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Vegan Lemon Basil Pasta Bean Salad

Pasta Salad
Recently, a new member joined our family and I got promoted to being a Mom. I am enjoying every minute of it.
Part of being a parent is eating healthy and making it look appealing to a child's eye.  These days I go for more colorful delicacies. Today's Lemon Pasta Salad fits that profile perfectly with lots of bright colored veggies and protein rich beans.  My baby doesn't eat solid food yet, but I am getting ready to cook for her.

Ingredients:
Bow-tie Farfalle Pasta - 2 cups
Green Beans - 1 cup
Dry Pinto Beans - 1/4 cup
Bell Peppers - about 1/2 cup
Carrots - about 1/4 cup
Celery - about 1/4 cup
Tomato - 1 small
Lemon Zest - 1 tsp
Lemon Juice - 5 tbsp
Olive Oil - 4 tbsp
Dry Basil - 1 tsp
Black Pepper Powder - 1 tsp
Garlic Powder - 1 tsp
Salt

How to make Rainbow Pasta Salad with Veggies and Beans:
  • Soak dry pinto beans in plenty of water overnight. Wash the soaked beans. Add 3 - 4 cups of water in a pot.  Bring it to a boil and add the soaked beans.  Cook it uncovered until beans soften.  Keep stirring occasionally and add more water if required.  Add salt and garlic powder to the cooked beans. Stir and cook it at low heat for another couple minutes.  Add the cooked beans to a strainer and rinse the beans under cold running water.  Set them aside.
  • Julienne slice the bell peppers. I used yellow and orange bell peppers. Medium chop the tomato. Grate the carrots and thinly slice the celery.
  • Set aside a bowl of ice cold water to add the cooked green beans.
  • Dice the green beans into bite size pieces.  Heat 6 - 8 cups water in a big pot.  Bring it to a boil.  Add salt and diced green beans.  Cook for 2 - 3 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon add the crisp tender green beans to the bowl of ice cold water.  This will stop further cooking of the green beans and retain the bright green color.  Drain all the water of the green beans.
  • Cook the pasta as per the package instructions.  Drain the water and add 1 tbsp oil to cooked pasta.  Toss the pasta well
  • In a big mixing bowl, prepare the dressing/vinaigrette.  Add lemon zest, lemon juice, 3 tbsp olive oil, fresh ground black pepper, dry basil and salt.  Mix it well. Add all the chopped veggies, cooked pinto beans, green beans and pasta. Mix again. Taste for salt and other seasonings.
  • Refrigerate the pasta for about an hour or longer. We are not fond of cheese on pasta salads, but you can add Parmesan or Romano Cheese if you like.

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