Monday, April 29, 2013

Quick and easy meal - Salad (pasta salad) recipe

I am always thinking of ways to bring packed lunch from home because one can avoid the lunch crowds and have a simple, yet healthy satisfying meal. After seeing the long queues at the different salad bars around town, I decided to make my own version so that I can include what I love.

Simple meal anytime, anyday

This basic salad uses Romaine lettuce, both green and red/purple which can be bought from a box or bags in hypermarts. I usually peel/shred them and soak them in water whilst I prepare the other ingredients. Wash them thoroughly at least twice to get rid of any residual dirt and squeeze them dry. It is important for the vegetables to be as dry as possible as you would not want the vegetables to turn soggy or mushy when left overnight. Besides Romaine lettuce, you can use organic vegetables or add in some Wild rocket or Mesclun mix depending on your budget.

The greens form the base of the salad and I top them off with some cherry tomatoes and imitation crabsticks to give it some taste. Take some frozen crabsticks and soak them in water until bendable and tear into bits. I also throw in some shredded ham, cheese and roasted almonds. A hard boiled egg can be added to give this meal a little more protein. Other times, I make egg mayo but the highlight of today's salad is pasta salad!

This yummy pasta salad is really easy to prepare, containing mainly two sauces, mayonnaise and thousand island sauce. Mayonnaise gives it a creamy texture while thousand island balances it out with its tangy taste.

A portion of dried pasta (I used San Remo vegetable spirals)
Mayonnaise (I used Kewpie brand)
Thousand island sauce (I used Lady's choice)
Black pepper
White pepper

1. Bring to boil a saucepan of water enough to cover the dried pasta and cook till pasta is firm/soft. Cooking time varies depending on pasta type and brand used so its best to follow the cooking instructions on the pasta packaging. I like to put salt into the water to give the pasta some taste. Drain pasta and leave to cool.

2. To prepare the sauce, mix together mayonnaise and thousand island sauce. A general rule I follow is to have portions of 2:1, mayonnaise : thousand island sauce. Thousand island sauce can be quite tart so to balance out the taste, I add a dash of sugar. Once you have adjusted the sauce to your liking, add in some pepper to give it extra omph. Black pepper imparts a nice fragrance whilst white pepper gives a tinge of spice.

And there you have it, a simple meal which you can whip up in minutes and impress your family, friends and colleagues with!

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