Simple Pasta Salad With Vegan Mozzarella
Looking for the perfect healthy dish to bring to your next party? This crowd pleaser will do the trick, and will satisfy everyone's dietary needs. This simple recipe is: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, high protein, and made with healthy oil.
Happy Thursday Friends! I am excited to share this recipe with you guys. When I served this dish everyone was obsessed. I loved hearing the wonderful feedback, because this recipe was honestly so easy! I fortunately have time to cook right now, but if you are a busy person who doesn't have time to spend cooking throughout the week this recipe is for you. This recipe is great if you like to meal prep, although it can be made in 15 minutes fresh!
I love this recipe because a lot of non vegans ask the question "what do you eat" to vegans. Most of you are probably rolling your eyes right now, because you get this question all the time. I always answer "everything", because the options are endless. There are so many foods out there that are either vegan in the first place, or can easily be made vegan. I mean, really the list of things you can't eat is probably under 10(the animal products), and the list of things you can eat is about 300,000(edible plants). However so many people are biased to the word vegan that when they hear the word they think it's automatically gross. That's where this recipe comes into play. Recipes such as this one are 1. so delicious and 2. nobody will even know it's vegan! I will be making this dish all summer long whenever I am cooking for non vegans!
I feel like there has been a stigma around pasta salad forever that implies that it is an unhealthy dish, when in fact it can quite easily be made into a healthy meal. The first and easy substitution to make is to sub out unhealthy oils. Typically oil in foods adds unhealthy saturated fats and is extremely dense in calories making it easy to over consume and cause harmful effects to the body. I never use oil when I am cooking(aka heating oil), but I do use it when making salads. I have experimented with making oil-free salad dressings and they just do not work well(to be specific, I am talking about traditional oil dressings such as italian or greek, not ranch which is extremely easy to make without oil). Therefore since I rarely use oil I am extremely picky. If I am going to add something to a dish I want to choose the option with the most health benefits. This is where Foods Alive comes in. Recently I looked through their website and was absolutely fascinated with all their healthy oil options! They have so many options of oils that are high in omegas. I personally have a harder time getting all my omegas, because I don't take a supplement for it. I eat lots of chia seeds and flaxseeds, but I don't normally eat hemp seeds because they're a little too pricey for me. Hemp oil has the highest amount of omega 6's of "the holy trinity of seeds"(lol), so with that being said, finding this oil was huge. I eat a salad almost everyday for lunch and I have always loved the lighter oil and vinegar types of dressings, so needless to say this oil will be a game changer. I added a picture of the nutrition facts so you can get a better idea of just how "clean" this product is. Also I found a super cool video of how they make their oils, so if you love a good behind the scenes as much as I do that is below as well!
Cool right? There's something about a behind the scenes of products being made that gives me so much more trust in the company, and the products they produce. Foods Alive has tons of other health related foods and products, so if you're on the lookout for some quality products click here.
I got a little side tracked there, but I am honestly just such a huge fan of this company! I want to dive a little deeper into this dish before I get to the recipe. I love this recipe for so many reasons, but what it comes down to at the end of the day is how simple it is. This recipe took me maybe 15 minutes to put together (minus the cheese part that takes awhile to sit in the fridge, but if you are in a time crunch there are numerous plant based cheeses out there). It is also super easy to customize. Want more vegetables? Just add more, anything will taste good in this. Need more protein(although you shouldn't because the bean based pasta makes this high protein)? Simply add a can of chickpeas. At the end of the day you're the one making it, so make it the way you will enjoy it most! Let's get to it then!
Recipe Serves: 4-6
Total time: 15 minute assembly, 2 hr or overnight wait for the cheese
For the Vegan Mozzarella:
1/2 Cup raw cashews soaked overnight
3/4 Cup Unsweetened/unflavored plant milk (my favorite is soy or almond)
1 Lemon juiced
1 Teaspoon miso paste
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 Tablespoons psyllium husk
(optional) 1 Teaspoon tapioca starch
For the Pasta Salad:
1 Box bean based pasta
1/2 Red onion
1 Green bell pepper
1 Box cherry tomatoes
(optional) Spring mix
2 Tablespoon Foods Alive Hemp seed oil
3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
Begin by making the cheese ahead of time. simple strain the cashews and add everything to a blender except the psyllium husk. Blend until smooth then add the psyllium husk and blend again. Scoop out and pour into a bowl quickly and set in fridge to solidify. This may take awhile, I let mine sit for about 3 hours.
To make the pasta salad; simply cook pasta according to instructions. Chop the onion, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes and add to a salad bowl.
to make the dressing simply combine the oil, vinegar, and seasoning together and add to bowl.
strain and rinse the pasta to cool down, then add to bowl.
Chop the cheese up into little squares and add to the salad bowl. Serve over spring mix for extra nutrient boost, and enjoy!