Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pasta Salad.

Yesterday was Independence Day for those of us here in the United States. To me, that means the three Fourth of July Fs: Family, Food, and Fireworks. Almost every county in Texas has a burn ban right now, so unfortunately there were no fireworks for us. That only left two things: family and food.

My uncle has some land about an hour and a half south of where I live, and we tend to go out there for holidays in the summer. It's a great little area with a lake and a nice little house for when it's too unbearably hot to be outside (like it is most of the time). Most of my family is very meat and potatoes, and as I'm a vegan, I normally try to plan a dish to bring so there will be something I can eat among the barbeque and cheese dip. I decided on my favorite pasta salad.

My favorite pasta salad is an adaptation on the pasta salad in Yellow Rose Recipes, which is a vegan cookbook I highly recommend. I've made some changes to suit my and Jose's tastes better and to add some more fiber and protein. You'll notice in the picture that I used regular pasta, but whole wheat or a gluten free pasta would be great as well. Also, with this recipe you can easily swap out veggies to suit your tastes or change the ratios of veggies.

Pasta Salad adapted from Yellow Rose Recipes
1 lb. penne pasta (regular, whole wheat, gluten free, etc.)
1.5 cups frozen shelled edamame (soybeans)
1.5 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces
3 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise
2-3 Tbsp sesame seeds
Salt to taste

2 cloves garlic (or more if you love garlic like me!)
1 Tbsp fresh parsley (I was out so I used 1 tsp dried)
1 Tbsp fresh dill (I was out so I just omitted it, but the dill adds a nice flavor)
6 oz (about half the package) silken tofu (can use lite silken tofu as well)
2 Tbsp tahini
Juice from 1 small lemon
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta and the edamame to package directions, rinse with cold water and drain, set aside.

While pasta and edamame are cooking, steam the broccoli for only a minute or two, until the broccoli starts turning bright green. Rinse with cold water and set aside.

In a food processor, combine the garlic and fresh herbs and process until finely chopped. Add in the rest of the dressing ingredients and process until smooth.

Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and stir in the dressing until evenly distributed.. Add in the edamame and broccoli and stir. Add in the mayonnaise and stir. Add in the sesame seeds and stir. Taste, and add salt to taste if needed.

That's all for today. I am almost done with my table (I'm sealing it tomorrow!) so there will be final project photos coming soon. I'm also working on a couple tutorials about unraveling sweaters, but I'm not making any promises about when they'll be done. :)

-- Laura