I have a confession to make.
I am completely obsessed with Pharrell’s song “Happy” – and I know I’m not alone. I swear, it just makes me want to stop whatever I’m doing and break out into a dance. Which I have actually done. In the comfort of my home. While folding laundry. And getting the side-eye from my husband. Sorry for letting the music guide my soul babe.
Anyways, the other day my co-worker and I were talking about just the little things that get us through long and/or tough days. A big one was our girl friends and just getting to spend time with them – which we were both lamenting over the fact that we just don’t get to do enough. But then later that day she sent me a message about how the musical score to Harry Potter was making a tedious project almost enjoyable. Which was funny, because I was listening to my Harry Potter (Film Score) station on Pandora and it really is just amazing how music can help shape my mood.
I think the “Happy” song really just brings out my inner happiness, no matter how much it seems to be hiding that day. You know what else brings out happiness for me? Cooking.
Seriously, I know some people hate it. Dread it. View it as a necessary evil in order to provide nourishment. But hello, I have a blog about cooking on the BRIGHT side because I think preparing food for yourself or for others can bring so much joy.
So, in light of all of this talk of happiness and brightness, I’m sharing a delicious and beautiful dish with you – Greek Pasta Salad. This is totally an “eat with your eyes” recipe – and it tastes at least as good as it looks…
Greek Pasta Salad (6 servings / 7 WW points per serving)
6 oz. whole wheat or enriched Rotini pasta (I used Barilla Plus)
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 medium cucumber, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped (I didn’t quite use a whole onion)
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
8 Tbsp. sliced black olives
4 oz. fat-free Feta crumbles
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to directions.
While the pasta is boiling, chop your veggies and make your dressing by whisking together the vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. I personally like the level of “tang” in this, but if red wine vinegar has too potent of a taste for you – maybe start with 1/8 cup and work your way up. I like the pizzazz.
When the pasta is done cooking, drain and add to a medium bowl. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Pour your dressing over the pasta. Then add your chopped vegetables, sliced olives and crumbled feta. Using a rubber spatula, mix until all ingredients are combined.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. I made a batch of this one Sunday afternoon and enjoyed a beautiful, vibrant and healthy lunch every day that week. Honestly, how can looking at this awesome pop of colors not make you happy?!
Have a great weekend y’all!