Ranch Pasta Salad
This is the perfect summer BBQ potluck dish. It doesn't have to stay refrigerated, because there is ZERO mayonnaise in it. Its packed with flavor and all the essential nutrients-complex carbohydrates (brown rice), simple carbohydrates (carrots), protein (quinoa and peas), and fat (cashews). Its also high in dietary fiber, vitamins like beta carotene, vitamin C, and B-complex, and minerals like zinc, iron, and calcium. Your fellow potluckers will never know that its gluten free, dairy free, soy free and so, so good for them!
16 oz package of brown rice & quinoa Fusilli pasta, cooked according to package directions (I like Trader Joe's)
1 cup of frozen peas, defrosted
1 cup of shredded carrots
1/4 cup of yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup of sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup of raw cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour
2 lemons, juiced
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of avocado oil
2 tablespoons of ranch seasoning
1 cup of unflavored, unsweetened almond milk
I like to make the ranch dressing in advance, so it has time for the flavors to develop. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Combine soaked cashews, lemon juice, salt, avocado oil, ranch seasoning, and almond milk to a high speed blender and blend until creamy. Set aside or store and refrigerate until later.
While you're cooking the pasta, defrost the peas under warm water, and prepare the carrots, onion, sun dried tomatoes, and parsley.
Once the pasta is done, strain and rinse under cold water. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the peas, carrots, onion, sun dried tomatoes, parsley, and ranch dressing. Using a spatula, gently stir to combine until everything is coated in the dressing. Serve immediately or pop in the fridge for the week ahead.