Vermicelli Pasta Salad

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food Junkie Favorites: Vermicelli Pasta Salad! A little advance planning goes a long way whether you choose to make this a side dish or a main course. Plus, you get bonus points if it becomes your Midweek Meatless Meal. It’s easy, it’s versatile, and it’s made with fiber-filled veggies for extra crunch and flavor. Substitute ingredients to match your family’s personal cravings. On the go? Pack it in single serving jars for fuss-free options.

VERMICELLI PASTA SALAD

Ingredients:

1 pound vermicelli

1 1/2 tablespoons Accent seasoning

2 tablespoons seasoned salt

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup green pepper, chopped

3/4 cup onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups broccoli/carrot/red cabbage slaw

1 cup black olives, sliced

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1 cup mayonnaise

Instructions:

Cook vermicelli as directed on package. Rinse in cold water. Drain. Place in large bowl. Make a marinade of Accent seasoning, seasoned salt, lemon juice, and vegetable oil. Pour over vermicelli; mix well. Cover and marinate for two days, stirring once or twice. Add green pepper, onion, cut-up broccoli/carrot/cabbage slaw, black olives, poppy seeds, and mayonnaise. Mix well. Marinate overnight. Serve chilled.

Garlic Butter Mussels

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Joy of Eating: Garlic Butter Mussels! One of the best ways to experience new foods is to be adventurous at your nearby market. By trying a quality product there first, you can decide if you might want to step out and either order it at a restaurant or perhaps, attempt to make it at home from scratch. That’s exactly what I did with this version of mussels. By making subtle changes that appeal to my palate, it turned my kitchen into a gourmet restaurant. Picture this, my husband was drawn indoors by the enticing aromas of garlic and seafood. I literally stood there at the stove in my bare feet feeding him fingertip morsels of aromatic mussels and herb-infused vermicelli. Talk about romantic!!!

GARLIC BUTTER MUSSELS

Ingredients:

16-ounce package mussels in garlic sauce, frozen*

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons white wine

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

4 ounces vermicelli

Sea salt to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon capers

1/8 teaspoon basil

1/8 teaspoon marjoram

1/8 teaspoon parsley

Instructions:

Empty contents of mussels pouch into a deep saucepan and cover. Heat on high for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add butter, white wine, and garlic to increase juice. Meanwhile, cook vermicelli according to package directions. Drain. Return to pan. Add sea salt, olive oil, capers, basil, marjoram, and parsley. Mix well. Transfer vermicelli to individual serving pieces. Split mussels between them. (Serve in the shell.) Drizzle garlic butter wine sauce over all. Serve with crusty bread for dipping in juices.

*The rule of thumb for serving mussels is ALWAYS ensure mussel shells are fully opened before serving.