Vegan Pasta Salad

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!




Filed under Plates, Salads

11 responses to “Vegan Pasta Salad

  1. LOL I’m a reformed salad eater! Actually before I went gluten free, salad and greens of any kind did not agree with my compromised gut. Now I can eat salads all day long without issues. This pasta salad looks wonderful, Desi. Love the inclusion of the asparagus bits!


  2. firstandformost

    I said “shmeh” SO many times with this one. I love you, Cookie! You’re such a great writer!!

  3. Love the post, Desi! The salad looks so good (and I love the flag)! The food item I hated as child? Cilantro. And I still hate it! It’s such a bossy herb! It’s all “Hey! Guess what this dish tastes like? CILANTRO-NOTHING-BUT-CILANTRO-ALWAYS-FOREVER-CILANTRO.” Do you know of any recipes that might change my mind?

    • Nope. Because guess what. I HATE cilantro too! Haha! I could not agree with you more on the topic, actually…. :) Maybe someday our tastes will just change… we shall see!

  4. I taught myself to love basil and cilantro. Everyone in my foodie books raved about them, they were on every menu, so I guessed they must have some redeeming features.
    I would nibble a tiny bit at a time, screwing up my nose and face, and hated it! But, eventually, I desensitised myself and it wasn’t too bad, so I increased the amount bit by bit.
    Now I LOVE them both! But it took lots of determination and perserverance!
    Perhaps not everyone is as stubborn as I?

    • Hm.. Maybe cilantro is an acquired taste? :) I do LOVE basil… who knows? Maybe someday I will be like you and love cilantro too!
      Thanks for your comment, InTolerantChef!

      • I love me some basil, too! Maybe if Desi and I start slow with salsa? That’s about the only cilantro infused food I like.

      • Laura

        I did the same when I found out what a great detoxifier it is. Helps rid the body of all the heavy metals and pesticides we acquire along the way. I really hated cilantro but now I really love it.

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