I love a good barbeque, but let's face it, some days it's just too hot to grill. That's why I love having recipes for fresh salads and simple sandwiches on hand for those hot summer nights when grilling just seems like punishment. And, after a long day on the beach when everyone is wiped out, having a cool salad waiting in the fridge can keep the crankies at bay.
I'm more of a throw it all together kinda gal, than a recipe follower. I like to look at a cookbook or website for ideas and then make my own concoction. I've come up with some great dishes this way...only problem is, sometimes I can't replicate them exactly, lol. Still, it's the method that works best for me, and I try to write down the good ones before I forget. Here's a recipe for a cucumber pasta salad that I whipped up last week. It got two thumbs up at our house, so I think it's a keeper. Keep in mind that I eyeball rather than measure, so less is more if you are unsure of proportions. It's always easier to add then take away!
Cool As A Cuke Summer Pasta Salad:
1 box of your favorite pasta, cooked according to box directions, drained and cooled
1 med cucumber, diced (I like the English variety)
1 small or half a large sweet red pepper, diced
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced and sauteed in your favorite Light Italian dressing (about 1/2 cup tossed over chicken) then drained after cooking
1/2 cup bacon pieces (I use Hormel's)
1/3 cup light mayo (I like Duke's)
2/3 cup Creamy Cucumber salad dressing (This can be hard to find. Kraft makes one and so does Kroger Brand.)
1/3 cup light sour cream
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and chill for about 1 hour before serving. This can be made a day ahead and will taste even better the longer the flavors blend. I realize in the photo my cuke's aren't exactly diced, more like a chunk...feel free to improvise :)
I hope you enjoy this summer salad. Let me know what you think! If you like this one, check out the Perfect Potato Salad recipe at The Simple Gourmand. It's a fave of mine.