On twitter a posted Kyle’s favorite dish I make which is a Tex Mex pasta salad. There was a huge response from you guys about it so I wanted to share this delicious and easy recipe.  It is kind of a funny story how this dish came about.  Kyle and I were in Daytona in July for the races and it was beyond HOT! Kyle had been in the cars practicing all day and was starving but wanted something cold.  He said he didn’t want a salad or a sandwich so I had to get creative.  I raided the fridge and found some lean ground beef and peppers and it started from there.  I cooked shell shaped pasta for the base and cooked the ground beef with taco seasoning.  Next, I sautéed the peppers (red, green and yellow); I added all three ingredients together and then started to get creative! I threw in black beans, diced tomatoes and some olives.  I then added ranch dressing and salsa and sprinkled a Mexican blend cheese into the dish.  I mixed it all together and let it cool in the fridge.  Kyle loved it! It had carbs, protein, vegetables and fiber to keep him going throughout practice and into the race.

Since my first creation I have changed the recipe around a few times and even created a low fat version I really enjoy.  I use whole wheat pasta instead of the regular and substitute the beef with grilled chicken chunks.  I still keep all the vegetables but also add kidney beans for an extra kick of protein and fiber.  I also use fat free ranch dressing and low fat cheese in place of the regular, higher fat versions.  Salsa is always great at only 10 calories so that remains the same.

There are so many ways to add to this recipe.  It is hearty and delicious I hope you enjoy it!