Everyday recipes, life and craziness from Jen's house.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Spicy Pasta Salad and Southwest Seasoning

JP LOVES this Spicy Pasta Salad.  He begs me to make it at least once a week.  It takes a little while to chop the vegetables, but it is a fairly easy recipe to follow.  This salad is great for a meatless dinner, or as a side dish.  I use whole wheat pasta, plain fat-free yogurt, and lots of veggies to make this salad healthy.  I make my own southwest seasoning, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand.  Spice up the salad (or tone it down) according to your tastes!  Enjoy~

 Southwest Seasoning

I am really picky about my Southwest Seasoning.  I don't care for packaged taco seasoning...too much salt and lots of other things I don't want to have in my food!  I also like things a little spicy, so I make my own Southwest Seasoning with that little extra kick! I use this Southwest Seasoning in my Spicy Pasta Salad, or in any recipe that calls for Taco Seasoning.

McCormick has a Southwest Seasoning.  Also, Penzeys has a Southwest Seasoning and a south of the border spice, Arizona Dreaming.  I haven't tried any of these blends, but can't wait to try them, especially Arizona Dreaming!  According to Penzeys website,
  •  "Arizona Dreaming is simply a delicious all-purpose coming together of spices. The flavors of South of the Border combined in ways that Americans love so much. Great for just about everything, use frequently to season: Vegetables, Rice, Beans, Beef, Pork, Scrambled Huevos, Ground Turkey, Cheese, Salad Dressings."

Jen's Southwest Seasoning
1/2 c. chili powder, I use Penzeys Medium Hot
1/3 c. paprika, I use Penzeys Smoked Paprika
1/4 c. cumin
1/4 c. onion powder
1/4 c. garlic powder
1/4 c. cornstarch
3 T. chipotle powder, I use Penzeys Ground Chipolte Pepper
1 T. salt
1 T. cayenne pepper, I use Penzeys Ground Cayenne Pepper
1 T. oregano
1 T. crushed red pepper, I use Penzeys Crushed Red Pepper

Pasta Salad

Spicy Pasta Salad

1 package pasta, cooked according to directions, I use Ronzoni's Healthy Harvest Rotini

1 c. plain fat-free yogurt
1/4 c. mayonnaise
4 T. southwest seasoning (use less if you like things less spicy)
1 lime, zested and juiced

1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut into 1/8ths, or 1 tomato, chopped
1 can of corn, drained
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded, I use 2% cheddar
1/4  bunch cilantro, chopped

Mix yogurt, mayonnaise, taco seasoning and lime zest and juice together in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, mix the cooked pasta, chopped peppers, onion, jalapeno, tomatoes, drained corn, shredded cheese and cilantro.  Pour the prepared dressing over the pasta mixture and stir well.

Refrigerate.  Stir well before serving.

Review:  If you like things a little spicy (like I do!), add an extra jalapeno or two!  Or leave out the jalapeno if you'd like.  This is a really versatile salad, you can add ingredients you like (like chopped olives) or leave out ingredients you don't like.  I've used a can of canned, chopped tomatoes when I didn't have cherry tomatoes on hand.  Enjoy~

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