Pasta salad with vegetables and feta cheese…

by Sunita on June 7, 2007

As the kids grow, so do the challenges…when I come to think of it, the challenge to do well in their studies seems such a small part of their growing up, in fact the easiest if I may say so… to grow up into good human beings is the greatest… And while taking up this challenge, there are so many hurdles to face…sometimes I wonder if I, myself, will be strong enough to hold their hands and guide them along.

Once the kids start school, they are away for most parts of the day surrounded by who else, but their friends and teachers. Throughout the day, they have to cope with their peers… talking of friends, when they are at a younger age, they seem to change friends more quickly…hand in hand with one today and at war with the same the next. It used to bother me at first, but time has taught me that it’s a part of growing up. So, now, whenever Rengoni comes and tells me so and so has been horrible to her and did not play with her and that she hates her, I try to turn a deaf ear because I know that a couple of days later, she’ll be inseparable from that same child, holding hands, hugging each other as if there had never been anything wrong in the first place.

Needless to say, I was taken aback a bit today…as usual, I was in the kid’s school, waiting for the bell to ring, when one of Rengoni’s classmate’s mom rushed up to me and complained that her daughter had been told by mine not to play with her and that she did it three times till date.

Now, I totally empathise with the lady, as , of course, she was a mom too, with the best interests of her child at heart. I lightheartedly told her that I hear such complaints all the time and that I’ll have a word with Rengoni. But she was egging me on and I took the bait and questioned the accused if she had been guilty of doing such a thing and told her not to repeat it. The bell had rung, she was lining up, I handed over her bag…it was at such a moment that she was literally in tears and asked me ‘what about when C (one of her friends!) was nasty to me’…that was it…I could not have another word with her as her class had to go in, but somehow, that question has been burning inside me the whole day…did she mean that just like the other mom, why did I not fight her cause when her friends were not nice to her…but then, to justify myself, I had always thought that it was always better to let kids solve petty problems among themselves and opted not to interfere…at the rate that I receive complains from my eldest, I should be having a word with every other mother every other day!!! I was a bit heavy hearted to see her start the day in tears…she enjoys school and has never made a fuss about that…maybe I should have waited till the end of the day…but again…if anyone said that parenting is easy, I’d really like to have a very good word with that person!!!

Now that I’ve lightened the burden tugging at my heart( I said lightened, not made it disappear, though), it’s time for an equally light meal…cold pasta salad with feta cheese on a warm night…it was a really light meal a couple of days ago when it was hot enough to cool things down a bit…it’s very quick and easy and with a very light dressing and was filling as well…
What’s needed-

300 gms of pasta(I used the smaller variety)
150 gms of feta cheese, cubed
7-8 cherry tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
1/2 cucumber, cut into thin strips
1C sweetcorn
3-4 stalks of asparagus, chopped

For the dressing-

1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tblsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

How to-

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Drain the water and save aside.

Boil the carrots and asparagus till very slightly tender.

In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for dressing.

In a big bowl, mix all the vegetables(fresh and boiled), the pasta and the cheese.

Add the dressing and toss well.

That’s it! Serve in bowls and enjoy! We did, as it was a really cool dish on a warm night. The flavours were there in every bite, but were not overpowering.I liked the dish well enough to send it over to Ruth for Presto Pasta Night

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mishmash ! June 7, 2007 at 6:30 pm

On one aspect I agree with u here , i.e, when you write down your thoughts , it does take out lots of stress from you…..



2 sunita June 7, 2007 at 6:34 pm

Shn, you’re right…better than bottling it all up…glad you came over…


3 Asha June 7, 2007 at 6:40 pm

Sunita,great salad recipe.You could send this to MBP Going lite too.Colorful and yummy.Thanks.


4 sunita June 7, 2007 at 6:48 pm

Asha, thanks…btw, this is my own recipe, so do you think I can send it…


5 Sandeepa June 7, 2007 at 6:54 pm

Good that you gave us a glimpse. I too think that kids should sort out such problems on their own without the parents butting in, unless of course there is some bullying or something.
Kids get hurt easily and forget fast too.

The pasta salad looks very sumery


6 sunita June 7, 2007 at 7:16 pm

Sandeepa, sometimes one just can’t stop questioning oneself as to whether the right thing has been done…

…nice to have you over…


7 Vini K June 7, 2007 at 8:25 pm

Oh Dear Sunita,I sure understand your concerns regarding parenting.My 3 yr old is giving me plety of glimpses into how difficult it is going to be raise her into a good human being.Me and my friends always keep discussiong that kids should be left on their own to solve their problems but it is so hard to see injustice done to your child!:)I am glad you feel lighter after writing down your feelings..the salad looks great,light and yummy,perfect for a light summer dinner


8 sunita June 7, 2007 at 8:53 pm

Vini K,parenting throws so many challenges at us, doesn’t it…something new every day…

Glad you liked the salad…nice to have you over…


9 Richa June 7, 2007 at 9:03 pm

the salad looks wonderful in all that natural light :) such a quick thing to put together. you penned that thought very well! btw, can’t refrain from asking you after reading ur comment, have you gotten’ a chance to go see wimbledon any time? take care!


