Did you know that June is not only the beginning of summer, but also National Dairy Month? Growing up in Wisconsin, dairy was very important pat of my diet (and still is.) My parents even owned a cheese shop (and yes, we sold those silly cheese heads.) I have passed on my love of dairy to the next generation. We know it is summer when I make my Any Veggie Feta Pasta Salad.
We have been changing our diet slowly to include healthier options and that includes dairy. There are a lot of healthy dairy choices. We always have low-fat cheese sticks and yogurt in the house for a dairy snack. And having skim milk with your cereal in the morning is yummy!! It’s important to me that my growing kids eat dairy on a daily basis.
Safeway Shopping Trip
We were out running errands with the whole family and it was a beautiful day. We all had the urge to cook out. To shop for the ingredients, we all headed to Safeway. Shopping with the whole family is not my first choice because we come home with a lot more food than we need. We did manage to successfully buy the meats, bread, snacks and ingredients for the pasta salad.
Here is our full shopping trip for feta cheese (dairy) and all the other yummy cook out food.
When we got home, I prepared the Feta Pasta Salad and my husband prepared the meat and did the grilling. That’s the way we prepare meals where we grill out. I do the inside work and he does the outside cooking. The kids will set the table outside. The kids are usually playing on the swingset or in the yard while we are preparing.
Any Veggie Feta Pasta Salad Recipe
- Feta Cheese (You could substitute your favorite cheese for this. I’ve used cheddar and Co-Jack cheese too. I use lo-fat cheeses.)
- Any type of small pasta (I prefer whole wheat pasta to make this a healthier meal)
- Any Veggie (Anything you have in the fridge or that is in season.)
- Black Olives
- Italian Dressing (I buy the Zesty flavor)
Add the olives, veggies and feta cheese to a large bowl. Pour in about 1/3rd of dressing bottle and mix to marinade. Let that sit while you cook the pasta. When pasta is cooked, drain and let it cool before you add the feta and veggies. Once cool, add the marinated ingredients. Taste to see if needs more Italian Dressing. Serve cold. My kids like to add Parmesan cheese to the pasta when I serve it.
When I prepare the pasta salad, I always make a lot so we will have leftovers. If you add chicken to the pasta salad, you have a full meal with a meat, dairy, carbs and veggies all in one bowl. I serve that to my kids for lunch. They enjoy eating it outside on a gorgeous day.
Pack Your Picnic With Dairy
Safeway has a really fun contest that you can participate in right now. It’s called the Pack Your Picnic With Dairy. It’s a fun game and you can win some awesome prizes at the same time.
Disclosure: This project has been compensated as part of the June Dairy program for Safeway. All opinions are 100% my own.
Let’s Talk About National Dairy Month!
Does your family include dairy in your cookouts? What types of recipes do you prepare with dairy?