Seasonal Vegetables in Harvest Meals

Thursday, November 20, 2014 by News and Updates From Dreamfields

Fall produce is at its peak, with the best flavors and arguably their greatest value for delicious and hearty seasonal meals.  Carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes are harvest favorites – but consider other, perhaps less common, seasonal vegetables that add variety, nourishment and culinary interest to your Thanksgiving and family menus: Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, eggplant, Swiss chard and winter squash.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts: they look like baby cabbages!  What’s different is the way they grow.  They’re really leafy green buds that grow on a single long stalk from the small tender ones (1/2 inch diameter) to those that may be three times the size. They’re generally cut off the stalk before being readied for sale.  Why the name?  Brussels sprouts as we know them now were probably cultivated as long as 800 years ago in a region in present day Belgium that was already called Brussels.

To buy:  For tenderness, choose smaller sprouts with bright green leaves and firm, tight heads. Avoid those that are yellowing or turning a drab green.  If they’re still on their stalk, better yet!  You can store them a bit longer!

To store: Refrigerate sprouts in an airtight container for up to 3 days. With longer storage a stronger flavor may develop.

To prepare: Trim the ends; remove and discard the loose outer leaves, then clean them.  You now have options: either cut them in half or quarters, or keep them whole but make a cut through the center of the stem so heat penetrates the sprouts as they cook.  You can boil, grill, roast, sauté, steam or stir fry sprouts, but to keep their delicate flavor and aroma, don’t overcook them!  Gently separate the leaves if you stir fry the sprouts.


Recipe idea: Feature roasted Brussels sprouts with prosciutto or bacon, goat cheese and spaghetti as a main dish -- Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Pasta -- in a harvest menu.  Tip:  Roasting is simple; just drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and roast for 20 minutes.


Butternut Squash


A type of winter squash, the pear-shaped butternut squash has a sweet, nutty flavor and orange flesh that’s much like pumpkin.  Like other squash, it grows on a long, trailing vine.  

To buy: Select firm squash that’s heavy for its size, with a deep-colored, hard rind that’s blemish free. For convenience, look for pre-packaged, cut-up, raw butternut squash.

To store:  Keep whole butternut squash in a cool, dark place for a month or longer; refrigerate it if you prefer.

To prepare:  Enjoy butternut squash roasted or toasted, pureed or mashed, or halved and grilled or baked!  To prepare you can:  1) peel, remove seeds, cut up and simmer squash for all kinds of mixed dishes, 2) slice in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and bake cut side down or bake cut-side up, with butter, nuts and spices in the hollow or 3) cut in ½ to 1-inch slices and roast.

Recipe idea: Complement your Thanksgiving meal with this memorable and seasonal side dish:  Butternut Squash & Linguine.  Butternut Squash simmered in wine and garlic, tossed with cooked linguine, goat cheese (or blue cheese or Parmesan) and sage, and topped with prosciutto and perhaps toasted walnuts.  A delicious harvest dish!



Like broccoli, cauliflower is a flower; hence its name from Latin: caulis meaning stalk and floris meaning flower. And like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, cauliflower is botanically part of the brassica family.  In fact, Mark Twain recognized its upscale qualities, calling it “nothing but cabbage with a college education.”   

To buy:  Choose a firm head with crisp leaves by the stalk and compact florets; size doesn’t make a difference. While white cauliflower is most common, look for unique varieties in specialty stores:  green, orange and purple

To store:  Wrap raw cauliflower tightly and refrigerate for up to 5 days.  Once cooked, refrigerate for just 1 to 3 days for peak quality.

To prepare:  Enjoy cauliflower raw or enjoy it roasted, boiled, steamed or sautéed.  The outer leaves and stems are edible, too.  Remove the stems and break the florets into smaller pieces for even cooking or for finger food snacks.  Or steam or bake the head whole.  Cook just until soft, not mushy.

Recipe idea: Add elegance and nutrition to mac ‘n cheese -- Creamy Stove Top Cauliflower Mac n Cheese -- by blending freshly cooked, mashed cauliflower with the creamy cheddar cheese-pasta mixture. Tip:  To speed food prep time, pre-cook the cauliflower and macaroni ahead, then finish cooking just before serving time.


For more flavorful dishes -- with pasta partners – featuring other seasonal produce, check the Dreamfields recipe file.  Hint: Penne with Roasted Eggplant & Savory Mushroom Ragout could be a great side with your turkey dinner!  And Penne Rigate with Turkey, Swiss Chard and Walnuts an easy Thanksgiving dish if you’re short on time to prepare a big turkey dinner!



Pasta + Sauces: Perfect Pairings

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 by News and Updates From Dreamfields

Every month is pasta month.  That said, an October National Pasta Month celebration can spur your ingenuity and adventure for new pasta-sauce combinations.

The mild flavor and different cuts (shapes) of pasta make them perfect partners for uniquely different pasta sauces … whether you make your own sauce from scratch, buy jarred sauces or prepare the sauce in a pasta recipe.

Different Shapes, Different Sauces

Almost any sauce goes with the box of spaghetti in the cabinet.  But with the myriad sauce options, did you ever ask yourself … which pasta sauce is the best match for different pasta cuts?  Although there’s plenty of room for culinary creativity, the “long” and “short” of it is: 

  • Thicker, long  pasta (e.g. fettuccine) with heartier or creamier sauces
  • Thinner, long pasta (e.g. angel hair) with light, delicate sauces or perhaps olive oil and herbs and finely-chopped mixtures
  • Shapes, tubes, and short pasta (e.g. penne, rotini, elbows) to support chunkier, often more seasoned, sauces (perhaps with chunky veggies and meat)
  • Lasagna with its ridges and ruffles, to capture heavy sauces and cheese, in baked dishes

For more tips on pairing pasta shapes and sauces, click on How To Pair Your Pasta Shapes With The Right Sauce.

Pasta Sauces:  A Quick Reference

Thoughts of “pasta” often conjure up thoughts of the many popular sauces that make a dish so deliciously “Mediterranean.”   Many, but not all, are prepared with tomatoes (before contact with the Americas, there were not tomatoes in Europe).  Other sauces are as simple as olive oil and herbs, perhaps with some grated cheese.  This quick reference describes the ingredients … and why each popular pasta sauce is uniquely flavorful.



