If you’re tired of boring work week lunches, try this flavor-packed Italian Pasta Salad! With only seven ingredients, you can make this in a jif.
I’m not going to lie, I was inspired to make this pasta salad after dining at one of my favorite restaurants in South Tampa called Bella’s. Their classic Bella’s Chopped Salad had a flavor twist that totally blew my mind. They added BLUE CHEESE to their salad!
Never in a million years did I think I’d like blue cheese on an italian salad. And if you feel the same way, I’m here to change your mind. I’m so confident that I can! Let’s just say the salad was so amazing that it ruined my taste buds for any other Italian salad and inspired me to make a copycat recipe at home.
I’m a huge fan of this Italian Salad Recipe because it does not eliminate any food groups. By that I mean it contains a great mix of carbs, protein and fat (all macronutrients that our bodies LOVE!). In my Food Freedom Group Coaching and on Instagram, I am reminded often that so many women fear carbs. They avoid pasta on the reg, are convinced if they keep cookies in the house they won’t be able to stop eating them, and swear off the bread bowl when they go out to eat. This makes my dietitian heart so sad because our bodies PREFER the nutrition in carbs!
As a Registered Dietitian, I am constantly putting out fires about food lies, like “carbs are bad.” And I’ll continue to do so, because ALL food should be enjoyed, not feared!
Last week in my Food Freedom Group Coaching, one of the ladies made peace with pasta. Before following my framework, she was convinced that she would never be able to eat pasta without overeating it. This made her feel frustrated and powerless. I mean, why should pasta hold so much power over her? It’s JUST pasta.
She was ready for change. She was ready to enjoy pasta without sides of guilt and stress. So she made PEACE with it! And what I mean by that, is that she normalized this food and learned how to eat it without guilt, stress or shame. She gave herself permission to eat it, whenever she wanted. And now? Now she eats it whenever she wants, without overeating which feels empowering!
Let’s move away from pasta shaming and enjoy it, guilt-free! Sound good?
Check out the recipe below and tag me on Instagram at diet.culture.rebel when you make it! Double or triple the recipe if you want to meal prep for the week. Enjoy!
Italian Pasta Salad
- 1 cup cooked Cavatappi pasta
- 1 cup cooked & diced chicken
- 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
- 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup crumbed blue cheese
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette dressing
- Combine all ingredients, mix & enjoy.