Just over a month ago, I took a bit of a risk and cut our cable. Radical? Maybe not so much these days with the advent of media-streaming apps, but still a tad scary for a girl who's had cable access for as long as she can recall.

Surprisingly, it really hasn't fazed me... Game of Thrones is on hiatus, and we've been spending our evenings chasing down Pokémon as a family. And I've found alternatives to some of my favorite channels on Netflix and Hulu.

Did you know that Netflix has an extensive collection of Chopped episodes available? So I can still get my fix for one of my favorite cooking shows. I love the anticipation of watching the contestants open their baskets to see which ingredients they're required to use to create a meal.

Truth be told, I like to play my own version of Chopped when I've gone too long between grocery shopping trips. I open the refrigerator and my version of a "pantry" and challenge myself to use up various items to come up with a plan for dinner. Sometimes it's a hit! And, of course, occasionally it's a miss... But it's a fun process.

So when Sargento® contacted me recently about participating in the Chopped at Home Challenge, I was feeling pretty confident. And then I received my digital version of the "ingredient basket"...

All pretty normal ingredients that pair well together, right? But what threw me was that I had to incorporate grilling into the recipe. Should I grill the broccoli? Blister the tomatoes? Or should I really go out on a limb and grill the pork tenderloin?

Ultimately, I decided to go with a grilled pork tenderloin, even though I have never tried grilling anything bigger than a hamburger. I'm telling you, I was a nervous wreck the whole time, certain I would overcook it into an inedible charred mess that was still raw in the center.

Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Salad -- this delicious pasta salad recipe features fresh broccoli, grape tomatoes, and yellow bell pepper, along with sun-dried tomatoes and a creamy ranch dressing, all tied together with a 4-blend cheddar cheese. Pairs perfectly with a BBQ grilled pork tenderloin! | via @unsophisticook on unsophisticook.com

But, YOU GUYS, it was the most amazing pork I've ever had! I mean, don't you get hungry just looking at that?

I promise I'll share the full grilled pork tenderloin recipe in just a couple of days, because I know you're going to want to make it ASAP. The homemade pork rub I threw together is what really made it special. I've since used it on pulled pork, as well, and it's a total winner!

Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Salad -- this delicious pasta salad recipe features fresh broccoli, grape tomatoes, and yellow bell pepper, along with sun-dried tomatoes and a creamy ranch dressing, all tied together with a 4-blend cheddar cheese. Perfect for large gatherings! | via @unsophisticook on unsophisticook.com

I served it with a cheesy broccoli pasta salad that was SO good! Seriously, my boys were going back for seconds and thirds of this veggie-filled pasta salad (along with thirds and fourths of the pork -- whoa).

I used both the broccoli and grape tomatoes in it, along with some sun-dried tomatoes and yellow bell pepper, tossing it all together with a homemade ranch dressing. Another winner!

Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Salad -- this delicious pasta salad recipe features fresh broccoli, grape tomatoes, and yellow bell pepper, along with sun-dried tomatoes and a creamy ranch dressing, all tied together with a 4-blend cheddar cheese. Pairs perfectly with a BBQ grilled pork tenderloin! | via @unsophisticook on unsophisticook.com

Of course, it also helps that I added a hefty measure of Sargento Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar to the pasta salad. Everything's better with cheese, especially Sargento since it's always cut from blocks of 100% real, natural cheese.

It's just what this pasta salad needed to get my kids to look past the veggie overload and give it a try!

Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Salad -- this delicious pasta salad recipe features fresh broccoli, grape tomatoes, and yellow bell pepper, along with sun-dried tomatoes and a creamy ranch dressing, all tied together with a 4-blend cheddar cheese. Pairs perfectly with a BBQ grilled pork tenderloin! | via @unsophisticook on unsophisticook.com

Together, this cheesy broccoli pasta salad and grilled pork tenderloin were like Sunday dinner on a weeknight! Grilling a pork tenderloin takes only about 25 minutes, which is just enough time to prepare the pasta salad -- making this meal a winning combination.

Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Salad

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 8-10 servings

Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of blanched broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 cup Sargento Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup whole grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 8-oz. gemelli pasta, cooked according to package
  • 1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, grape tomatoes, bell pepper, cooked pasta and sun-dried tomatoes.
  2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the mayonnaise, milk and ranch dressing mix to taste.
  3. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad mix and toss to coat. Fold in the cheddar cheese, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

http://unsophisticook.com/pasta-salad-recipe/

 

Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Salad -- this delicious pasta salad recipe features fresh broccoli, grape tomatoes, and yellow bell pepper, along with sun-dried tomatoes and a creamy ranch dressing, all tied together with a 4-blend cheddar cheese. Pairs perfectly with a BBQ grilled pork tenderloin! | via @unsophisticook on unsophisticook.com

Want to enter your own creation in the Chopped at Home contest? Get all of the details on how to enter here.

Available in 30 versatile varieties, unique blends and distinct cuts, Sargento Shredded Cheese is always cut from blocks of 100% real, natural cheese. For more inspiration, check out the Sargento Pinterest page at Pinterest.com/sargentocheese/ or visit FoodNetwork.com for more information. The Chopped at Home Challenge gives viewers a chance to create their best recipe using the selected basket ingredients, including Sargento Shredded Cheese, for a chance to win $10,000!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sargento. The opinions and text are all mine.

by Tara | 0 comments

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