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Summery Balsamic Dijon Pasta Salad for Hot Summer Night

Two on Thursday
This morning started off checking off a to-enjoy list entry: morning run with hubby. Jason was not nearly as excited about the early morning run as I was. I think he fell asleep in the car on the way back home ;-)

I got in just under 6 miles (5.9 to be exact; yes I like to be exact). It really was a great run again today, though the humidity was definitely up there and not a bit of a breeze to help out in the cooling department. But, everything just clicked. Then again, maybe I wasn't awake enough to know any better.

During lunch, I was able to get my back workout done and some abs. I went with giant sets today of 2x8 and 1x10

Double-arm dumbbell row
Pullover
Rear flye

Band work - lat pull downs - 2x12

I did abs from Cathe's Power Hour DVD. It was a pretty good workout, but I really wish I had a barbell at the house for barbell rows. I feel like I have better form and can lift heavier weights for underhand position. Oh, while I'm "wishing," I'd like a pullup bar too thank you.

Pasta Salad Night
When I got home from work I decided to throw together an easy pasta salad to try to use some fresh veggies that were on their last leg. I can't really call this a recipe, but I'll list out the ingredients and what I did for my Summery Balsamic Dijon Pasta Salad.

Summary Balsamic Dijon Pasta Salad
Ingredients:
6-7 oz whole-wheat penne or rotini (cooked per package)
1 small zucchini, diced
1 small squash, diced
Asparagus, chopped (I was only able to salvage about 6 stalks or I would have used more)
1/2 can whole artichoke hearts, chopped
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 frozen peas (more or less to your liking)
6-7 sundried tomatoes, reconstituted and chopped
To taste: lemon pepper spice blend, sea salt
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes 

5-6 tbsp Dijon mustard
Balsamic vinaigrette (or just balsamic vinegar) to desired consistency


Directions:
Drain the pasta well and transfer to large mixing bowl. Add the frozen peas on top of your hot pasta along with chickpeas, artichokes, and sundried tomatoes.

Meanwhile, steam the zucchini, squash, and asparagus for just a couple of minutes then transfer to mixing bowl along with spices and nutritional yeast flakes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinaigrette and mustard then pour over pasta and veggies, mixing well.

Refrigerate at least an hour.
 

While I let the pasta salad refrigerate, I enjoyed some pool lounging time. The water felt perfect on this hot, summer evening. The only way to top that off is with a nice, cool summery salad of course. I was really happy with this. I think the Dijon was a nice touch that added a little bit of thickness/creaminess to the dressing.

To-Enjoy List
  • Morning run with hubby (check)
  • Watching the sun rise (check)
  • Pool lounging (check)

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