Dreamfields Recipe


Rich, creamy sauce of heavy cream, butter, grated Parmesan, and perhaps egg yolks, flour and garlic

Shrimp & Pasta Cheddar-Alfredo


A dish with a spicy tomato sauce with pancetta and chiles



White sauce made with flour, milk, butter and onion, often used as a sauce for lasagna and for mac and cheese



Cooked sauce made of cream, eggs, Parmesan cheese and bacon pieces

Linguine Carbonara


Spaghetti Carbonara


Typically a simple, cooked red sauce of tomatoes, diced vegetables, olive oil, and seasonings.

Basic Tomato Sauce with Linguine


No Cook Tomato Basil Sauce


Highly-seasoned, classic, cooked tomato sauce made with onions, garlic and oregano and perhaps basil, parsley, olives, other seasonings, and perhaps seafood; sometimes called neopolitan sauce 

Elbows with Prosciutto, Olives and Marinara  


Uncooked sauce of crushed ingredients: most commonly, fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan or Pecorino cheese and olive oil.  Tip:  Substitute other nuts (almonds, walnuts) or herbs (parsley, rosemary).

Sherri's Pesto Pasta


Linguini with Walnut Pesto Sauce


Roasted Vegetables with Rotini & Rosemary Pesto.


Spicy cooked sauce of tomatoes, onions, capers, black olives, anchovies, oregano and garlic, cooked in olive oil. 

Chicken Puttanesca with Spaghetti


Linguini Puttanesca


Thick, full-flavored, cooked meat sauce, often made with ground meat (sometimes pork or ham); sautéed tomatoes, carrots, celery, garlic, onion and herbs; and often enhanced with wine, milk or cream.  Sometimes called ragu bolognese

Penne with Roasted Eggplant & Savory Mushroom Ragu

Romesco sauce

Classic Spanish sauce made of ground tomatoes, red bell peppers, onion, garlic, almonds and olive oil, used in pasta dishes, over grilled fish or with poultry and stews.



Marinara sauce with a splash of vodka and cream



Pasta “Saucing” Tips

  • When preparing a pasta meal, first shop for pasta sauce or pick a sauce recipe.  Then choose the pasta cut to match. 
  • Cook pasta only until al dente, or “firm to the tooth,” so the sauce can adhere to the pasta without the pasta losing its shape or firm texture.
  • Drain hot pasta as soon as it’s cooked.  Return it to the pot with a ladle of pasta sauce; toss it gently to lightly coat the pasta.  Then add enough sauce, without overwhelming the pasta.
  • Save a little cooking water when draining the pasta.  Add a little if the pasta looks too dry with the sauce.  The starchy cooking water helps the sauce coat the pasta.  Be judicious:  just a splash will do!
  • Mound the pasta with its sauce in the center of the plate to both keep it warm longer and to keep the sauce from overflowing the plate.
  • Toss cheese just before serving – or shave some on top -- so it melts into the pasta dish without getting stringy.

Enjoy National Pasta Month!

Treat your Friends And Family To 1 Of These 7 Casual Entertaining Recipes

Friday, October 10, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Entertaining can be lots of fun. Friends and family + great food can be a recipe for good times, but can also prove to be stressful for the host.

So instead of trying to shoot for the moon why not take it easy with one of our “casual entertaining” recipes created by one of seven different guest bloggers? These delicious recipes are great for having friends or family over for a relaxed evening of food and fun.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza Macaroni and Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Pizza Macaroni and Cheese

Combine tailgate favorites buffalo wings and pizza with mac & cheese to create this outrageously delicious pasta dish.

Get the recipe!


Linguine With Meatballs, Mushrooms and Creamy Onion Sauce

Linguine With Meatballs, Mushrooms and Creamy Onion Sauce

Enjoy this easy, simple, stress-free recipe that combines the taste of lean ground beef meatballs with a creamy onion sauce and cremini mushrooms.

Get the recipe!



Creamy Garlic and Avocado Primavera

Creamy Garlic and Avocado Primavera

Imagine everything you want in a decadent cream sauce… but it’s healthier! That’s what this savory recipe offers. “Indulge” in creamy avocado, sharp garlic and scallions as well as an “Alfredo” sauce created from nonfat yogurt.

Get this recipe!



Awesome Pasta with Quick and Healthy Tomato Sauce

Awesome Pasta With Quick And Healthy Tomato Sauce

Need a quick recipe to entertain with? Then look no further. This recipe only has 12-20 minutes of total cook time and features succulent ground lamb, sweet onion, brown sugar and an easy tomato sauce.

Get the recipe!



Lasagna Rolls With Chicken Cordon Bleu And Kale Filling

Lasagna Rolls With Chicken Cordon Bleu And Kale Filling

Did you know that you can reduce the cooking time for your lasagna recipes by making lasagna roll ups instead? Well, that’s exactly what CookTheStory did to delicious results with her recipe, which features the decadence of chicken cordon bleu with the health benefits of chopped kale. Try it for yourself at your next get-together!

Get the recipe!



Dreamy Creamy Asparagus Chicken Rotini

Dreamy Creamy Asparagus Chicken Rotini

Skip having to dress up for a night on the town and instead indulge in relaxed moments with friends, casual clothing, casual food and casual conversation. Top it off with a delicious meal that combines asparagus spear tips, shredded Parmesan cheese, succulent chicken breast, rotini pasta all covered in a simple sauce.

Get the recipe!



Penne Rigate Chicken Pasta Soup Recipe

Penne Rigate Chicken Pasta Soup Recipe

Soups are often overlooked when it comes to entertaining, however, they are some of the easiest and most delicious types of meals that you could serve a large group. This recipe features succulent chicken drumsticks, crisp celery and fresh mushrooms. Enjoy!

Get the recipe!


Meatless on the Menu

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 by News and Updates From Dreamfields

October:  besides the seasonal menu shift from summer produce to autumn crops, it’s Vegetarian Awareness Month – and perhaps a chance to enjoy some Meatless Mondays or add spark to your menus with new vegetarian recipes.

Why Eat Vegetarian-Style?

There’s no single reason – and no single benefit – for those who choose a plant-based diet.   For some, vegetarian food is just a personal preference, often for the unique and delicious flavors and ingredients in many ethnic vegetarian dishes.   Others cite health, perhaps as a fitness strategy. Some have concerns about animal welfare, world hunger or the impact of animal agriculture on the environment. The lower cost of a plant-based diet motivates, especially as meat and fish prices go up.  And some people (Seventh-Day Adventists, Buddhists, Hindus, Jainists, others) follow a vegetarian eating and lifestyle for religious or spiritual reasons.