10 sunita June 7, 2007 at 9:25 pm

Richa, thanks…talking of Wimbledon, no, we’ve never had that opportunity…what with two kids tugging along…you know what, some of our friends had to camp in front of the gates the night before a match…can’t imagine doing that with my little ones in tow…


11 Richa June 7, 2007 at 10:14 pm

oh! why is that, the camping out whole night i mean? out here i buy the tkts online and they are numbered, so no such thing is reqd! Every section has different entry points so it’s pretty methodical. surprising that there isn’t a numbering system there for such a huge event.


12 Roopa June 8, 2007 at 1:24 am

i agree with you kids shd resolve issues on their own. ITs really challenging to face the ups and downs of parenting. Its feels better after writing it down. The salad looks great !


13 sunita June 8, 2007 at 5:29 am

Richa, the queues are for the tickets themselves…there’s such a huge demand for them, a part of them are sold in advance through a public ballot and for the tickets that can be purchased on that day,the queuing starts right from the previous day.


14 sunita June 8, 2007 at 5:30 am

Roopa, thanks, yes parenting is by no means less challenging…nice to hav you over…


15 Sia June 8, 2007 at 9:44 am

nicely written down suni… i donno what to say as i dont have a kid right now… parenting can be little challenging and i am sure u r doing a wonderful job there:) so all i can give u right now is a tight hug and i hope everything will be sorted out pretty soon:)
love the pasta… very lite and colourful…


16 sunita June 8, 2007 at 10:15 am

Sia, make hay while the sun shines…once you have kids, the test begins…I hope I have’nt put you off…coming to think of it, the happier moments far outshine them…

thanks for coming over…


17 indosungod June 8, 2007 at 10:46 am

Sunita, I too believe that kids should sort their problems only when we adults butt in it becomes something more than a kids fight but then again it is not an easy judgement Parenting call to make. So we win some lose some.

Was little daughter happy with the Pasta, it looks very cheerful and colorful.


18 sunita June 8, 2007 at 11:08 am

Indosungod,thank you so much for those words…

And yes, she was happy with the dish…


19 Ruth Daniels June 8, 2007 at 11:44 am

Sunita, the pasta really does look like it can brighten anyone’s day..even a sad little child.

It is hard to stand by and watch our children deal with challenges and hurts of every kind. My daughters have grown to be fine women, but I do remember my own torment in those formative years.

Now my older daughter has a 5 month old son, so I’ll get to watch the process all over again, this time from the side-lines.

Thanks for sharing the dish with Presto Pasta Night.


20 sunita June 8, 2007 at 11:56 am

Ruth, welcome to my world…these formative years are so crucial , aren’t they…you, of course will know better…nice to have you over

As for the dish, you’re most welcome…


21 trupti June 8, 2007 at 1:11 pm

Hi Sunita,

wow…I can understand your point, its never easy when your own child feels that you “could have said or done something better” than what you did…I know that look. Its a challenge indeed..but we learn, and so do the kids. Take heart my dear, this is a bumpy road.

your pasta salad is interesting, I love the tangy feta kids won’t go near it, even with a 10 foot pole, they think it stinks to high heavens and have some choice words to describe how it exactly smells..but I won’t share that here. :)


22 sunita June 8, 2007 at 1:46 pm

Trupti, that ‘look’ is so unnerving, isn’t it…

btw, I think my kids are really cheesy…I mean with regard to their love of cheese… although they didn’t mind cheese anytime, I was a bit hesitant at handing the feta cheese to them and I still remember the first time I did so, wondering whether they would like it or not, watching their faces to catch any signs of grimace…but you know what, they ended up asking for more, since then they’ve never complained and ask for a bit if they see me making something with it…now, aren’t they cheesy…


23 Cynthia June 8, 2007 at 3:51 pm

Sunita, my friend, I am not a parent but I think that your approach to it was the right one, I am saying this based on what I have always heard my mom say: Don’t get involved when children have their little disagreements, the next day, just like you said, they would be hugging and playing as if nothing ever happened. Unfortunately, not all parents recognise this and that is why the other child’s parent responded to you that way.

Granted, as you say, maybe you should have waited until the end of the day to speak with your child but then who said that there is a right time and a perfect time to do these things… there isn’t life is not perfect or set in any way.

You are doing a great job as a parent and with it comes some degree of unreasonable-ness by others but you are strong and your instinct will guide you to deal with these situations.


24 sunita June 8, 2007 at 7:09 pm

Dear Cynthia, have you ever thought of being a councellor…you’ll be great at it…thank you so much for the encouraging words…and yes, there never is a correct time or place for anything…


25 Dumela June 13, 2007 at 2:51 pm

hmmm, sunita… I have a 1 year old and i want him to be good human being and teach him good things… and i know its going to be so difficult/challenging….

i dont know but….contrary to what everyone is saying…I would hate to leave my child thinking I dont support/back her… and maybe i would talk to her to teach her how best she can sort out the matter on her own… Just my point of view here…


26 Dumela June 13, 2007 at 2:52 pm

oh i meant to tell you what a lovely salad recipe you have here :D


27 sunita June 13, 2007 at 5:54 pm

Dumela, boosting your child’s confidence is very important…I did have a talk with with Rengoni after she came back from school regarding all this…it really amazes me sometimes as to how reasonable they sometimes turn out to be…we tend to underestimate them because of their age…nice to have you over…


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