Kale Pasta Salad

I started getting together my Thanksgiving recipes, and put this Kale Pasta Salad on the list. It’s a cold salad (I know), but it pairs well with the holiday turkey. This has become one of our favorites with grilled meats and seafood. I even add grilled chicken to it, and the kids take it to school for lunch. It’s super easy, and it makes a lot so enjoy all week long.

Bistro Pasta Salad

As you know, for the past month I have been working with CanolaInfo on its World Heart Day 2011 campaign. To help encourage families to take their health into their own hands, I developed the “Home is Where the Heart Is” Recipe Collection, which is filled with delicious, healthy and easy-to-prepare recipes that both kids and parents will enjoy.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the U.S for men and women as well as something that has affected my family directly. Unfortunately, childhood obesity has continued to grow at an alarming rate. The reason this is so disturbing is because research has shown that children who are overweight or obese are more likely to be overweight or obese as adults. Obesity is a huge risk factor for CVD but one that is preventable with diet and exercise. That is why teaching my children healthy eating habits is so important to me – and something that can start right here at home.

As a mother of three, I wholly understand the challenges of being a busy, working mom and getting healthy meals on the table – not to mention making something the kids will eat! When developing this recipe collection, I really tried to consider what would be fast, economical, healthy and delicious for the entire family, and I think I accomplished just that.

As a common ingredient in all these recipes, I chose to use canola oil. It has the least amount of saturated fat and most omega-3 fat of all cooking oils. Its versatility in cooking and baking simplify my life even more, and it’s inexpensive! This coming Thursday, Sept. 29, is World Heart Day. To celebrate, I will be hosting a Facebook Party on CanolaInfo’s Facebook page from 7-8 PM CST! I will be discussing ways to be heart-smart at home by getting your whole family involved. I hope you will share your own tips and stories as well. Ten of you will be chosen at random to receive a CanolaInfo Heart Health Toolkit. You can RSVP here.

Bistro Chicken Pasta Salad


I have been so fortunate to have made so many new friends lately that have been so helpful with my upcoming cookbook. A few weeks ago, I met Nancy Bynon, through a publisher friend of mine (thank you Sheila), and it was truly my lucky day. Nancy was one of the Editors of the “Tables of Content” cookbook for the Junior League of Birmingham. It’s an amazing cookbook-one of my all-time favorites, and many talented women of Birmingham worked hard to develop such a fabulous book. Nancy has been so wonderful to me by helping me test recipes and offering great suggestions. The night I met her, she was making a version of this recipe. It was delicious, and I told her my kids would love it. When I made it the other night, everyone was fighting over it. It is truly great and a perfect weeknight or weekend main-dish pasta salad. Thanks to all of you (you know who you are) who are have helped me out. One more month to go.

Incredible Pasta Salad: Vegetarian Pasta Salad


My kids love pasta salad, and always request it. This week my daughter, Leigh, and I threw this together. It was so delicious, fresh, healthy and gone in about 10 minutes. The photo got rave reviews on twitter and facebook when I posted it. Everyone was begging for the recipe. Here it is just in time for summer. It’s a cool and light idea when it’s so warm outside. Feel free to add cooked or grilled chicken if you like.

For the Sun-Dried tomatoes, I love “California Sun Dry Tomatoes” that come already julienne- cut.

Kid Approved: Balsamic Penne Pasta Salad


My daughter, Leigh, begged me to make penne pasta salad that she saw a friend bring to school. She called to find out what was in it, and she made up this recipe herself for Balsamic Pasta Salad. This recipe is a breeze, and the kids absolutely loved it. Feel free to add chicken or turkey and top with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.