We were recently asked to bring something in for today's work birthday luncheon, for 2 co-workers. Colleagues had signed up for their usual offerings, and I always try to make something that I know I can turn to as a substantial lunch entree, since often the other's offerings are desserts or luncheon items that I don't care for. I also needed to do this with what is on hand, and on a budget. I decided to make a pasta salad. We have significantly eaten down my pasta stores (a good thing) and I've been restocking with more affordable pasta cuts, not that I've ever spent a lot of money for pasta. While long gone are the 3/$1 or on sale 4/$1 lb boxes of pasta, $1/lb box is easy to find, sometimes it's on sale for 75 or 88 cents. Pictured above is the huge, plastic storage tub that I use for storing elbow macaroni, one of the aforementioned more affordable pasta shapes.
Needing a protein, I grabbed a can of black beans, rinsed and drained them before adding them to the mixing bowl. I also added some diced celery, diced red onion.
I had enough leftover to make 2 lunch containers for the youngest 2 to take to school in their lunches. One kidlet, for whom I stopped preparing lunches for as he would simply tote his to school only to eat at home, has been staying after school 3 days a week in order to work out, and asked for lunches for those days, as he often won't return until before supper. He was warned that if the food came home, the extra lunch prep would end. He's been compliant so far.
Leftovers from lunch were brought home and once again will appear in school lunches, as tomorrow is a Lenten Friday, so no meat will be consumed.