October 5, 2012

Macaroni Salad - Flashback to Summer!

So in the midst of all the gushing I've been doing about fall (like this post and this post), I decided to make a summer BBQ classic, Macaroni Salad.

Huh?

Well you see yesterday, here in Ohio, the temperature actually got up to around 80 degrees.  Bananas!  It was one of those weird fall days that gives you a momentary flashback to summer.  And as much as I adore fall weather, it was nice to bust out the flip flops and bask in the warmth of the sun.

Pair this with my adoration for Cathy Fisher's recipes (StraightUpFood.com), and I decided to make her Macaroni Salad.



And let me tell you - this was, hands down, the best freaking macaroni salad I have ever had - non-vegan or otherwise.

NO JOKE.

The sauce was out of this world delicious.  I've got big plans to use it for potato salad soon.  Amazing - perfect combination of creaminess and heaviness with the blended cashews, savoriness with the dijon mustard and garlic, bit of a bite from the fresh lemon juice, and just a hint of sweetness with the blended dates.

So freaking good.

It made so much that I didn't know what in the world I was going to do with it all!  I figured I would share with friends, but no.  It was so good that I ended up eating it all within a few days.

Every last bite.

You can use all or some of the veggies that the recipe calls for - I happen to love a variety of crunchy veggies in my macaroni salad.  I think it gives great texture.  And the herbs gave the salad that summer fresh flavor.

So take a pause from the fall recipes for a moment and make this macaroni salad - possibly alongside a veggie burger like this one or this one.

And don't worry - I'll be back with a plethora of fall soups and pumpkin recipes for the remainder of the month.  I'll have some fall standards, but I'll also have lots of interesting pumpkin recipes that I think might surprise y'all.

So stay tuned and enjoy this brief summer flashback!

Love & Kale,
Ali

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Macaroni Salad
Original recipe here
Serves 6-8

Print here.

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups dry whole-grain macaroni pasta (brown rice or quinoa are good)
  • 3 ribs celery, small diced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 red onion, small diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, small diced
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
Dressing Ingredients:
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp prepared mustard
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions:
  1. In a small bowl, place cashews and pitted dates in the ½ cup water; set aside. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions; drain, rinse in cold water.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the celery, carrot, red onion, bell pepper, parsley and basil.
  3. In a high-speed blender, blend all of the dressing ingredients: soak water, cashews, dates, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth.
  4. Add the pasta and dressing to the bowl of vegetables and mix everything.  Garnish with avocado, chopped parsley and/or basil.

Ingredients

Grate your carrots - or be smarter than me and just buy pre-grated carrots

Dice all your veggies and herbs and throw in a bowl

Soak your dates and cashews
Throw them in the blender with the remaining dressing ingredients
Blend on high until it looks creamy like this
Toss everything together in the bowl and mix well
I dare you not to eat the entire bowl.

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