Grandma’s Pasta Salad (with a twist!)


My grandma has always made that kinda pasta salad you can’t stop eating. I decided to take her delicious recipe and not only make it healthier with whole wheat, but also a meal in itself with more protein.

The core ingredients are solid, but for the seasoning, feel free to get creative with measurements. Check out what’s in your spice cabinet. Maybe you’re more of a sweet kind of gal, so a dash of sugar may do the trick for you. Or try different kinds of mustards. Make this dish your recipe with the seasonings.

Always remember, when possible, buy organic, fair trade and free range from a trusted retailer!


  • 9 oz whole grain pasta
  • 12 oz hardwood smoked bacon
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 pickle spears
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 6 slices roasted red pepper
  • 3 oz black olives

Seasoning (add to taste, using as little mayo as possible):

  • Mustard
  • Mayo
  • Dill Seasoning
  • Splash of pickle juice
  • Sea Salt
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Sriracha (for a little kick!)

Cook all the bacon in a pan, flipping until crispy. When finished, turn stove off and cover.

Bring 3 quarts of water to boil, add pasta and a dash of sea salt and bring back to a boil for about 8 minutes (until pasta is al dente). When finished, turn stove off, drain and cover.

And use my mom’s foolproof hard-boiled egg method…

Put all the eggs in a pan fully covered with water that’s been salted for 10 seconds. Boil on High for 5 minutes. Finish on Medium Heat for 17 minutes. When finished, drain and fill the pan with cold water.

Then dice pickles, celery, red peppers, black olives, bacon, eggs (if you’re watching your cholesterol, remove half the yolks from the batch) and add to drained pasta.

In a mixing bowl, add mustard, mayo, salt and parmesan to taste, and try to use as little mayo as possible. Then I like to add dill seasoning and a splash of pickle juice (I’m a salty kind of gal). Then add Sriracha (I love a good kick). Then mix this seasoning into the pasta salad.

Let the pasta salad cool in the fridge for 3-4 hours and enjoy!

Makes about 8 servings.

To check out some of Jill’s artistic creations (including her blog), visit her artist website:


A lifelong foodie and experimental artist, food is probably one of my favorite things. Food is art in itself, whether nature-given or human-created, and when that art satisfies your tastebuds, it is a pleasure seeker’s dream come true. Although a Sacramento native (still trying to find the best of the best here), I spent some time living in San Francisco and India, which is (without a doubt) why healthy deliciousness, fair food and business practices, quality and authenticity (in ingredients, preparation AND presentation) and the words ‘spicy’ and ‘ethnic’ are important aspects of my foodie-ness. It is DEFINITELY possible to be madly in love with delicious food AND be healthy and beautiful. In fact, delicious food can MAKE you healthy and beautiful.