I love to read cookbooks just like anyone else would read a novel. It’s not odd to see me curled up in the bed pouring over the pages of a good food magazine or a new cookbook while my husband catches up on his shows. Heck, the other Sunday I took one of my cookbooks to the golf course and drove the golf cart for BigBear and read through the cookbook while he played a round of golf.
Cheryl Sternman Rule’s “Yogurt Culture” got the same treatment. When my friends over at Stonyfield sent me a copy, I sat up that night looking through the book, scanning all of the details of each photo, reading over each recipe and making mental notes of the little tips that Cheryl had throughout the book.
The Frosted Mocha Cupcake (p. 251) and the Ultimate Strawberry Frozen Yogurt (p. 306) really caught my attention and got me to thinking. What else could I be making with yogurt and Greek yogurt?
Cheryl Sternman Rule has over 115 yogurt filled recipes in this book and I normally only have yogurt by itself or in a smoothie.
What’s something I could be using yogurt or Greek yogurt in?
Pasta Salad! It’s light, it’s cold, it’s refreshing and it fits into this week’s “Cookout Side Dish Theme”!
The weather has been roasting us up just a little bit lately. As normal, spring hung around for about 2 weeks and then jumped ship. Yesterday when we were ending our evening walk with the dogs it was still about 86F outside and it had cooled down quite a bit.
And it’s only going to get hotter as June, July and August are just around the bend.
But when it’s hot out I have to admit that I’m not normally up for heavy foods. I mean I’ll sacrifice my comfort for some creamy mac and cheese when it’s hot but other than that I want to live off of ice cream, frozen yogurt and anything cold.
Cold Pasta Salad is where it’s at on hot southern days! We needed dinner after our walk today and I was just fine with a big ol bowl of cold Greek Yogurt Ranch Pasta Salad!
I think it was my friend Tara that introduced me to boxed Ranch Pasta salad back when we lived at Camp Lejeune. I lived off of that stuff when BigBear was deployed that summer (he’s not big on pasta salad)
I’m still in love with the boxed kind but I’m also perfectly fine with making pasta salad without the box too. This Greek Yogurt Ranch Pasta Salad isn’t at thick and heavy as the boxed kind and I like that about it.
You can adjust the flavor to your liking and pretty much throw in anything you love!
GREEK yogurt, I used Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurt
Milk (not pictured)
Sharp Cheddar Cheese, cubed into tiny cubes
Frozen peas, thawed
Grape Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half (I used red and yellow)
Ham, cubed into tiny cubes, I used a smoked Virginia ham
So let’s make some pasta salad!
After the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta but DO NOT RINSE.
In a small bowl, whisk together the GREEK yogurt and the milk.
Whisk in the ranch seasoning. ** Here is where you’ll want to taste it and season as desired. You may want to add more ranch, or add in a few dashes of paprika, salt or pepper. I like for mine to be light and fresh so I stuck with 2 teaspoons of ranch seasoning but I do love adding paprika to it too!
|Whisk is from OXO – it’s the 9″ Whisk|
You may want to mix up a little extra dressing to “re-hydrate” the pasta salad if you store it in the fridge over night, but that’s just personal preference.
Greek Yogurt Ranch Pasta Salad
- 16 ounces rotini pasta
- 1 cup GREEK yogurt, I used Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons ranch seasoning, I used Market Spice Ranch Dressing Mix*
- 5 -8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cubed into tiny cubes
- 1 cup of frozen peas, thawed
- 15 ounces grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (I used red and yellow)
- 1/2 pound ham, cubed into tiny cubes, I used a smoked Virginia ham
Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water for about 10 minutes or until tender to you liking.
Drain pasta but DO NOT RINSE.
Pour pasta out into a single layer onto a rimmed baking sheet and let cool. Let the pasta cool while you gather the pasta salad ingredients. (Pasta will cool faster in a single layer on the tray)
In a small bowl, whisk together the GREEK yogurt and the milk. Whisk in the ranch seasoning.
Here is where you'll want to taste it and season as desired. You may want to add more ranch, or add in a few dashes of paprika, salt or pepper. I like for mine to be light and fresh so I stuck with 2 teaspoons of ranch seasoning but I do love adding paprika to it too!
Pour the pasta into a huge bowl. Add in the peas, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and ham. For the ham, I went to the local deli and had them slice me a few thick slices (it was a #9 thickness at my store)
Stir in the GREEK yogurt ranch dressing. Stir well until everything is coated.
Disclosure: I work with Stonyfield as part of the Clean Plate Club and I did received a copy of Yogurt Culture cookbook, a whisk from OXO and coupons from Stonyfield for the Greek Yogurt but as always, all opinions are 100% my own.