Summer Fiesta Pasta Salad

pasta salad

 

Is there anything more versatile than pasta? With so many different varieties, relatively short preparation time, wonderful sauces for every occasion and mood, and so many ways of serving it, pasta must be the most common go to meal in our society.

This week, to celebrate the sun, lovely warm weather, and my vegan birthday (4 year old vegan as of June 13th!), I prepared a picnic, with this colorful, delicious pasta salad I put together. Any variety of small noodle will work, and there are many varieties of gluten-free pasta out there for those of you who avoid gluten. I chose an organic wholegrain spelt spiral pasta, which you see here in the picture. Spelt has a more digestible form of gluten than conventional wheat. I like spelt pasta very much because it is perfectly al dente when cooked right, just the way I like my pasta!

I chose to include hearts of palm in this recipe simply because they are very tasty and I had them handy, but they are totally optional. The sun-dried tomatoes, however, I find more essential to this dish because they add a bit of saltiness, flavor and texture. I like to buy sulfite-free so they are healthiest. I found a delicious organic batch from Prana which I adore.

Lastly, I chose to add nutritional yeast to the dressing for its delicious cheesy flavor. I find that organic nutritional yeast is even more cheesy-tasting than non-organic, so I prefer it.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! Enjoy it in the beautiful outdoors!

Maria’s Summer Fiesta Pasta Salad

Ingredients:
Makes approximately 6 servings

4 cups small pasta noodles of your choice, cooked
2 gloves of garlic, minced
8 green onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup hearts of palm, chopped
½ cup sulfite-free sundried tomatoes, chopped
⅓ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Dressing:
½ cup vegan mayonnaise
¼ cup nutritional yeast
Juice from ½ lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon mustard powder
½ teaspoon sea salt

Method:

1. Cook pasta in salted water as per instructions on the box. Drain and set aside to cool.
2. In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and mix thoroughly.
3. Place all chopped vegetables and cooled pasta in a large bowl.
4. Pour dressing over pasta and vegetables and toss.
5. Place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to chill and let flavors fully marinate. Garnish with more chopped fresh parsley if desired. Serve chilled.

“Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress.”

~Charles Pierre Monselet

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