What was your favorite food when you were a kid?
Mine was bread and butter, preferably in the form of a crusty Italian loaf or a pillowy Mexican bolillo. These were rare treats, since my mom tended to stock only sliced wheat loaves and margarine.
I was a carb lover from the get go and I guess you could say that I still am. I developed a wheat allergy a few years back, but that hasn’t stopped me from my starch affair.
On carby dish I never really cared for was pasta salad. Too much mayo, slimy elbow noodles slipping into mushy carrot cubes. Gummy. And never enough of the actual “salad” part, ya know? Whenever I went to a BBQ, I stupidly always brought dessert as my contribution. Back when I was vegetarian-not-vegan, that meant that I got stuck eating the pasta salad and then whatever dessert I’d brought. Now I’ve wised up (barely) and started bringing a veggie entree in addition to dessert.
Building a healthy, shareable pasta salad is easy, and you probably have a lot of the stuff in your fridge already. Even if they’re not the exact ingredients that I include in this particular salad. You can use a variety of fruits, veggies, and nuts.
There are four loose rules to remember:
- make it colorful
- make it varied in flavor and texture
- make sure the “salad” part is at least 60% and the “pasta” part is no more than 40%. I think this salad is closer to 75-25, but you get the idea
- make sure you keep the dressing healthy as well.
For this salad, I used:
- 2 grapefruits, peeled and sliced
- 2 medium beets, spiralized into thin noodles
- 1 cup of blueberries
- 1 1/2 avocados
- 6 cups of kale, not packed. I measure the kale and then wilt it in the microwave for 3-4 minutes. It reduces in volume and makes it much easier to eat.
- 1 tablespoon of pepitas
- 3 tablespoons of almonds
- 1/4 cup of kasha (toasted buckwheat groats)
- 12 oz box of prepared gluten free rotini (I like Ronzoni)
Then I just tossed it all up like you’d do with any salad and I was done. It made 4 huge, healthy servings. For the dressing, I thinned out about 1/4 cup hummus with about 1/2 cup lemon juice. A drop of maple syrup and a pinch of salt. That was it! Here are some other good healthy dressing recipes: creamy cranberry sesame, creamy turmeric dressing, creamy poppy seed, tangy strawberry. They’re all vegan, and other then the cranberry sesame, all low fat. And all delicious, obs.