gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, soy-free, sugar-free
Until three years ago, I would say, “I have never eaten salad before,” and I’d be telling the truth. Unbelievable? Freakishly scary? Just plain weird? Yeah, I probably am all of those things. But the more appropriate question is: was I living under a rock? Nope. Just harboring a grudge against lettuce (and by association: salad) since childhood. The completely irrational, judge-a-book-by-its-cover, intuition-driven kind of grudge. As per kid-usual.
Hey, it’s what we do. At an early age, we name our poison. We seek out our enemy and then once we’re face to face, dramatically cry, “I hate you.” For some tots, the enemy is Broccoli. Others, Crust. And others still, it’s any food that just isn’t a certain color. I wish I were making it up, folks, but you can’t make up food-related racism… or dare I coin the term… Foodism. It’s just a fact.
Why the prejudice? Why the grudges? Are we born close-minded? Hm. Well, I’m not planning on answering any of those questions in this post. I just asked them because maybe sometimes I like being controversial and/or annoying.
Instead, I’d just like to take this time to make two announcements with the cyber world as my witness. First of all, I admit choosing to hate salad without ever even trying it was wrong. It was cruel. It was immature. Let this post be an official peace offering from me to you, Salad. The truth is that now, I love you, Spinach with Tart Cherries and Toasted Pecans… and you, Arugula, despite all your bitterness… I love you, Turkey and Chicken Salads, with your vegan mayonnaise substitutes. Forgive me – especially you – Pasta Salad. There have been so many July Fourths when I’ve rejected you in disgust. You’ve looked at me all creamily from your bowl and I’ve pretty much thrown up in my mouth a little. I wish I could take it all back. Don’t you see? When you’re vegan, I want to eat you. You’re outlandishly delicious. I wish I could turn back time so I could have started eating you years ago… I really do… But alas, the best I can do now is to proclaim my love for you publicly, and praise you in hope that people will begin to make you far and wide…
My second announcement…
I still hate you, Lettuce. Bring it.
Vegan Pasta Salad
1 16 oz bag of Tinkyada elbow pasta
1 2/3 cups frozen or fresh peas (or 9 oz package)
1 2/3 cups frozen or fresh sweet corn (or 9 oz package)
1 2/3 cups asparagus, chopped into bize-size pieces (or 9 oz package frozen)
1 red bell pepper
1 2/3 cup cauliflower, chopped into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in halves
3 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Tbsp salt
pepper to taste
a small handful of Italian parsley, chopped finely
1) Steam the asparagus, corn, peas, and cauliflower each as needed (depending on whether frozen or fresh)
2) Boil pasta until al dente. Drain.
3) In a large bowl, mix the steamed vegetables, red pepper, olives and pasta.
4) Add vegenaise and olive oil. Mix until blended well.
5) Add salt, pepper and parsley. Mix until blended well.
6) Place in refrigerator (preferably overnight).
Happy Fourth of July, everyone!