Friday, July 13, 2012

Chipotle-Ranch Pasta Salad

Inspired by Suddenly Salad's Chipotle-Ranch Pasta Salad, and revised by my mother, this is my own version of the same.  I try not to use boxed mixes, except in special exceptions.  Not that I don't enjoy them!  I simply try to avoid buying something I can make healthier and more inexpensively at home from my own ingredients.  Keep in mind, I'm trying to use up items from my pantry too!  That explains why I used a Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix in my recipe.  I felt it was too salty, so I won't do that again!  Next time I'll mix up my own ranch dressing.  See recipe below. -- Merilou
1/2 pound box of dried pasta (your choice) - I used whole wheat penne pasta.

Ranch Dressing mix:
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley (or 1/8 cup dried parsley flakes)
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, minced
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup light sour cream
1-2 Tablespoons Chipotle Tabasco
milk to thin out sauce - 3-4 Tablespoons

1 can corn, drained (or 1-2 cups frozen corn)
1-2 cups black beans (or 1 can, drained)
5 green onions, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 zucchini, quartered, and thinly sliced

Cook pasta according to directions - al dente (don't overcook!), and drain.  Cool.

Mix mayo, sour cream, tabasco & milk together until smooth.

Combine remaining ingredients and mix all together in a bowl.  Chill until serving.

Served 5-6.  We got two dinner servings, plus 5 lunch servings (sides).

Note:  Be adventurous about the veggies you add!  I think black olives would be good, also chopped up tomato & green or red peppers.  Whatever you like!

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