Picnics might just be my favorite thing about the summer months. For us, it’s a special tradition that we share when the weather is warm and the sun stays out late. You see, my husband often works late but gets a break for dinner. Instead of having him make the drive home during rush-hour to grab a quick bite only to have to him run back to the office, we like to meet him for a picnic in the park near to his office! I’ve collected quite the array of picnic must-have recipes since we began doing this. We started with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, of course, but I’ve become quite the picnic culinary artist if I do say so myself, and my favorite dish to bring to our little family get-togethers is this Pasta Salad with Fresh Tomatoes and Zucchini.

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Unlike most, this pasta salad tastes super fresh and light. There’s no heavy creamy dressing weighing it down or masking its natural flavors so the fresh vegetables really shine. The added flavor of Tajín really builds upon the pasta’s essence, without overpowering it. I usually make a large batch of this pasta salad at the beginning of the week and then use it as a side dish for our picnic and as a light lunch for the kids later in the week. If I want to use it as a main dish, I simply add a little protein with some canned fish or chicken or even some basic beans. This salad is so crisp and fresh that both the husband and the kids just love it and I love it too because it’s easy and super healthy!

Calories: 350 per serving
Serves: 4

1 package of your choice of pasta (elbows, rotini, farfalle) prepared according to package instructions, rinsed in cold water and drained
3 fresh zucchini, sliced and diced
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
¼ onion, diced
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon parsley, diced
1 garlic clove, minced or grated
Tajín Clásico

Combine the drained pasta with the prepared tomato, onion, parsley, oil and garlic and mix well. Sprinkle liberally with Tajín Clásico.

Note: The pasta can be prepared 1 or 2 days in advance, kept refrigerated in a covered bowl or plastic bag.

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