Vegan “Summer Barbeque” Salad

I feel like such an old lady this morning – I was wide awake until almost midnight yesterday!

If I mentioned that a kayak found its way into a swimming pool, and I found my way into said kayak, would that give you a better picture of last night’s activities?

Before the ten of us headed to the courts for two rounds of beach volleyball (which left me with little wonder as to why I didn’t make my high school team – heh!), we chowed down! My contribution to the first barbeque of the summer was a vegan (but carnivore-friendly) pasta salad based on one of the few recipes I ever remember my mother making when I was a kid.

vegan pasta salad

I never know what my favorite part is – the spirally noodles, the vegan protein (which is always welcome at what tends to otherwise be a red meat fest), the tangy balsamic or the fresh vegetables for crunch!

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With simple, whole ingredients that everyone will recognize and less than 15 minutes of prep time, it’ll be the only dish you’ll want to bring to the summer barbeques this year!

Vegan “Summer Barbeque” Salad

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

  • 1 box whole wheat rotini (aka curly noodles)
  • 1 can black olives
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (approximately 15-20 baby carrots)
  • 2 cups red beans (or try kidney beans, pinto beans or garbanzo beans!)
  • Balsamic Viniagrette to taste (I used about half a bottle of Newman’s Own)

Directions:

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add pasta and simmer until tender.
  • Slice your zucchini into small slices. If you like, you can also halve your olives, but I like them whole!
  • In a large bowl, stir together your olives, zucchini, carrots and beans. Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain, rinse and add to the bowl as well.
  • Stir until well mixed; cover with half of your dressing (1/4 bottle of Newman’s Own Light Balsamic in my case) and stir until everything seems evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (overnight is optimal so the dressing can soak into the noodles!)
  • Before you serve, add the remaining dressing, pepper (if desired) and stir once again. Serve chilled!

If you’re lucky, you might get some leftovers for the next day!

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4 Comments on “Vegan “Summer Barbeque” Salad”

  1. I find summer is easiest time to slip in something vegan that appeals to everyone’s taste buds! This salad looks awesome – I don’t know how I acquired them all, but somehow I have many, many cans of kidney beans in my pantry and this is a great way to use some of them up!

  2. I don’t use rotini nearly as much as I’d like. It’s my favorite curly pasta! That salad looks delicious. Definitely trying it. 🙂

  3. runningonapples says:

    Ahh I JUST bought that dressing! Totally using it for a pasta salad like this soon =)

  4. Mmmmm, the black olives sound yummmmmy in a pasta salad!


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