The other night I was stuck with what to do for dinner, and decided to get creative. The result was a new found love for pasta salad. It’s pasta that includes all the health benefits of raw veggies; you get pasta & salad in one – hence the name pasta salad! I know it’s an old concept, but I never really thought about it.
The best part about this recipe is that it’s versatile. You can make any version you like depending on what veggies you have in your fridge. Oh, and it’s healthy & easy – perfect for a weeknight meal.
This recipe has 3 parts: the sauce, the pasta and the toppings.
For my sauce I basically made my Kale Hummus, but substituted the kale for baby spinach because I had a huge container in the fridge that had to be used up.
For my pasta I used brown rice elbows. I’ve been into brown rice pasta lately; it’s gluten-free and I find it doesn’t sit as heavy as whole wheat pasta.
For my toppings, I used a combination of my favorite veggies, savory additions and beans – enjoy!
BTW – this makes a great “Meatless Monday” meal because the combination of brown rice pasta (whole grain) and navy beans (legumes) = a complete protein (includes all 8 amino acids). And as you should know by now vegetarian meals are easier to digest and proper digestion is the key to good health!
Savory Pasta Salad
For the Sauce
3 cups organic baby spinach (or kale, arugula)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
¼ cup shredded Asiago cheese (or parmesan, white cheddar)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds (or pumpkin, hemp, walnuts, pine nuts)
1 avocado (or something else creamy like tahini)
1 clove garlic minced
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Sea salt & pepper to taste
I bag of brown rice pasta
1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
½ English cucumber peeled & diced
½ cup sundried tomatoes diced
1 can navy beans drained & rinsed
Combine all the ingredients for the pesto in your food processor or blender, and pulse until smooth.
Boil pasta for 8 minutes (for al dente), drain & rinse.
While pasta is boiling, chop veggies & sundrieds and combine in a large bowl.
Drain & rinse beans and stir them into the veggie bowl.
Once pasta is done boiling add it to the veggie bowl.
Stir pesto into the veggie & pasta mixture until everything is combined.
Pasta salad keeps in fridge for 5 days.