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What to bring to a potluck when you’re poor

Last week we had a youth staff BBQ and were supposed to bring a side or dessert. I happen to know almost everyone brings desserts, so I knew I wanted to do a side. The problem was, money is tight and I didn’t want to spend to much putting together some amazing dish to bring. So I thought about what we had from Sam’s Club. I figured since we bought things in bulk, it’d be cheaper if I used some of those items. I came up with spiral pasta, baby spinach, and feta. For inspiration, I searched foodnetwork.com and found a recipe that used all three! I tweaked it some (of course!) and dubbed it spinach pasta salad. Isn’t it gorgeous?

This does make a large bowlful. It is much better fresh, the dressing gets too soaked up after a couple days in the fridge, so if you’re not taking it to a potluck I’d suggest making a half recipe.


  • 2 cups colorful spiral shaped pasta
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.

Meanwhile, in a dry pan, toast the walnuts on medium-high 2-3 minutes.

Drain pasta and rinse with cold water until chilled. Drain well. In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, walnuts, feta cheese, onion, and spinach. In a small bowl whisk the oil, vinegar, garlic and mustard. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.

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