A small flame

A small flame

Grain-Free 'Pasta' Salads

In the summer we often eat main-dish pasta salads. We've got some favorites that I make every year, and I often try new recipes too. You never know when our next favorite will show up ;o)

Eating grain-free made this summer 'regular' a challenge until I realized that I could substitute cauliflower for the pasta. It works surprisingly well. I've discovered that there are some salads that I like with the cauliflower raw and crunchy, and others that I prefer with the cauliflower a bit softer {though not completely cooked}. For the latter, I just put the cauliflower in a pan with an inch or so of water and bring it to a boil. After it boils about a minute, I put the lid on, take the pan off the burner and let it sit for 3-4 minutes before I drain and rinse it. This makes the cauliflower a bit softer than raw but still firm enough to have the right consistency for a 'pasta' salad.


Here are 2 of my favorites.

I am just posting the regular recipes that I make for the family. To make my portion, I put the amount of cauliflower I think I will eat on a plate and add the other ingredients until it looks right. Very scientific ;o)


PICNIC PASTA SALAD

Mix: 16 oz shell macaroni, cooked & cooled

2c cooked chicken

2c fresh broccoli

½ c red onion

Mix, toss into salad:

1 ¼ c mayo

3T sour cream

3T Dijon mustard

½ tsp pepper

Cover, refrigerate til served.

* For this salad, I use the cauliflower raw. It goes well with the crunch of the broccoli & onion.


PIZZA PASTA SALAD

Cook al dente

1 lb short pasta (penne, elbow, etc.)

Spread on oiled cookie sheet to cool

Transfer cooled pasta to large bowl,

Stir in::

¼ c olive oil

Add: 1/3 c rice vinegar

½ c chopped sun-dried tomatoes

8 oz small chunks of mozzarella

4 oz pepperoni, diced

½ c shredded fresh basil leaves

2T chopped fresh oregano

Toss well & season with salt & pepper.

For best texture, dress salad within 2 hours of serving.


* For this salad I prefer a softer, lightly-steamed cauliflower.



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1 comment:

Crazy Mom said...

thanks for sharing! They both sound yummy & I love a cauliflower variation to pasta salad! We will be trying these soon!!!