Hello friends and welcome to the 96th All About Home Link Party! I hope everyone’s summer is off to a great start! Have you been having tons of rain? It hasn’t seemed like summer vacation yet because it has been gloomy and rainy almost every day since school let out. Today the sun has been shining and I was able to a little gardening and purging in preparation for our yearly rummage sale, so I am feeling a bit accomplished. I am excited to take a little rest this evening to enjoy the party and catch up with all of you too!
It’s summer and that means cookouts, picnics and lighter cuisine like pasta salad! My family has several food allergies and sensitivies so I had to come up with an allergy friendly recipe that would be safe for us. This pasta salad is vegan, gluten free, casein (dairy) free, refined sugar free and non-GMO! This is quick, easy, and best of all, it’s delicious! I have served this to guests who eat “regular food” and they love it too!
Any type of gluten free pasta will work, but I prefer the LiveGfree brand from Aldi grocery store. I have used the penne and the rotini for my salads and both taste great! This pasta is a fantastic alternative to traditional wheat pasta. The key is to stir, stir, stir! You absolutely must stir the pasta for the entire time it takes to boil or it will stick together. I have tried adding a little olive oil and salt to the water and it helps it not to stick. Do not overcook gluten free pasta. Keep taste testing after about 5 minutes until it is al dente. Remove from heat and strain in a colander. Rinse pasta with lukwarm water and put it in a container to chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Here are the main ingredients for my pasta salad. I like to make sure my family eats plenty of veggies so I add broccoli for a little extra crunchiness and super food power! In the past I have also used chopped green and red bell pepper if I had them on hand.
Ingredients: (serves 2- 4)
1 bag gluten free pasta, rotini or penne noodles
2-3 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion (red, yellow, or white) diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 container of organic cherry tomatoes
2 cups Vegenaise vegan mayonaise alternative
3-4 stalks from a head of brocolli chopped in small pieces (about 2 cups)
A “generous amount” of Melissa’s “My Grinder” Organic Garden Herb and Sea Salt to taste (or use any combination of herbs and spices you prefer: sea salt, oregano, dried garlic and onion, black pepper, basil, thyme, etc.
*Try to use organic or locally grown produce if at all possible for the freshest taste and health benefits.
While you are waiting for the gluten free noodles to chill begin preparing the vegetables. Always wash produce throughougly. I like to spray and soak my veggies in a couple of tablespoons of Rebel Green Fruit and Veggie Clean, however soaking them in white vinegar and water for a few minutes is an inexpensive and green alternative that works very well.
After you have washed all of your vegetables, chop away!
Chopping the broccoli in very small pieces adds just a bit of fresh and crunchy texture without an overpowering broccoli flavor. Use about 1 1/2 cups per bag of pasta.
Dice 1/3-1 1/2 cups of onion per bag of pasta depending on personal taste preference. (Red onion tastes best in my opinion).
For one bag of pasta I use half a container of tomatoes This seems to be plenty for this size of salad. When I use 2 bags of pasta I use the whole container. You can also slice the tomatoes in half to adds more flavor to each bite!
Once you have finished chopping all of your veggies, the pasta should be chilled. Mix pasta and all vegetables by hand in a large serving bowl.
Add 1 1/2 cups Vegenaise and mix well. (Use more or less based on preference).