What’s the Health Connection? 

Whatever the reasons, a vegetarian eating style can have health benefits – if the foods are chosen and prepared with good nutrition in mind.  Research shows a positive link between plant-based diets and lowered risks of obesity and some chronic diseases:  heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.  Why?  Vegetarian food patterns tend to have less saturated fat and cholesterol and more complex carbs, fiber, potassium, folate, carotenoids and other phytonutrients.  Many fit-focused vegetarians also watch their calorie intake and make other healthful lifestyle choices:  regular physical activity, no smoking and moderate or no alcoholic drinks.

That said, “vegetarian” doesn’t necessarily equate to “healthier.”  Vegetarian meals can be high in calories, fat and sodium and low in fiber, calcium and other important nutrients if poorly planned.  Remember that sodas, desserts and fries may be vegetarian, but still deliver a lot of added sugars, fat and calories.  Healthy vegetarian eating focuses on nutrient-dense foods:  vegetables, fruit, lean proteins such as beans, fiber-rich grains and low-fat and fat-free dairy foods.

What nutrients may come up short?  Iron, zinc, vitamin B12, calcium and vitamin D, which come from animal products such as meat and milk; read food labels to choose foods, including fortified foods, with these nutrients.  Protein usually isn’t an issue since eating a variety of plant-based foods -- grains, beans, nuts and vegetables, and dairy foods and eggs for many vegetarians-- can provide all the essential amino acids that the body needs.   


The Menu:  What Vegetarian Style?

Lacto-ovo-vegetarians enjoy milk, cheese and other dairy foods, and eggs, as well as beans, nuts and seeds, grains, vegetables, and fruit, but no meat, poultry, or fish.  Dairy and eggs are complete proteins, with all nine essential amino acids.

Menu ideaRoasted Vegetable Macaroni & Cheese, a healthier way to prepare a traditional family favorite.  It’s made by roasting sweet red bell peppers, yellow squash, white onion, sweet potato, fresh garlic, mushrooms and broccoli florets, before combining them with Dreamfields elbows and a white cheddar and parmesan cheese cream sauce.  The sauce has eggs for a thickener (and a protein source).

Lacto-vegetarians follow a similar eating pattern but stay away from eggs and egg derivatives such as egg whites and albumin.  Many traditional pasta recipes such as Vegetable Lasagna and Healthier Mac & Cheese are made with cheese as a protein and calcium source.  For some new culinary ideas, try these pasta dishes which deliver dairy as well as a hefty amount of veggies and fruit!

Menu ideaPasta Toss with Zucchini, Beans, Tomatoes, and Feta, combines protein-rich cannellini beans with roasted tomatoes, zucchini, Dreamfields rotini and feta cheese.  Tip:  Add beans of all types – black, cannellini, kidney and more – to pasta dishes to boost the protein.

Menu ideaSpaghetti with Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Greek Yogurt Cream Sauce, a combo of trendy roasted Brussels sprouts and Dreamfields spaghetti, combined with several calcium- and protein-rich dairy foods:  Greek yogurt, goat cheese, mozzarella, and blue cheese.

Menu idea:   Roasted Vegetable Pasta Primavera from A to Z:  a colorful rainbow of roasted veggies -- asparagus, bell pepper, broccoli, carrots, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, peas, shallots, yellow squash and zucchinis – tossed with Dreamfields spaghetti, fresh parmesan, pine nuts and seasonings.  Variety on the plate!

Menu ideaFruit & Yogurt Elbow Salad, perfect as a main dish, breakfast food or dessert, combines yogurt, fruit, almonds and cinnamon (and perhaps mint and  honey) with Dreamfields elbows.

Vegans, or strict vegetarians, avoid animal-based foods altogether -- so no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or dairy, and no products made from them such as gelatin, lard, whey, casein, and perhaps honey (made by bees).   Protein comes from legumes (beans), nuts, and seeds, along with grain products such as Dreamfields pasta; calcium, from broccoli, calcium-processed tofu, as well as fortified soymilk, other dairy alternatives and juice. (Note:  Dreamfields pasta does not contain egg or egg derivatives; besides being higher in fiber (5 grams per label serving) than traditional pasta, it also delivers 7 grams of plant protein per serving.

Menu idea: Spaghetti Oriental, an Asian “noodle” dish that combines Dreamfields spaghetti with peanuts stir-fried with chiles, soy sauce and lemon juice, which is then tossed with hearts of palm, cucumber, fresh mint and cilantro and lemon zest.  Peanuts deliver protein to vegan meals.

Menu idea: Sesame-Soy Edamame and Pasta Salad, a savory combination of protein-rich edamame (soybeans), Dreamfields rotini, radishes, cilantro, and green onions, dressed with pickled ginger, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar dressing.  Edamame is an excellent source of complete protein.  Garnish with sesame seeds if you’d like!

Menu idea: Sherri’s Pesto Pasta, a quick and easy dish, with a homemade pesto sauce of basil, pine nuts, olive oil and garlic, tossed with Dreamfields spaghetti.  (Tip: substitute angel hair, linguini or rotini pasta, if you prefer.)

Menu idea: Healthy Green Curry Pineapple Rotini, the tropical flavors of pineapple, coconut milk, curry and lemon grass, tossed with Dreamfields rotini, carrots and broccoli.   Choose coconut milk that’s fortified with calcium and vitamin D!


For more meatless pasta recipes, check these menu ideas from Dreamfields!  And in many of the flavorful pasta recipes that call for meat or poultry, try substituting cooked or canned beans, firm tofu, tempeh or soy burgers.



Get Heart Smart about Cholesterol

Friday, September 26, 2014 by News and Updates From Dreamfields

Did you know … more than 65 million Americans have high blood cholesterol, a serious condition that increases the risk for heart disease?   High blood cholesterol itself causes no symptoms, so many people aren’t aware that their levels are too high.  And even if your cholesterol numbers are normal now, you may have risk factors that increase your chances later on.

What ups your risk?  Some things that you can’t control: your genetic make-up, gender (until about age 50 women’s risk is lower than men’s), and age.  That said, other risk factors are within your control:  what you eat, how physically active you are, your body weight and perhaps how you handle stress.

