Saturday, May 30, 2009

Easy Summer Pesto Pasta Salad

I love making an easy pasta salad to add to grilled dinner. Grilled chicken, asparagus, and some pasta salad on the side... It's an easy fresh side to any summer meal, and why not take advantage of the fresh greens and basil growing on the back porch. This salad makes a lot, so it's also a great side to bring to a summer cookout or party that people will be surprised it's gluten-free.  Even though I have put up a few other pesto recipes, I wanted to still post this one as well because it's an easy reminder that making a gluten-free dish to pass at a friend gathering or adding something to your own family dinner doesn't have to be rocket science.  

The more you find easy recipes to share with family and friends, the easier it gets to eating GF with other people in your life. It can be very stressful to have to think of going over to some ones's house for a dinner cookout in the summer, but what if you volunteered to bring over the pasta salad? That would guarantee that you would have at least one thing to fill your plate, not to mention probably some meat and maybe watermelon, or veggies... When I started eating GF/DF with friends, I think I had the tendency to think I was inconveniencing my friends when I was around. Then I realized that I was the only one thinking this, and that if I brought some of "my" food to share then people tried it and liked it. And the bonus was that I didn't have to explain why I was so strange for only eating watermelon at the big cookout. :) Hey, maybe even bring over a dessert for friends to share, like the Cherry Chocolate Brownie Cakes. It could be easy to not include yourself with your friend and family gatherings, but if you think about being the one to generously bring a side or a dessert to pass, then you know you can be sharing in the goodness.  

Healing your gut and life through food can sometimes seem isolating, but in reality you need to those friend and family relationships to carry you. Healthy relationships are sometimes just as important to feeling better, as eating healthy foods. So when you feel isolated and alone in the "eating department", it may cause you more stress and hurt even if you are eating the right kinds of foods. So, my motivation for you is to try and find ways to include yourself in the regular ways your family and friends eat together. Don't be so strict and stressed out about the foods that you loose those relationships.  Eating gluten-free doesn't mean you have to eat at home alone, so find some fun and joy out of sharing your gluten-free dish-to-pass. I think you will agree that eating with those you love is therapeutic for your heart. Enjoy!

Blended Pesto Sauce:
4oz bunch of basil
4oz of mixed greens (arugula, spinach, kale)
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of agave
1/3 cup of olive oil
handful of either pine nuts or walnuts
drizzle water while blending to whip up smoothly

Cook 16oz. of Tinkyada gluten-free pasta noodles for 10 minutes in boiling water (check to see if they totally cooked, but to keep them a little stiff is fine).

1 Diced medium to large red pepper
1 1 1/2 cups of cherry tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup of diced sweet onion
1/2 cup of pine nuts
add fresh squeezed lemon when serving
add Parmesan cheese as a topping if you eat dairy

Cook the pasta, run some cool water over and let dry a bit. Blend the pesto sauce in the blender and then pour over the warm pasta, toss in the tomatoes, peppers, and onion into the bowl and mix well. Add the pine nuts and lemon and Parmesan cheese last to top. Also, you can add some fresh herbs or basil to the top for decor and flavor. Hm, delicious to eat and to share. 

Enjoy friends, and remember you are not alone in your pursuit to eat healing and healthy foods.


  1. this looks wonderful--maybe i could share it on my weekly links? :)

  2. You can definitely use in on your weekly link. What is your link? And name?