Cheap and Easy Recipes: Vegetarian Pasta Salad
It’s hard to find time to cook when you are cramming for finals, but don’t fear because summer is on its way. Summer allows the luxury of time to look up from the books and spend time on projects or hobbies that don’t fit into the average student’s homework schedule. Personally, I trade out assigned readings for cookbooks, and love the abundance of fresh ingredients available during the summer. Instead of slaving over the stove while it’s beautiful outside, this recipe is quick, cheap and nutritious.
I love to watch the summer sun go down and barbecue outside with friends, but with my food allergies of commonly used ingredients like eggs and mustard, “potluck” style BBQs have always been a little tricky. This summer pasta salad is a great side dish to compliment anything charred on the grill, but also is inviting for someone plant based or with dietary restrictions without restrictions on flavor.
My version of this summer harvest pasta salad is vegetarian, because I used spinach tortellini and feta cheese. However, if you substitute the noodles and skip the cheese, this recipe is easily vegan. I’d recommend a quinoa noodle choice for protein. Rather than feeling high maintenance with special requests for what goes on your plate, opt for this invigorating yet low-maintenance dish. Besides, who doesn’t love noodles?
- 3 cups of pasta of your choice
- 1 cup of vegan mayo
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup of avocado oil
- dash of salt and pepper
- optional : ½ cup of feta cheese
Get colorful and creative with your produce! The veggies add earthy flavor, nutrition and a crunch.
- ½ of a large zucchini, around 3/4 cup chopped
- 2 tomatoes, around 1 cup chopped
- 3 carrots, around 1 cup chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, around 1 ½ cup chopped
- ½ of a red onion, around 1 ½ cup chopped
- 1 cup of green peas
Boil Pasta: bring a pot of water to a boil, add a pinch of salt to the water
While the water is boiling, chop up the rainbow of veggies and measure out sauce ingredients.
Each noodle shape requires different time to boil, mine took 8 minutes.
After you drain the noodles, set them aside in a bowl to cool, add a dash of oil and work it throughout to prevent them sticking together.
Incorporate sauce ingredients to your bowl of noodles and marry together
Layer chopped veggies into dish
Mix it up
Top with feta cheese (if you please)
I encourage getting your veggies from Bellingham’s legendary farmers market this time of year. The farmers market is held at 1100 Railroad Ave, and is from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturdays. But if you’re preoccupied on Saturdays like any busy college student, I settled and saved a few bucks at Trader Joe’s. The local TJ’s is at 2410 James St.
While you’re at Traders Joe’s, pick up the cheapest of cheap wine, I suggest a chilled chardonnay to chill out with this refreshing pasta salad. Pro tip: ask the employees what they are drinking this season, their recommendations never fail to disappoint and always stay in the ballpark of under $10, and doesn’t come in a box.
Enjoy this hearty and healthy pasta salad, and have a great summer break!