Sunday, January 13, 2013

Trattoria Pasta Salad

New Year, New Resolutions 

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"Forget that tired old pasta salad Aunt Gertrude brings to family reunions - this salad is where it's at! NO mayo required" ~from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cookbook, Appetite for Reduction.  

With the dawn of the New Year, L and I have made a pact to eat more sensibly and healthy. We have both downloaded calorie counter apps for our phones, and are faithfully keeping track of our daily calorie intake and portion sizes.  I'm using MyFitnessPal, which I really like because they have a TON of vegan ingredients already in their database. If your particular brand or ingredient is not there, the app has a handy barcode symbol, which allows you to scan almost any ingredient with a barcode for complete nutritional information. And, as an added bonus, MyFitnessPal has almost ALL of the recipes from Appetite for Reduction already listed, which has made it really easy for us to have quick, easy and healthy, whole food meals at our fingertips.

So, I just so happened to have two red peppers and some kalamata olives hanging around in my fridge. I also happened to have an open bag of sun dried tomatoes, not packed in oil, as well. And, thanks to my co-worker, Thu, I had just gotten some wonderful Vietnamese rice spiral macaroni from the Vietnamese Market (VMart) here in Providence.

Now if you don't happen to have Appetite for Reduction, Isa has posted the complete recipe for this pasta salad on the PPK website here.  Please check it out, and give the recipe a try.

The only change I made was that I kept the red bell peppers RAW instead of roasting, and added just a tiny touch of agave nectar to the dressing, just to take a bit of the edge out.  Results:  Rave reviews, and it tastes even better the next day.  Perfect for work lunches too.  The tangy bite of the sun dried tomato and balsamic dressing, (made with no oil, but rather a few TBSP of toasted walnuts blended well), goes perfect with the peppers, olives, creamy beans and peppery bite of the fresh baby arugula.  I decided to splurge and added to optional half-cup of toasted walnuts into the mix.  Why not, right? ^_^

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Xtra Walnuts and Arugula, please
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