There is something that we did in the restaurant, and something that I do by habit: cut everything in one dish to the same size. The onions, carrots and broccoli should be julienned to the same size as the noodles you are going to add them to, for example. They will all cook at the same rate, and the dish looks better as a whole.
I'd thought that that was all of it. But Nick was cooking something Saturday night (I'll let him tell you about it, the only thing I'll say is that it was amazing) and he added one more theory to this practice. When you cut everything to the same size the individual flavors are more evenly distributed; no one flavor overpowers the meal. I hadn't known that.
Tonight I julienned an onion and a carrot (I wish I'd had two, but it was the last one), and fried them with a can of corn. I tossed in a box of penne pasta (cooked) and seasoned it with about half of a bottle of bleu cheese salad dressing. I added a splash of milk to thin out the dressing. It would have been better as a cold pasta salad topped with shredded asiago cheese.
The Amazing Omnivorus Child didn't like it. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at that, the bleu cheese is a little strong, and he'd just eaten a tortilla with peanut butter on it. So he wasn't too hungry. We had leftover birthday cake for dessert.
If you're going to try to make this, I recommend you do it as the cold pasta salad—and make an effort to get at least some Parmesan cheese to throw on top. And if you can get it, some diced chicken would make it perfect.