Monday, July 17, 2017

Garden Pasta Salad

A Garden Pasta Salad is a great way to get veggies and legumes into your diet, and even kids will gobble it up thanks to a lemon and Parmesan vinaigrette! Tasted and tested by my Grades 1-3 and 7-8 Home Economics classes - definitely kid approved!

Garden Pasta Salad

While the rain is certainly not boding well for my tomatoes and hot peppers this year, I'm certainly not wanting for a lot of other things in my garden! The zucchini, cucumbers, carrots and beets are particularly happy in the veggie garden, and the herbs, by and large, are taking off as well. Since we're deeply mired in the glory of Summer (well, mostly... it was below 20C this morning!) hot meals at noon are not always appreciated. Salads, though, tend not to be overly filling, and sandwiches can be kinda... beige.

That's why I love this pasta salad - packed with fibre and protein from the veggies and chickpeas, hearty with gluten free noodles and full of flavour thanks to a zingy vinaigrette, it was a breeze to whip up a batch first thing in the morning (or last thing at night), then cover and refrigerate it for up to a week, taking servings as needed. The vegetables and chickpeas become marinated by the dressing, eventually exuding their own delicious flavour as well, so every bite is satisfying to the stomach and the palate.

As someone who grew up hating pasta salad as a rule, I have to say this one changed my mind. While kids love it (I tested this out on my Grades 1-8 classes), it's definitely got enough of a "grown up" flair that any potluck or backyard party - including baby and wedding showers - would have a place for this on their table.

Garden Pasta Salad
Serves 8 as a side, 4-6 as a main (NI is for 8 servings)

Lemon-Parmesan Vinaigrette:
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
pinch black pepper
¼ tsp paprika
½ tbsp sugar
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan
3 tbsp olive oil

Salad
1 cup dry gluten free pasta (I recommend rotini), cooked in boiling salted water and drained 
¼ large red onion, finely chopped
½ large seedless cucumber, finely chopped
½ large red bell pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 large carrot, cut into ribbons with a peeler
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1 (19-oz) can no-salt-added chickpeas
¼ cup packed fresh basil

Vinaigrette:
  1. Whisk all ingredients except for oil until well combined.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly until the mixture is combined.
Salad
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add the vinaigrette and fold in with a large spoon.
  3. Store, covered, in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 188.0

  • Total Fat: 7.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 2.0 mg
  • Sodium: 336.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 27.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4.7 g
  • Protein: 6.6 g