I love pasta salad. When I started venturing into the land of Simply Filling (WW's program where you eat mostly Power Foods) it opened up new meal ideas as I didn't have to focus so much on the PPVs and more on the food itself. Because of the carbs it easy to not eat pasta very often because it costs more PPVs. Whole wheat pasta is a Power Food and included when you eat SF and pasta salad is the first recipes I turn to.
Pasta salad is one of the easiest recipes to throw together and the most easy to transport. I read suggestions on Kath's blog for making easy pasta salads:
Pasta of your choice
Protein source, mine is usually beans
Cheese, if you want but we all know cheese makes things better
Dressing, any pre-packaged dressing works great unless you want to make your own
Veggie extras, adding in bell pepper and zucchini at the end of cooking your pasta is an easy way to get in some veggies
My usual go-to pasta salad is whole wheat pasta, kidney beans, zucchini, bell pepper, and Greek salad dressing. A few months ago I wanted to get a little creative and I made a pepperoni pizza version. I made it again for our picnic at the winery concert.
In this mix: Whole wheat pasta, turkey pepperoni, black olives, green bell pepper, Monterey jack cheese (I prefer mozzarella), and dressed in light Italian dressing. It was delicious.
As far as SF goes, this salad would cost some PPVs for the cheese, turkey pepperoni, and olives. I had light dressing on hand in the pantry but if you use FF dressing you wouldn't have count that either. Counting a few PPVs for those extra is worth it to me when I don't have to count the PPVs for the pasta. Whole wheat pasta is really filling and pasta salad often holds me over for hours. Unless I am going somewhere that I need a large amount I will often just make a single serving pasta salad where I measure my extras and count the PPVs.
I'm actually thinking this pasta salad would be really good by adding some cheese tortellini and omitting the cheese. I think I'll have to look into that this week.