semi-homemade summer pasta salad

So, waking up at 4:45 to run is crazy. First of all, because it’s so early. Too early, actually- because it’s too dark to run safely in the country. I ended up rolling out of bed on Saturday a few minutes before 5 and hit the trail by 5:15, and went for a quick 2.5 miler. My pace was slightly faster than usual but only because I had to be back by 5:40 so Joey could get to the orchard. Also, my dogs went absolutely crazy and it was all I could do to keep up with them- which is totally unusual! Despite the extreme early-ness of the workout, I really enjoyed being up before the world and checking a run off my list early on in the day.


4 cups of coffee later… I was SO glad I woke up before the sun because I went out to pick a zucchini from the garden for this pasta salad and I almost shriveled up into a raisin in the mere two minutes I was outside. No, seriously.


In other news, our friend Hiro is visiting us from Singapore this week! Hiro has been a good friend of Joey and mine since freshman year of high school. Actually, fun fact- he introduced Joey and I! Way back when I was a freshman in high school, I’d always stop in the hallway on my way to class and talk to Hiro and his group of friends. One day, there was a guy standing there that wasn’t usually there, so I asked Hiro who he was. Hiro blatantly told me that it was his friend Joey that thought I was cute. So, to my absolute embarrassment, he called over Joey and introduced us two blushing kids and 7 years later we were MARRIED! (Awww) and 2 years after that, this sweet thang came.


It was Hiro’s birthday on Saturday and per his request, I made him this. I feel pretty honored that he came all the way from Singapore for my apple pie a wedding this weekend. 🙂

After making the pie, I was putting away the ingredients and a box of ‘Suddenly Salad’ in the pantry caught my eye. I had been trying to think of a good COLD lunch idea and when I saw this, I knew this was the way to go! My mom got me hooked on this recipe- it’s her favorite thing to serve at bridal/baby showers for a lighter food option and it always gets rave reviews!


It’s a super refreshing and healthy option for a summer lunch or dinner, and you can tweak the recipe based on what you have in the house. I’ve learned that those recipes are gold! The tweak-able ones. Joey’s favorite is when we add linguica- it definitely gives it a delicious (and manly) kick.


It even passed Joey’s taste-test mid picture.


Suddenly Salad with fresh veggies & turkey Kielbasa

1 box Classic Suddenly Salad

2 TBSP canola oil

3 TBSP water

1 package turkey kielbasa (or linguica, chicken, whatever meat you like!) cooked and sliced

chopped zucchini

1/4 chopped red onion

1 diced avocado

2 diced roma tomatoes

1 cup diced red, green, orange, and yellow bell pepper (beautiful colors!)

1 cup chopped mushrooms

(you can add corn, squash, green onion, carrots, whatever else you have in the house to add pizzazz to this- any flavor goes! The key is FRESH vegetables. Please don’t use canned!)

Follow the directions on the box, and prep all the veggies you want to add. Once the pasta is cooked & drained, add the water & oil and mix well. Add the seasoning packet from the box, and mix again. Once the noodles are evenly coated, add all the chopped vegetables and cooked kielbasa, and chill in the fridge for a few hours until cold, and enjoy!


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