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Quick and Easy DIY Car Air Freshener Hack

I use a vent clip air freshener in my car keep the inside of my car from stinking up the joint in between cleanings. My personal go-to is t his Fabreeze car vent air freshener , but I also love the scent of these Yankee Candle car vent air fresheners . Depending on availability and sales, I tend to switch between the two.( Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience .) I stumbled upon a killer deal on Yankee Candle Sidekick refills. Without hesitation, I snatched them up, even though I didn't have the matching holder (the Sidekick air freshener looks like this ). My brilliant plan was to simply stick the refill in the car vent, similar to the air freshener sticks that look like this . It sorta worked but mostly didn’t. 

Quick and Easy Grilled Red Pepper Pasta Salad Recipe

I love using grilled vegetables in summer recipes. It is a super quick and easy way to add a little pizazz that impresses to an otherwise simple recipe.

Although now that I spilled the beans on that little fancy but ridiculously easy secret, I doubt my local friends are going to be impressed the next time they ask me to make and bring my grilled red pepper pasta salad to the next cookout.

roasted red pepper pasta salad recipe
Pin this recipe for later!

On second thought, they are probably more than happy I finally wrote the recipe down because this simple pasta salad tastes swanky and always gets rave reviews, especially when I make it a day ahead and let the dressing do its marinade magic in the refrigerator overnight.

Food Allergy and Vegan Friendly Pasta Salad Recipe

This pasta salad is what I call a Granimals recipe. Remember those mix and match tags on kids clothes? Well you can do the same with this side dish recipe. If you don’t like or have artichoke hearts on hand leave them out. If you and yours go crazy for a different kind of cheese, leave out the feta or substitute it. Since I have a dairy allergy, I serve feta cheese crumbles on the side so everyone can enjoy this recipe to his or her liking.

vegan and dairy free pasta salad recipe
 Not pictured: the feta cheese

I am always amazed how many raves Husband’s and my dishes get when we include a DIY personalized option. It is the easiest way to please everyone and let the food allergy folks (like myself) not miss out on the fantastic food.

Recipe Ingredients

2 Red bell peppers

1 Can or jar of black olives – drained and sliced

1 Jar of artichoke hearts – drained and sliced

2 – 4 Sliced roma tomatoes – depending on size and desire

2 – 4 Minced cloves of garlic – or more or less depending on size and how much you like garlic

Italian salad dressing – purchased or homemade. Your choice!

1 Package of pasta – use your favorite. I’m using spinach bow tie pasta to be fancy.

Salt and/or pepper to taste if desired.

Optional: Crumbled Feta cheese

How to Make It

1.  Wash, slice, and grill the red peppers.  I’m taking the quick, easy, and lazy way out (naturally) and roasting my red peppers on my George Foreman grill I bought from Amazon here (affiliate link.)

how to roast or grill red peppers the easy way
I love you George Foreman. You make my grilling easy.

2. Once the grilled peppers are cool to the touch, slice and cube them and add them to a mixing bowl.

3. Prepare the pasta following the directions on the package. 

4. While the pasta cooks, add the sliced black olives, artichoke hearts,  Roma tomatoes, and garlic to the red peppers in the mixing bowl and stir.

black olive, artichoke, red pepper, and tomato pasta salad recipe
Mixing it up!

5. Drain and rinse the cooked pasta with water.

6. Stir the pasta into the vegetable mixture.

7. Pour the Italian dressing over the salad and mix until all of the pasta and vegetables are covered.

8. Season with salt and pepper to taste if desired.

9. Serve feta cheese on the side for your non dairy allergy and vegan guests to add to their pasta salad if they wish – it is always a hit when I do this because people can add as little or as much feta cheese as they like or skip it all together if they like.

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