This delicious pasta salad is full of the first vegetables of the season – a perfect way to savor the flavor of eating right, during National Nutrition Month, and all year long.
Ask anyone why they eat the things they do, and I’ll bet you the number one answer will be “because it tastes good.” Maybe you’ll get an occasional “because it’s good for me”, but more than likely it’s all about taste. And it should be! Good food tastes good.
Close your eyes and imagine the taste of…
- A fresh from the vine, warm from the sun, ripe tomato with just a sprinkle of sea salt
- The first juicy, ripe peach of the season
- A hot out of the oven piece of apple crisp
- A perfectly grilled piece of salmon on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes
- Sweet, grilled corn on the cob
- Homemade lemon cream cheese pound cake – with fresh blueberry sauce
- The perfectly balanced flavors of guacamole
- Your favorite glass of wine
Are you hungry yet? When you start with good, fresh, whole ingredients, it has to be good – and good for you. That’s the message for this year’s National Nutrition Month. There is no universal “healthy food”, and it doesn’t have to be salad to be healthy. When you put the right foods and flavors together, and especially when you spend the time to make it yourself, it works. It’s good for your taste buds, AND your body, and you can just savor the flavor.
Today’s recipe is brought to you by the folks at Banza – they make a fabulous line of 100% natural pastas, that are made from chickpeas. That means they’re completely gluten-free, so you can still savor the flavor of pasta, even if you can’t have gluten. Those little chickpeas are also incredibly high in protein – one 3.5 ounce serving has as much protein as a chicken breast – and they’re full of healthy fiber.
I know it’s just March, but I couldn’t resist pulling together all of my favorite spring and early summer vegetables for this delicious Farmer’s Market Pasta Salad. It features Banza pasta, and it’s all dressed up in a lemon-herb buttermilk dressing. Perfect for a light dinner, mason jar lunch, or your next pot luck party. Excuse me while I savor the flavor…
- 1- 8 ounce package of Banza chickpea shell pasta
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 pound thin asparagus ends snapped off, and spears sliced into 1-2" pieces
- 1/4 pound fresh green beans trimmed and sliced into 1-2" pieces
- 6 ounces Halloumi cheese sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1-14 ounce can quartered artichoke hearts not marinated
- 1 cup frozen sweet white corn
- 1 cup sliced radicchio
- 4 scallions sliced
- 1 1/2 cups low fat buttermilk
- 6 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt nonfat or regular
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons minced herbs any combination of tarragon, dill, parsley, chives, basil
- 1 large clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice about 1/2 lemon
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water (about 6 cups) to a boil, and add the Banza pasta, and salt. Cook the pasta until al dente.
When the pasta is just about finished cooking, add the asparagus and green beans to the pot, and let cook for about 1-2 minutes. The vegetables should be crisp, and the pasta should be tender but not overcooked. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside to cool.
Heat a nonstick frying pan on medium-high heat, and sear the Halloumi for about 1 minute on each side, or until golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled pasta, asparagus, green beans, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, corn, radicchio, and scallions.
Cut the grilled Halloumi into 1-inch pieces, and add it to the bowl.
Toss everything well to combine.
For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a mason jar, and shake well.
Pour about 1/2 of the dressing over the pasta salad, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to let the flavors combine.
Add additional dressing prior to serving, if needed.
Thanks Banza, for sponsoring this post! Check them out at EatBanza.com
How do you savor the flavor of eating right?