A pasta salad can pop up from your bountiful garden

Now that summer is upon us, I?m super excited about getting to spend some time outside.

Just like every summer, I?ll be attempting to garden a bit, by which I mean I?ll be watering a bunch of tomato plants that won?t give me any tomatoes and some flowers that will be lucky to thrive through July.

To be fair, I have a very sneaky squirrel who likes to steal anything good out of my garden, but to be honest, I?m a pretty terrible gardener.

I?m going to keep trying, though, because not only am I too stubborn to give up on it, but I also love eating things I grow myself.

For those of you who are much better gardeners, I have a great recipe for pasta salad for you to try this summer as your gardens begin to overflow with deliciousness.

This recipe comes from a blog called ?The Seven Year Cottage.? I followed the directions almost completely, although I think you could substitute in any other veggies you have on hand. You can find the original post at http://thesevenyearcottage.com/2012/pasta-salad/.

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Pasta Salad

Ingredients

1 pound rotini pasta (I used whole grain)

1 green pepper (seeded and diced)

1 cucumber (peeled, seeded and diced)

3 Roma tomatoes (diced)

1 cup shredded carrots

2 cups fresh broccoli florets

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used mild)

6-ounce can black olives (drained)

16-ounce bottle Italian salad dressing (I used zesty, fat-free)

Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Directions

Boil a pot of salted water. Add pasta and cook until it?s al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to cool off.

Combine the pasta and other ingredients in a large bowl (This makes a ton of salad. I ended up using a large pot to stir mine because my bowl was overflowing.). Stir everything together gently.

Refrigerate a few hours or overnight.

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This turned out really well, and while it was delicious when I first made it, it was even better once it sat in the refrigerator overnight.

Hopefully, you?ll have plenty of plants to harvest this summer, and even if you don?t, we?re extremely blessed to have some great farmers markets in our area, so at least you can be like me and take advantage of others? green thumbs.

And if anyone is in need of a veggie-loving squirrel, I have one I?d love to give you.