Rotini Salad

I'm going to a party this afternoon in celebration of my friend who just got a master's. It's BYO-something-to-eat-or-drink, so I made a pasta salad. It's the same salad my mom has been making for me since I was a kid, and I still love it now as much as I did then. She customized it to have my favorite vegetables in it, not that I disliked any vegetables...I was one of those kids who would gross other kids out because of my love of all things green and vegetable-y. Anyway, you can customize this however you like...just swap out the frozen broccoli and cauliflower for whatever vegetable mixture you might like. And no, that's not a typo, there really is 1 1/2 cups sugar in the vinaigrette. This recipe originated in Indiana, the land of putting as much sugar as you can into every course. It's a lot of sugar for a lot of yumminess...Keep a bowl of this in the fridge all summer long and you won't be sorry.

Rotini Salad

2 1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat rotini pasta
1 16-oz package frozen broccoli and cauliflower florets
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups organic unbleached sugar
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta; salt the water. Cook the pasta according to package directions, except in the last 3 minutes of cooking, add the frozen broccoli and cauliflower. Cook until the pasta is al dente and the vegetables are thawed.
2. In the meantime, blend the vinegar, sugar, oil, mustard, basil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the bell pepper, onion, and celery to the vinaigrette.
3. Once the pasta, broccoli, and cauliflower are done, drain them and rinse them with cold water. If there are any large broccoli or cauliflower pieces, cut them into bite-sized pieces, then add them to the vegetable/vinaigrette mixture. Toss all the ingredients. Marinade overnight and toss before serving.

Servings per recipe: 10
Per serving:
Calories: 251
Fat: 6.5 g
Saturated fat: 0.6 g
Cholesterol: 12 mg
Sodium: 46 mg
Carbohydrates: 45.2 g
Fiber: 4.3 g
Sugar: 32.3 g
Protein: 3.3 g

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