During September, Cholesterol Education Month, take time to be heart smart – and reduce your risks for heart disease.  Start by knowing your blood cholesterol numbers.  Health professionals advise a check at least every 5 years after age 20.   For total cholesterol, less than 200 mg/dL is desirable.  Keep your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol low (below 100 mg/dL) and your HDL (“good”) cholesterol high (60 mg/dL or more).

Nutrition Counts

What you eat matters when you’re trying to keep your blood cholesterol at healthy levels.  These menu ideas from Dreamfields can help you and your family eat for heart health:

Choose healthier, unsaturated fats, such as canola, olive and other vegetable oils, in place of saturated (solid) fats, such as butter and lard.  Trim fat from meat; choose fat-free and low-fat milk and cheese.  

Fit foods with soluble fiber in:  among the sources, oatmeal, beans (e.g. black, kidney, pinto, soybeans), apples, pears, and dried plums.  Dreamfields pasta is an excellent fiber source, with 3 grams of soluble fiber and 2 grams of insoluble fiber per 2 ounces dry (about 1 cup cooked) serving; that compares to slightly more than 1 gram of total fiber for the same amount of traditional pasta. 

Eat fatty fish, such as albacore tuna, lake trout and salmon, at least twice a week.  Fatty fish are good sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. 

Fit walnuts into your menus, too, since they’re one more source of omega-3s.  In fact, enjoy all nuts, as they all deliver fiber and unsaturated fats!

Keep a Healthy Weight

If you’re overweight, losing just 5 to 10 pounds can help bring LDL and total cholesterol levels down!  Burning more calories with physical activity and limiting calories in meals and snacks is the key to weight loss. 

Get – and Keep -- Moving

Regular physical activity needs to be an important part of your daily routine:  30 to 60 minutes of moderate activity on most days (even in 10-minute chunks of time).  Being physically active lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and blood pressure, raises HDL (“good”) cholesterol and helps you keep at a healthy weight. 

Good news:  Moving more can be as easy and affordable as taking a brisk walk after dinner, working in your garden or doing exercise breaks during TV ads.  Make it a family affair!


Click the Dreamfields recipe file allows to browse for more recipes by health concern:  high fiber, low calorie, low cholesterol, low fat, low saturated fat and low sodium.

Enjoy the Pasta-bilities During National Chicken Month!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 by News and Updates From Dreamfields

September is National Chicken Month … a great time to celebrate this versatile, economical and flavorful protein choice in your family meals! 

But … before you starting cooking, here’s a bit of chicken trivia to share around the dinner table.  Did you know. . .

  • The average American eats over 80 pounds of chicken each year, more than anywhere else in the world.
  • In Gainesville, Georgia, the so-named Chicken Capital of the World, it’s against the law to eat chicken with a fork.  Chicken is finger food!
  • Chickens were first domesticated in Southeast Asia at least 4,000 years ago.
  • When cooked chicken reaches 165°F, as measured using a food thermometer, it should be safe to eat.
  • Chicken is the top protein source in the United States.

Chicken:  A Lean Protein Choice

Chicken provides protein -- and much more!  As you commemorate the month, celebrate the many other ways chicken delivers good health to your family table:    

  • High-quality protein.  Three ounces of chicken have about 25 grams of high-quality protein, the essential building blocks of bones, muscles, skin and blood, essential for growth and for cell repair at every life stage.  Protein is also a source of food energy!
  • Naturally low in fat.  Without the skin, chicken has only three grams of fat in a 3-ounce cooked portion, and it’s low in saturated fat.  With the skin on, chicken provides 8 ounces of fat per 3-ounce portion (less than fatty meats), but still eat skinless if you can.
  • Good as an iron source.  Iron often gets short-changed by teenage girls and women in their child-bearing years.  Chicken, like meat and fish, provides heme iron, important for carrying oxygen in blood to cells where energy is produced.
  • Source of other key nutrients.  Chicken’s B vitamins help your body release energy, form red blood cells, build body tissues, and help your nervous system function; vitamin B6 also helps protect against age-related memory decline.  Its magnesium helps build bones and release energy from muscles. And its zinc, among other functions, helps your immune system work properly.
  • Budget-friendly.  As a lean protein-rich option, the National Chicken Council notes that chicken costs only about $1.25 a pound.  To compare, lean beef often costs two to three times that amount.
  • Versatile partner.  Because chicken pairs easily in recipes with nutrient-dense vegetables, grain products and cheese, it’s the perfect protein food for center plate!

Chicken and Pasta:  Delicious, Nutritious Partners

Hot or cold, chicken makes a perfect protein partner for pasta in soups, salads and hot entrees.  Its mild flavor complements the savory, sweet and spicy tastes of all kinds of pasta dishes … from your family favorites to recipes for many global cuisines.  To help you celebrate National Chicken Month at your family table, enjoy these easy, affordable and flavorful recipes from Dreamfields.

Hearty pasta soups:  In nearly any pasta soup, chicken is a great meat or turkey substitute. 

  • A Dreamfields recipe favorite pairs chicken and rotini with spicy Southwest flavors:  Southwestern Chicken Rotini Soup, combined with black beans, corn and jalapeños, seasoned with onion, garlic, chile powder, cumin and oregano and topped with sharp Cheddar and cilantro.

Chilled pasta salads:  Have leftover cooked chicken?  Sliced, chopped or shredded, it’s ready to reinvent in a pasta salad.  No leftovers?  Then plan ahead and cook an extra chicken breast or two for dinner tonight for a pasta salad tomorrow.

  • Any Dreamfields pasta shape partners with sliced chicken breast in a Chicken Caprese Salad made with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella and a lemon balsamic dressing.
  • Cobb salads are perfect for lunch – especially when eggs, onion, bacon, avocado, cheese and tomato are paired with Dreamfields rotini and chopped chicken in a Cobb & Rotini Pasta Salad.
  • For a heartier meal, chicken breast, seasoned with Mediterranean spices and served over pasta salad, makes a uniquely flavorful meal.  Zatar Spiced Chicken and Pasta Salad combines chicken and penne rigate with zucchini, tomato, chickpeas, olives, hummus and parsley.  (Zatar is a Middle Eastern spice blend often made with marjoram, oregano, salt, sesame seeds, sumac and thyme.)

Hot pasta entrees:  Because they blend with so many ingredients and seasonings, both chicken and pasta are common ingredients in recipes around the world.  Enjoy these recipes inspired by a few popular destinations.

  • Chicken pairs well with pasta and tropical flavors.  Hawaiian Islands Chicken Pasta combines chunks of chicken and Dreamfields angel hair pasta with pineapple, green pepper, carrots, onion and a soy-sesame-ginger sauce.
  • Pasta, often prepared with chicken, is a mainstay of Italian dishes, such as Chicken Puttanesca with Spaghetti.  Prepared with seasoned chicken thighs, diced tomatoes, black olives, anchovy fillets, capers, garlic and more, this recipes offers a traditional way to enjoy Dreamfields spaghetti!
  • Chicken can go Tex-Mex, too.   For a favorite family meal, try Taco Spaghetti, prepared by tossing Dreamfields spaghetti with cooked ground chicken, flavored with fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder and perhaps chipotle or jalapeños, and topped with Cheddar.

For more easy-to-prepare pasta dishes with chicken as a lean protein ingredient, check the many delicious and healthful recipes from Dreamfields.


Enjoy A Cool Pasta Salad With A Kick

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Experience the tasty combination of spicy and cool with our latest Pastapalooza IV winner, Renee from Simi Valley, CA and her Cilantro Ranch Pasta Salad. This delicious pasta salad combines the sharp bite of cilantro with the crunch of celery, red and green bell peppers and onions, mixing in fresh olives, succulent chicken as well as creamy avocado and your favorite ranch dressing.

Cilantro Ranch Pasta Salad


1 box Dreamfields Rotini
2 bunches cilantro, washed, stems removed and chopped
1 can sliced olives
2 jars Herdez mild salsa, drained
1 large can chicken breast meat, drained and mashed
1 red bell pepper, cleaned and diced
1 green bell pepper, cleaned and diced
4 stalks celery, cleaned and diced
1 onion diced, or onion powder to taste
Black pepper to taste
1-2 avocados, peeled and cut into cubes
1 jar ranch dressing, suggest buttermilk ranch


Cook the pasta, checking at 2 minutes before the listed cook time to make sure it is not getting to soft. Drain in a colander and then fill your pasta pot with ice/cold water and put the hot pasta back into the pot to cool. When cool, drain again.

In a large bowl, mix the chicken, cilantro, salsa, olives, celery, onion as well as the red and green peppers. Add the pasta and avocado tossing before serving.

School Sports Fans: It’s Time to Tailgate!

Friday, August 29, 2014 by News and Updates From Dreamfields

Are you a fan of collegiate sports?  Or out to support your kids’ school team?  Either way, a pre-game tailgate party with family and friends offers a delicious and healthy way to cheer your team to victory.  For community and school sports fans, the comradery that comes with tailgating – before and after game time -- builds team support for the long run.

The idea of tailgating likely started, according to the American Tailgating Association, when groups of civilians from both sides of the Civil War congregated with food and drink to cheer their “team” on during the 1861 Battle of Bull Run (albeit with some danger attached).  As a sports tradition, credit for tailgating often starts with the first intercollegiate football game in 1869 between Princeton and Rutgers – with Rutgers’ fans sporting scarlet-colored scarves and grilling sausages at the “tail end” of a horse, hence the term “tailgating.”   Others credit Ivy League schools whose small parking lots required spectators to arrive several hours before game time to get a spot and so pass the time with food and fun.  Another theory:  tailgating came from the popular early 1900s custom of socializing with food after church before walking to a local baseball game.

Whatever the true history – and whether it’s a pre-game celebration for your local school or community athletics, collegiate sports, or even a professional team -- tailgating has become a spirited tradition.  Decked out in team colors and attire, fans transport all kinds of gear to the game site:  grills, music, tents, face paint, games like cornhole and ladder ball -- and coolers filled with food and drinks! 

So, school sports fans … a short list for creative, health-smart tailgating:

Make your own game plan:   1) If you’re a regular tailgater, keep a packing checklist of essentials; besides utensils, plates, grill equipment, cutting board, hot pads and clean-up towels, remember hand sanitizer, insect repellent, water for hand washing, sun block, etc. 2) Make a menu with reasonable amounts of food; uneaten perishable foods should be tossed if they sit out too long (one hour at 90°F or more, two hours otherwise).  3)  Prep ahead.  For example, make No Cook Tomato Basil Sauce ahead to toss with cooked Dreamfields penne rigate at your pregame meal.

Score with a great main dish:  1) Make a chilled main dish salad your star player: perhaps Steakhouse Pasta Salad, Spanish Charcuterie Pasta Salad (with ham and chorizo) or Cobb & Rotini Pasta Salad (with chicken).  2) When the weather starts to chill, fill a thermos with soup; try a hearty Southwestern Chicken Rotini Soup. 3)  Plan to grill –and not just burgers and hot dogs; try kebobs, vegetables (eggplant, portabella mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper brushed with olive oil), chicken breasts, you name it!  Tip:  for Southwest Grilled Chicken and Corn Pasta Salad, you can make the salad ahead and grill the chicken as you tailgate!


Make food prep more than a spectator sport.  As part of the planning, divide up the menu if you tailgate with a group.  Grilling?  Ask the “master griller” to take the lead as MVP of your meal. 

Remember the side lines:  1) Match a flavorful pasta side dish with grilled, tailgate mainstays:  a Spicy Caprese Pasta Salad served with chicken wings; BLT Pasta Salad served with burgers; or Elbow Macaroni Salad (Insalata di Gomiti di Pasta) served with brats.  Keep chilled until serving time.  2)  Pack whole fruit – it’s easy!

Keep fans hydrated:   In hot weather, pack your cooler with plenty of chilled drinks:  perhaps several kinds of canned juices for a tailgate mix-and-match juice bar and plenty of water. When the temperature chills, a thermos of hot cocoa, hot cider and hot soup hits the spot.

Stay within the safety zone:  1)  Keep cold foods (such as pasta salads, dips, hot dogs, meat patties, raw veggies) in a clean, insulated cooler chilled with ice or frozen cold packs. Pack the cooler with 75 percent food and 25 percent ice or frozen cold packs.  2)  Keep hot foods hot in another insulated carrier to serve right away.  Wrap any hot dish (such as Vegetable Lasagna, Spaghetti Pizza, casseroles, baked beans) in heavy foil and then several layers of newspaper, or pack into an insulated casserole cozy that will preserve heat.  3)  Separate!  Pack cold, uncooked meat or chicken in a separate insulated cooler from ready-to-eat food.  4)  Pack a food thermometer if you grill; cook to at least 145°F for steaks and chops, 160°F for beef burgers and 165 ºF for turkey burgers, medium steaks, or pork, 165°F for chicken breasts, wings and thighs.    

Share with your fans.  Bring enough food and drinks to share with fellow tailgaters.  Swapping food and recipe ideas with new friends is part of the fun! 

Organize more winning “plays”:  For children who need a diversion as their siblings compete, pack some lawn games, too.

Clean up the field.  Remember to bring strong garbage bags!  If there’s no place to discard your trash, dispose of it at home later.

Enjoy, as you cheer your team to victory!

For more back-to-school tips -- Back to School: Suppers for a Smart Start! -- from Dreamfields, click here.


How To Make Back To School Meals A Snap

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

With August here, summer starting to wind down and vacations end we all have to start to look ahead to getting ready for school. As we transition from a relaxed schedule of cookouts, picnics and events to the hectic school year routine of practices, after-school activities and mounds of time-consuming homework routines become important once again.

With that in mind, here are a few strategies to make having mealtime with your family easier.

Plan ahead of time. Planning menus a week at a time helps you stay ahead. This can be made even easier if you incorporate ways to use yesterday’s leftovers into the next meal.

Stay well stocked with quick-to-fix-foods. Keeping things like pasta, rice, canned beans, frozen and canned vegetables, pasta sauce, deli meats, cheese and other basic ingredients on hand for quick, emergency meals help you close the gaps when things don’t go as planned or you’re going to deal with a time crunch.

Pre-prep ahead of time. The night before cook taco meat or other ingredients before you make the full meal, prepare pasta sauce, shape meatballs or turkey patties, clean and slice vegetables or anything else you can think of.

Create do-it-yourself assembly meals. Make individual mini-pizzas using everyone’s favorite toppings; or create a home-cooked taco bar, with soft tortillas and crisp taco shells; you can also make macaroni and cheese with an selection of “add-ons”, such as sun-dried tomatoes, chopped ham, smoked turkey, chopped herbs or steamed veggies.

Make one-dish meals. Sometimes single dish meals can be real time-savers. Put all your ingredients into a meal such as a lasagna that is layered with cheese, meat sauce, and baby spinach; risotto with seafood, Swiss chard, and cheese, or stir-fry vegetables and tofu, tossed with rotini. All you have to add is salad, bread or a meat entree (if you desire).

Use ingredients that can be used in multiple meals. For example, cook double batches of meat sauce for spaghetti one day and sloppy Joes a few days later. Extra grilled chicken breasts from one night’s meal can make a great chicken pasta salad another night or be turned into grilled chicken wraps for lunch.

Get your kids involved. Simple food prep tasks, such as tossing salads, mixing ingredients, pouring beverages, or setting and clearing the table are tasks that most kids can handle. Having “all hands on deck” during preparation you it’s possible to have more time for your family to spend together at the table.

Keep a collection of quick-to-fix recipes that your family enjoys.  If a recipe is a hit, plan to make it again.

Create An Easy Pesto Pasta Salad

Friday, August 22, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Congratulations to Toni Ann from Manahawkin, NJ. Her Romaine Over Pesto Pasta Salad is incredible! This easy pasta salad uses a food processor to create your very own romaine pesto made from fresh Romaine lettuce, sharp lemon zest, parmesan cheese, pecans and extra virgin olive oil. This is then combined with chopped tomatoes and Dreamfields elbow macaroni for a simple, but delicious pasta salad. Enjoy!

Romaine Over Pesto Pasta Salad


3 Cups Romaine Lettuce, washed and chopped
1/2 Cup Pecans
1 Lemon, zested and juiced
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Chopped Tomatoes
8 Oz. Dreamfields Elbow Macaroni
Salt and Pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil, then add the lemon juice to boiling water. Add the Dreamfields Macaroni and cook according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, add all the lettuce, pecans, lemon zest, parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil to the food processor and blend till smooth.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the tomatoes and toss with the hot pasta.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.

How To Get Kids Excited About Dinner

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Want to get your kids excited about dinner time? Then get them involved in preparation. Here are some ideas on how to get them involved.

1. Have them set the table.

While, not necessarily a new idea, it’s still one worth mentioning. Letting kids set the table makes them feel like it’s more of an event. You can heighten their excitement by allowing them to pick out their own place mats or make a personalized one during craft time.

2. Let them wash the veggies.

Getting kids to eat their veggies can often prove to be difficult, especially when you’re trying to please everyone. Have them pick out their favorites at the grocery store then let them help prepare the veggies by washing them.

3. Have them help with seasoning.

Seasoning is an easy part of dinner that kids can help with (and you can still easily control). Pre-measure your seasonings then let the kids add them.

Greek Style Shrimp and Pasta Salad

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Greek Style Shrimp and Pasta Salad

by Robin S

Greek Style Shrimp and Pasta Salad

12-ounce box pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked
8 ounces feta cheese, drained and cut into small cubes
1 large cucumber, peel, seeded, and diced large
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1 medium orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
3/4 cup Sicilian Style Pitted Olives, quartered
3/4 cup Kalamata Pitted Olives, halved
1/2 cup sliced peperoncini peppers
1 (11.5 ounce) bottle prepared, refrigerated Greek Vinaigrette Dressing *
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning

Combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with Greek dressing. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
* I used Marie's refrigerated dressing.

A Quick Pasta Salad Recipe For Your Busy Summer Days

Sunday, August 17, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Enjoy a sweet cool pasta salad that is easy to make and will wow your family. Phyllis sent us this great recipe that takes sweet roasted red peppers and mixes them with the bite of red onion and sharp cheddar cheese, the slight saltiness of Genoa salami and chick peas as well as fresh black olives. Great for those summer days where you‘re in a rush. Enjoy.

Cold Pasta Salad Medley


Dreamfields penne or elbow pasta.
Olive oil
Grated cheese
Red onion, sliced thin
Genoa salami, Julienned
1 can Chick peas, drained
Marinated artichoke hearts
Red pepper, roasted and sliced
Black olives, sliced
Sharp cheddar cheese, chunked
Basil, cut into strips


Boil Dreamfields penne or elbow pasta, set aside and leave at room temperature.

Toss the pasta with a little olive oil, grated cheese and black pepper. Mix in thinly sliced red onion, Julienned slices of Genoa salami, chick peas, marinated artichoke hearts, sliced roasted red peppers, black olives and chucks of sharp cheddar cheese. Toss together until well mixed and serve at room temperature. Garnish with strips of fresh basil.

For the Freshest Flavor: Harvesting Home-Grown Veggies and Herbs

Saturday, August 16, 2014 by News and Updates From Dreamfields

The vegetables and herbs you so gently planted last spring are ready to harvest and enjoy!  For their best qualities, harvesting your crops at the right time and with the proper technique is as important as nurturing their growth.  When young and tender, most deliver their peak flavor.

For a handful of popular home-grown vegetables and herbs, you’ll find some harvest tips below … along with recipe ideas that can be prepared with the products from your garden (or seasonal produce from your local farmers’ market, pick-your-own farm or produce department).


To harvest:  Harvest carrots when they’re about 1 to 2-inches in diameter. You’ll see the orange top reach out of the ground; the leaves will be a dark green.  Tip:  Plant more in late August for another harvest before the ground freezes.

Dreamfields recipe ideas:  Spaghetti Primavera (prepared with garden-fresh carrots, red bell pepper and zucchini).


To harvest:  Break off the outer leaves.  Since they grow continuously, you can keep harvesting throughout the growing season!

Dreamfields recipe ideas:  Garden Market Pasta Salad with Smoked Trout (prepared with garden-fresh chard, carrots, sugar snap peas, tomatoes); Penne Rigate with Turkey, Swiss Chard and Walnuts (prepared with garden-fresh chard and onion).


To harvest:  Cut (don’t pull) cucumbers from the vine at any time, but before they are fully mature.  The youngest cucumbers are most tender.  

Dreamfields recipe ideas:  Penne all’Oriental and Spaghetti Oriental (prepared with garden-fresh cucumber, hot Thai peppers, mint and cilantro).

Green (Snap) Beans

To harvest:  Pick while still thinner than a pencil, which is before they reach their mature size.  When harvested young, green beans have a fresh, grassy flavor and more tenderness.  Keep picking them throughout the summer to encourage more flowering and more pods.


To harvest:  Continually pick or cut herbs back to produce more stems and leaves -- and to keep them from blooming.  Once herbs bloom, the delicate herb flavor changes.

Dreamfields recipe ideas:   Mediterranean Salad With Creamy Herb Dressing (prepared with garden-fresh basil, oregano and tomatoes).

Leaf Lettuce

To harvest:  Like chard, harvest the outer leaves.  Picking the leaves when ready for harvest extends the harvest and keeps it from bolting (producing flowery stems) as quickly.

Dreamfields recipe idea:  Salmon Pasta Salad with Mint and Lemon Vinaigrette (prepared with garden-fresh lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and mint).


To harvest:  Pick the pods for garden peas just before shelling – and when the seeds inside are round and firm, yet tender.  For snow peas, pick when the pods are full size, still flat, and the seeds only start to show (not when the pod fills out).  Pick snap peas when they’re crisp and plump.

Dreamfields recipe idea:  Lemony Spring Peas & Pasta Salad (prepared with garden-fresh green peas, sugar snap peas, greens and herbs.


To harvest: Cut sweet bell peppers when they are full size and still green – or when they change color, depending on the variety, to orange, purple, red, yellow or chocolate-brown.   For hot peppers, pick as needed; test to gauge the flavor.

Dreamfields recipe idea:  Penne Primavera (prepared with garden-fresh yellow bell pepper, carrot, broccoli, spinach and basil); Roasted Corn & Roma Tomato Salad (prepared with garden-fresh bell pepper, corn, tomatoes and basil).

Sweet Corn

To harvest:  When the tip of the cob feels full under the husk, check it for maturity.  The silks should be brown and dry; the kernels, full and firm.  If you squish a kernel, it will release a milky sap if ready.  Eat it right away for the sweetest flavor!

Dreamfields recipe ideas: Southwestern Chicken Rotini Soup (prepared with garden-fresh corn, chile peppers, onion and cilantro).

Summer Squash (Yellow Squash and Zucchini)

To harvest:   Cut squash from the vine when young and tender.  Your thumbnail should be able to break the tender skin.  Tip:  Pick squash flowers to add an edible garnish to salads.

Dreamfields recipe ideas: Quick Chicken & Veggie Spaghetti Skillet (prepared with garden-fresh zucchini, tomatoes and basil); Summer Squash with Angel Hair (prepared with garden-fresh summer squash, parsley and mint).


To harvest: Pick ripe tomatoes when they’re uniformly red – and before the stem end gets soft.  Tomatoes will also ripen off the vine, but the flavor won’t be as sweet.

Dreamfields recipe idea:  Fresh Tomato & Basil Pasta (prepared with garden-fresh tomatoes and basil); Vegetable Bounty Rotini (prepared with garden-fresh tomatoes, yellow summer squash, zucchini, onion and basil).


For tips on harvesting other garden vegetables, check the website of your state’s Cooperative Extension Service.  And for more ways to use your garden-fresh vegetables, check the recipes from Dreamfields.  (Hint: Potluck Pasta Salad suggests veggie and herb mix-ins of your choice!)



How To Roast Fresh Vegetables

Thursday, August 14, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Roast your own vegetables for a sweeter taste without adding calories.


Few things can beat the delicious, sweet taste of roasted vegetables. Roasting is a unique cooking process which concentrates and sweetens the taste of vegetables. Roasted vegetables owe their added taste to browning, caramelization and crisping.

In short, it’s a great way to add a lot of flavor without adding tons of calories, fat or sodium. The process is generally fairly quick and hands-off. Furthermore, you can often do most of your prep work before you roast.

Roasting vegetables is also a great way to take advantage of fresh vegetables from places like a farmer’s market and make them taste that much more incredible. (Visit to find a farmer’s market near you.)






Here are a few things to keep in mind when roasting vegetables:

  1. Avoid liquids. They soften any crisp edges that develop during roasting.
  2. Roast in a very hot oven (425°F). Many vegetables cook in 15-20 minutes. If roasting different kinds, start with dense veggies like squash, carrots or garlic and roast for 10 minutes. Then add tender veggies like eggplant, asparagus or broccoli and roast another 10 minutes. Stir the veggies every 10 minutes. They are done when lightly browned on the edges and tender crisp.
  3. Cut evenly. Unevenly sized pieces won't roast and brown in the same amount of time.
  4. Prepare the pan. Use a shallow baking pan. Lightly oil the bottom of the pan or line it with a sheet of parchment or aluminum foil for easy clean up.
  5. Drizzle veggies with olive oil. Toss with your favorite herbs (dried or fresh), kosher salt and ground pepper for additional flavor.
  6. Arrange the veggies in a single layer. If the vegetable pieces cover the pan sparsely arrange them more towards the edges of the pan.

