Sunday, April 22, 2012

Imitation is a Sincere Form of Flattery

So… I have eaten this salad twice this week:

(Image borrowed from McAlister’s Deli Website)

This is the Italian Chopped Salad from McAlister’s Deli.  In the mix: green olives, salami, provolone, roasted peppers, ham, tomatoes, onion, cucumbers, and mixed greens.  I am telling you, it is absolutely delicious.  Ever since I tried it, I have been thinking about recreating it at home.  It has the best flavors! 

Yesterday we were heading out for a picnic with friends, and I thought this would be the perfect dish to make.  I decided to put a twist on it and turn it into a pasta salad, just to change it up. 

IMG_3325 IMG_3326

pasta salad 2

pasta salad 4

I thought it turned out delicious!  I didn’t use any measurements here—I just chopped until it looked like enough.  That’s the beauty of salads—pasta or green—you can make them to your liking.

In the mix:

  • 2 boxes of macaroni noodles—cooked, drained, and rinsed with cool water
  • turkey pepperoni (I used this instead of salami to save fat grams and calories)—chopped
  • 4-5 slices of honey ham, diced
  • provolone I used about 4-5 slices-- chopped
  • Green olives, stuffed with pimentos (about 1/3-1/2 cup)—chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber—diced
  • roasted red peppers—julienned
  • carrots—about 1/3 cup chopped
  • Ken’s light Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Again—you don’t have to use these amounts.  I was preparing for about 10 people, so if you wanted to make this for yourself or your family, you could cut back on these amounts.  I didn’t add a lot of dressing—just enough to keep the pasta from sticking together and to give it a flavor boost.  I might have used 1/4 cup. 

This pasta salad has great flavor and color!  It’s perfect for a picnic or summer light meal!


pasta salad

Luckily, the weather held out for our picnic!  We were worried, because the past two years we have had rain for this event.  But thankfully, it stayed away last night!  The tailgate/picnic is the culminating event for the Come See Me Festival each year.  Unfortunately, we haven’t made it to much Come See Me this year, since we were out of town last weekend. 


We even got to watch a skydiving demo!


The kids all had fun running around and playing together, and we adults enjoyed the time to get together. At the end of the night, we enjoyed a great fireworks show! 






I think there must have been something in the air, because everyone in my house has a sore throat and Sadie and I are congested.  Must be spring allergies.  But now we’re getting some rain, so I bet that will help. 

Events like this make me look forward to summer.  It’s coming soon!!!  Speaking of summer (and imitation) I also made some lemonade cupcakes, which I will share soon!  Hopefully tomorrow!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

1 comment:

  1. So bummed I can't get that salad here, but your version with the pasta looks great. I will have to make it next time we go to a party. Pinning it! Vicky from 


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