Friday, August 13, 2010

Taco Pasta Salad

With a heat advisory everyday this week, who wants to cook? I'm happy to toss together a salad and call it a meal, but my children are still suspicious of salads. They love pasta though. The solution? Pasta salad. Win-win.

With flavors inspired by taco salad, this easy pasta salad is quick to throw together and customize to the taste buds that live at your house.

Taco Pasta Salad

1 8 oz box quinoa spiral pasta (or your favorite pasta)
1 c kidney beans (black or pinto would also be good), optional
1 c sweet corn
1/4 sweet red pepper, diced
2 tbsp onion, diced
handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 hass avocado, diced
juice of 1/2 lime
sea salt to taste
cumin to taste
olive oil

Cook quinoa pasta in salted water according to package directions. While that's boiling, chop your veggies. Feel free to add a few more, whatever you like in your taco salad. I kept mine simple. When your pasta is done, drain. Place in large bowl and drizzle generously with olive oil. Squeeze the juice of half a lime over the pasta. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with sea salt and cumin to taste. Add veggies, beans, and cilantro. Stir until well mingled. Optional: line bowl or plate with romaine leaf, scoop pasta salad into the center and serve. (My theory is that if lettuce is on their plate often enough, eventually the suspicion will pass and acceptance will set in. My 7 year old opted to tear up her romaine and stir it it! Small victories.)

Loaded with cool summer flavor, this salad can be gluten free, nut free, dairy free, top-8 free, and still delicious.

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