To try roasting vegetables for yourself try these delicious recipes:

Roasted Vegetables with Rotini & Rosemary Pesto

Roasted Corn & Roma Tomato Salad


Baby Artichoke Heart, Sundried Tomato, Black Olive and Petite Pea Super Pasta Salad

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Try a super pasta salad featuring a medley of vegetables including succulent baby artichoke hearts, Julienned sundried tomatoes, fresh black olives and petite peas. This recipe also features the crunch of bacon bits covered in a roasted red pepper Italian dressing.

Enter your best pasta salad for a chance to win!

Super Pasta Salad


9 oz baby artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8.5 oz sundried tomatoes with herbs, drained and Julienned
6.5 oz black olives, drained and sliced
1.5 boxes Dreamfields Rotini
12 oz frozen petite peas
16 oz bottle of Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian Dressing
8 oz Cabot 50% light cheddar cheese, cubed
3 oz bacon bits
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste


Prepare ingredients.

Add the pasta to boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Pasta will not be fully cooked. Drain the pasta, do not rinse and place in a large bowl.

Add the frozen peas and 3/4 of the salad dressing, stirring to coat.

Add the remaining ingredients. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Cover and chill for 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from the refrigerator, stir and add additional salad dressing if necessary. Serve.

Return To The Mediterranean With This Shrimp Pasta Salad

Sunday, August 10, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

We return to the Mediterranean for our next Pastapalooza IV winner Robin, from Tampa with her Greek Style Shrimp and Pasta Salad. This pasta salad features succulent plump shrimp, sweet grape tomatoes and orange bell pepper, fresh cucumber, Sicilian styled pitted Olives, Kalamata pitted olives along with the creamy flavor of feta cheese and the bite of pepperonicini peppers. This unique pasta salad will be sure to surprise and wow your friends and family at your next social gathering.

Enter for your own chance to win a free case of pasta.

Greek Style Shrimp and Pasta Salad


1 box Dreamfields Rotini or Penne Pasta
1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked
8 ounces feta cheese, drained and cut into small cubes
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced large
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1 medium orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
3/4 cup Sicilian Styled Pitted Olives, quartered
3/4 cup Kalamata Pitted Olives, halved
1/2 cup sliced pepperoncini peppers
1 (11.5 ounce) bottle prepared, refrigerated Greek Vinaigrette Dressing (suggest Marie’s)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning


Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with the Greek dressing. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning.

Salad may be served immediately after preparation, but is better if allowed to refrigerate for a day.

Tips On How To Change Up Your Pasta Salad

Friday, August 8, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Looking for a few more ideas of how to create an amazing pasta salad for this year’s Pastapalooza IV contest? We’ve got some additional ideas to help inspire you to create a delicious and different pasta salad. 

For Starters Why Not Get Tropical With Your Pasta Salad?

Usually, when most of us think of pasta salad we immediately start reaching towards the vegetable drawer in our fridges. However, ever you ever considered taking a detour and tried a pasta salad that in infused with summer fruit? Instead of filling your pasta salad with veggies, try a colorful combination of sweet-ripe fruits like pineapple, strawberry, mango or kiwi with your favorite pasta. Even better many of these tropical fruits are extremely tasty when you throw them on the grill to bring out their sweet flavor.

Savor Your Salted Meats

You can add a lot of flavor to your pasta salad by adding any of your salted meats. Perk it up with the rich flavor of strips of salami, bits of prosciutto, pieces of ham or a few crumbles of bacon.

Give Your Pasta Salad A Boost

Add this superfruit to give your pasta salad a hefty healthy punch. Avocado is known for it’s rich, buttery texture, but it also contains a number of essential nutrients and monounsaturated fats.

Go Green

A natural choice for most pasta salads, adding green vegetables can be as easy as grabbing a handful of your favorite and just tossing them in. Whether you prefer them raw or cooked along with the pasta is up to you. To enjoy them cooked, just add them to the pasta pot during the final two minutes of cooking, then drain and cool them along with the pasta for a tender-crisp texture.

Get Fresh (With Your Herbs)

Add both color and flavor to your pasta salad with fresh herbs. They can come from your local farmer’s market or even your backyard garden.

Create Your Own Light Dressing

It’s possible to create your own dressing that is healthier than your standard heavy cream dressing by mixing a number of lighter ingredients together. Here are a few ideas that you can use.

  • Buttermilk, reduced fat mayo, minced garlic (or garlic powder) and Italian seasoning
  • Plain nonfat Greek yogurt, honey, grainy mustard and lemon juice
  • Light mayo, light sour cream, lemon peel, coarse ground black pepper and fresh herbs

Enjoy A Taste Of The Mediterranean This Summer

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Looking for something that’s a bit different? How about a pasta salad that takes more than a spoonful of inspiration from the Mediterranean? That’s exactly what our recent Pastapalooza IV winner, Jodi, did with her Greek Fields Pasta Salad. This delicious dish incorporates many Greek ingredients included crumbled feta cheese, fresh black and Kalamata olives, chick peas, green and red bell peppers along with the sharpness of red onion before covering it all in a tasty Greek vinaigrette. Try it for a change of pace this summer.

Greek Fields Pasta Salad


1 Box Dreamfields macaroni or rotini
1 can pitted black olives
1/2 jar of pitted Kalamata olives
1 tub of crumbled feta cheese
1 bottle Greek vinaigrette
2 cups celery hearts with leafs, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup green peppers, chopped
1 cup red peppers, chopped
1 can chick peas, rinsed
1 seedless cucumber, diced


Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Cool.

Mix all the ingredients with cooled pasta then chill for an hour before serving.

Asian Style Pasta Salad by Marci C

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Asian Style Pasta Salad
by Marci C   


1 box Dreamfields Linguine
approx. 10 snow peas, cut in strips
1 carrot, cut Julienne style
1/2 cup celery, cut diagonally
1 red pepper, cut in strips
1/2 cup sesame ginger salad dressing
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. toasted sesame seeds

Break pasta in half. Cook according to box. While pasta is boiling, prepare vegetables. Rinse pasta with cold water and drain. Place in a large bowl and toss all ingredients together. Allow flavors to blend for at least 3 hours. Garnish with sesame seeds. ENJOY!