On Saturday morning, I decided to hop on the bathroom scales. I hadn’t weighed myself since returning from vacation, but had noticed that a favorite pair of pants were a bit snug in the waist.
I was shocked at the number that registered. I kept moving the scales around the room, thinking that, perhaps, when they were placed under a window, five pounds would disappear from the digital reading.
Those seven pounds were real.
I know it’s practically impossible to gain seven pounds in one week. That would be almost 25,000 calories, and even I couldn’t consume that much extra food. I’m guessing there was a bit of water weight from some salty Chinese food in that awful number.
But still, it was a wake-up call. The weight can certainly come back on as easily as it came off. And I aim to nip it in the bud.
So on Sunday, when my husband announced he was cooking ribs on the grill, I announced that I would be broiling some tilapia. We agreed on a pasta salad as a side dish, and I did throw some baked beans in the oven for him and son Patrick.
The pasta salad I made was from memory. It’s one I used to make years ago, only I think I used spaghetti back then. These days, I like the whole wheat penne pasta better. I picked some cherry tomatoes from our towering plant and snipped some fresh basil, and diced two small fresh mozzarella “eggs” I picked up at Kroger (they’re called bocconcini).
This pasta gets better the longer it sits. You might, however, need to add some olive oil to it after a day or so, because it can dry out a bit.
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
2 to 3 cups chopped tomato
4 to 5 ounces diced fresh Mozzarella cheese
1 cup loosely packed chopped fresh basil
11⁄2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (may need more)
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain. Combine pasta, tomato, cheese and basil in a serving bowl. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic. Pour over pasta mixture and toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.
Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal