated pot with a bit of olive oil. I let them cook just enough so they softened up a bit. Then I added the chicken sausage, mushrooms and green onion and cooked them all together for a few more minutes. Next I added the chickpeas and the can of diced tomatoes (including the juice), gave it all a stir and began to add the broth.

No part of soup making is an exact science so do what you feel is right when it comes to the ingredients and how long you want things to cook. I brought my pot-of-goodness up to a boil and added the orzo. Normally, soup recipes tell you to add already cooked pasta to the pot but I am not normal and I don’t like to do that so my UNCOOKED orzo went into the boiling pot for about 10 minutes.

When the orzo looked done, I took the pot off the heat and stirred in some chia seeds. When I say some I mean about a small palm full. I have never added chia seeds to soup so I aired on the side of caution in case these little seedsĀ made my soup gross (they didn’t).

scalding soup

Obviously by the time everything was finished I was STARVING an I did not wait for it to cool to a decent temperature before eating.Ā I immediately dug in and thoroughly enjoyed each scalding bite!