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Say hello to a fresh spinach, tomato and mozzarella pasta salad, a wonderfully flavorful hybrid between a classic spinach salad and a lightly dressed summertime pasta salad.
Every year I make grand plans for my summer and always feel really optimistic about getting all the things on my list done. When August rolls around and I’m not nearly halfway done with my summer bucket list, I have to step back and appreciate all of the things I actually did accomplish over the summer. Appreciating the little things is important.
You know what’s hard? Trying to schedule a camping weekend, girl’s spa day, weeklong trip to Disney World, multiple beach days and fabulous pool parties and barbecues during the summer when you work full time. Trying to gather friends and family who work different hours makes things even more difficult. I know I’m not alone on this one!
If you’re anything like me, you probably also find it hard to stick to your healthier habits during the summer when there are so many delicious goodies available and fun events happening nonstop. Who can resist ice cream or your aunt’s famous brownies she insists you have at the family barbecue?
This girl has never been one to pass up a good brownie, not now or ever. However, I like to balance out my treats with healthier choices throughout the day whenever possible. If I’m at a barbecue, you’ll likely find me choosing a healthier entree or side dish option so I can splurge a little during dessert. I’ve learned over the years that leading a healthier life doesn’t have to be hard. Making small changes over time can definitely turn into lifelong habits.
One of my favorite parts of making the switch to a healthier lifestyle is definitely meal planning. Instead of flying by the seat of my pants most days of the week, I have a general game plan and a fully stocked refrigerator at the ready. Being prepared with ingredients and a meal plan is much less stressful than making frequent last minute trips to pick up groceries. I’ve learned through trial and error.
It didn’t take me long to realize that shopping in bulk was the easiest way to stock up on healthy produce and pantry staples for the lowest prices. Better yet, bulk shopping actually kept me from making frequent trips for groceries where I would always find myself picking up a pack of cookies or pint of ice cream that I definitely did not need. You know you do the same. (I see you nodding in agreeance. Let’s try and make healthier choices together!)
Cooking at home has become one of my favorite pastimes. You save a bit of money by cooking at home as opposed to ordering food from a restaurant or caterer.
I chose to really showcase the fresh spinach and juicy tomatoes in this pasta salad. You are going to LOVE it!
For your next barbecue or picnic, try out this light and healthy fresh spinach and tomato pasta salad. It brings together the best of both worlds by combining healthy veggies with deliciously dressed pasta salad. Be sure to scoop up the ingredients for this fresh spinach, tomato and mozzarella pasta salad with homemade vinaigrette the next time you’re out!
What’s your favorite dish to bring to a potluck BBQ? Are you a healthy entree and decadent dessert person or sinful entree and healthy dessert person?
Fresh Spinach, Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta Salad
- 2 cups spinach
- 2 cups tomatoes
- 12 ounces pasta cooked according to package – I used bowties farfalle
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella pearls
- ***For the homemade vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1.5 tsp garlic powder
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- squeeze lemon juice optional
- Prepare pasta according to package. Be sure to let the pasta thoroughly cool after cooking so that it does not wilt the spinach.
- Slice cherry or grape tomatoes in half.
- While pasta is cooling, prepare the homemade vinaigrette. Add olive oil and vinegar together in a small bowl. Sprinkle in garlic powder, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Whisk vigorously to bring the vinaigrette together.
- In a large serving bowl, combine pasta, spinach, tomatoes and mozzarella pearls.
- Stir vinaigrette once more to remove any separation that may have happened. Drizzle over pasta, spinach, tomatoes and mozzarella. Gently toss to combine.
- **Although this pasta salad is great to eat immediately, the flavors really intensify if left to soak for a few hours.