With spring here you might be looking for something great to make for BBQ’s, pack for picnics, or utilize some of the great produce you are seeing at the farmer’s market right now, while keeping on track with our Beauty Detox Lifestyle.
The dish I am going to share with you today is my Spring Bounty Gluten-Free Pasta Salad. This is the perfect dish for all the above occasions, as it tastes amazing served hot or cold!
Let’s Start With The Pasta…
You may have heard me talk about eliminating highly and commonly allergenic foods, such as gluten, from your diet and by doing so, this could actually help improve your overall health. Well, this still stands to be true. So why add pasta to the mix?
Because this filling and tasty dish has the comforts of using gluten-free pasta (rather than regular whole wheat or white flour pasta), and adding loads of veggies to the mix. Brown rice pasta is among the list of Beauty Grains, others being-amaranth, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and wild rice. Note: If you are trying to lose weight, you can add a smaller portion of pasta and add more veggies.
Brown rice pasta is made from ground brown rice, instead of wheat, which makes the noodles gluten-free and perfectly suitable if you’re trying to live by the Beauty Detox Food plan or if you have celiac disease. It also has some fiber, particularly insoluble fiber, which doesn’t break down in your digestive tract.
Though hard to get at times (based on where you live, it’s usually available around February through June), asparagus is a great veggie to rotate in, adding its unique earthy flare, as well as vitamin A and vitamin K.
Asparagus is great for any bloating issues or puffiness after eating too much sodium (you know- Chinese food, chips, perhaps some salted margarita glasses, hmm?!). It’s also rich in fiber and also contains a good amount of protein (about 4-5 grams per cup). Having both the fiber and protein from these mighty little green spears will not only help stabilize your digestion but will keep food moving through you at a desirable rate, which is golden in my book. ;)
With asparagus being known for it’s high respiration rate, it’s prone to being more perishable than other vegetables.
Because it’s much more likely to lose water, wrinkle, and harden, it’s best to wrap the ends of the asparagus in a damp paper or dish towel, during refrigerator storage. This will help offset the asparagus respiration rate and help keep its beauty nutrients intact. Also, try to consume your asparagus pretty close to after you buy it- ideally within two days or so!
With all the digestive benefits from the brown rice pasta and asparagus what more could we ask for? How about the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits from the olives, which add a little spark of beauty fat to this dish, the anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties found in the spring onions, and the rich supply of the antioxidants and the beautifying vitamin A and antioxidants from the carrots? Now you’ve got yourself an awesome bowl of delicious beauty food, that picky kids and boyfriends/hubbies will also like. Add it to your summer list!
Check out the full recipe…
- 8 ounces gluten-free pasta, your choice of shape
- (ziti, spirals, wagon wheels, small shells, etc.)
- 1 cup green peas (in season in spring so you can readily find them fresh now)
- 1 ½ cups baby spinach leaves or chopped regular spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ⅓ cup unsweetened coconut milk
- ½ cup raw sliced asparagus
- 1 Tbs. thinly sliced spring onions
- ¼ cup diced raw carrots
- ¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives
- Sea salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta in hot water according to package directions, being sure not to overcook and keep more on the al dente side (especially important with gluten free pasta, which can turn mushy quickly). Drain and set to the side.
- Cook the peas and spinach in a saucepan in a little water over medium heat, until softened. Be sure not to overcook, and keep the green color.
- Combine the peas and spinach with the nutritional yeast and coconut milk in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
- Pour over the cooked pasta and mix well.
- Add in the asparagus, spring onions, carrots and olives.
- Season with salt and pepper as desired.