Salad

Spring Asparagus and Tomato Penne with Barilla ProteinPLUS

 This post is sponsored by Barilla; however, I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own.

This post is sponsored by Barilla; however, I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own.

Spring is finally upon us, and I couldn't be more excited! That means fresh, bright produce and lots of outdoor time, so I decided I needed a recipe that celebrates all of the above! And what screams spring time picnics more than a fresh, veggie-packed pasta salad dish?

I had recently stumbled upon Barilla ProteinPLUS pasta at my local Walmart. It's packed with 17 g of protein (per 3.5 oz portion) from all natural vegetarian ingredients including egg whites, grains, lentils, and chickpeas. It's also a great source of fiber and ALA Omega-3. It seemed like the perfect base for a quick, easy, and delicious meal any day of the week, so I ended up picking up the penne to give it a try. 

I thought it would pair perfectly with some bright spring veggies like asparagus and tomatoes to make a light and fresh pasta (or pasta salad) dish while still being a good source of lean protein. I added in some lemon juice, pine nuts, basil, and a few other ingredients to bring that extra flavor, and it all came together to make a great meal or side that'd be perfect for your next picnic!

Here's What You'll Need:

-One 14.5 oz box Barilla ProteinPLUS Penne
-1 bundle of asparagus (~20 spears)
-1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
-1/4 cup pine nuts
-5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
-Juice of 1/2 lemon
-1/4 cup shredded or shaved parmesan
-1 tbsp EVOO
-1/4 tsp sea salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper

Serves 4 as a meal or 7 as a side or appetizer

Instructions:

1) Cook the Barilla ProteinPLUS Penne according to the directions on the box.
2) Remove the bottoms from the asparagus, and bake them in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes (may also grill or steam until tender instead).
3) Cut the asparagus spears into thirds.
4) Toast the pine nuts on the stove top until they begin to turn golden (about 3- 5 minutes).
5) In a large bowl mix together all of the ingredients until well blended. I reserved some of the pine nuts, basil, and parmesan to top it all off, but feel free to mix it all in if desired.
6) Serve warm or refrigerate to serve as a pasta salad, and enjoy!

Barilla Gluten Free pasta was recently named one of Parent's Magazine's "Top 25 Allergy Free Foods" making it a great choice to swap in for the ProteinPLUS penne if allergies are a concern! You can also use this Ibotta link to get some cash back when purchasing your Barilla pasta. Make sure to check out these other delicious Barilla recipes and their Pinterest board for more inspiration! And let me know what you think in the comments below!

Baked BBQ Tofu Veggie Salad - Vegetarian + GF

Do you ever picture something as just mediocre in your head? You don't really have expectations either way. Sure, it could be good but probably nothing to write home about. That's kind of how I was imagining this salad. I love all of the ingredients, and I knew they'd taste good together. But this was literally a throw together meal that I had no intention of posting the recipe to. Well, I had the first bite, and it was immediately apparent that this bad boy was going on the blog!

Not sure why I even doubted it in the first place. It's got Brussels, sweet potato, avocado, and my absolute favorite condiment - BBQ sauce. So there was really no going wrong. Plus it's vegetarian (easily made vegan by swapping the dressing) and gluten free, so it's the perfect fit for anyone in your life!

Here's What You'll Need:

-8 oz spinach or spring mix
-1 sweet potato, cut into 1/2 in cubes
-2 tbsp avocado oil, separated
-14 oz block of firm tofu, pressed and cut into pieces about 1/2" in thick and 1 in long
-1 bundle of Brussels sprouts (about 2-3 cups), bottoms removed and halved
-1/2 cup cooked sweet corn kernels
-20 cherry tomatoes, halved
-1 avocado, cubed
-1/2 tsp sea salt, separated
-1/2 tsp black pepper, separated
-1/8 tsp tsp garlic powder
-1/8 tsp chili powder
-1 cup Simple Girl Sugar-Free Carolina Style BBQ Sauce
-1/4 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I used this one)
-1/4 tsp dried cilantro
-1/4 tsp lime juice

Serves 4

Instructions:

1) Marinate your tofu in the BBQ sauce for at least 30 minutes.
2) Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
3) Toss your sweet potato pieces with 1 tbsp avocado oil, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, the garlic powder, and the chili powder. Spread on baking sheet.
4) Toss your Brussels Sprouts with 1 tbsp avocado oil, 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Spread on a baking sheet.
5) Place your marinated tofu on a greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet, and top each with a little of the extra BBQ sauce. Save extra BBQ sauce (there should be a decent amount).
6) Bake the sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, and tofu in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
7) Remove the tofu and sweet potato, and continue to cook the Brussels for an additional 5-10 minutes until slightly browned and softened.
8) In a bowl, mix together, 1/2 cup of the remaining BBQ sauce, Greek yogurt, cilantro, and lime juice to create the dressing.
9) Either mix together the spring mix, sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, corn, tomatoes, and avocado in a large bowl, or split each evenly between 4 serving bowls.
10) Top with tofu, and drizzle on the dressing.
11) Serve and enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Good Clean Summer Love Pasta Salad with Love Beets and Organic Girl

I don't know about you guys, but I LOVE me some beets and organic greens! So when Love Beets and Organic Girl let me in on their #GoodCleanSummerLove campaign, I was SO excited to play around!

Before we get into the recipe deets, let me tell you guys about this amazing contest. One lucky winner is going to win an entire year's supply of Love Beets and Organic Girl (insert heart eyes and hand raising emoji here)! I'll put the full details on how to enter at the bottom of this post, so make sure you check it out!

So back to the eats. Beets and greens scream summer to me (hence the campaign I'm guessing), and of course they both go great in a salad. But I decided I wanted to kick it up a level. What else screams summer? Grilling, corn, and pasta salads. So why not bring them all together? Trust me you want to bring them all together...

Here's What You'll Need:

-1 lb pasta, cooked (I used sprouted penne, but lentil or whole grain pastas are also great)
-2 cups Organic Girl pepper greens
-4 Love Beets organic cooked beets, chopped
-1/4 cup Organic Girl pomegranate balsamic dressing
-3/4 cup feta
-2 ears of corn
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1/4 cup pine nuts
-Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) Preheat your grill to medium high heat.
2) Remove the silk from the corn and pull down the husks. Coat the corn in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Replace the husks back up around the corn.
3) Grill the corn for about 20 minutes, rotating 1/4 of the way every 5 minutes.
4) Once cooked, shave the kernels off the cob using a knife.
5) Toast the pine nuts on the stove top until just golden brown (about 3-5 minutes).
6) In a large bowl, mix together the pasta, beets, pepper greens, corn, pine nuts, and feta.
7) Add in the dressing (and salt and pepper to taste) and mix completely until evenly distributed.
8) Serve and enjoy!

This pasta salad is literally like summer in side dish form. It's perfect for a picnic, bbq, or even as a meal through out the week. Let me know what you think in the comments, and make sure to check on the contest rules below.
 

Caprese Pasta Salad

I have been SERIOUSLY slacking on the recipe front, and I totally apologize for that! But I'm back and just in time for Memorial Day Weekend! I'm hoping to get up a few different ideas throughout this week that you can bring to/make for any upcoming picnics and parties you might be attending over the long weekend. Starting it off with this super easy caprese pasta salad.

Here's What You'll Need:

-One 10 oz bag of penne (I used Modern Table Meals' mixed lentil penne)
-16 oz fresh mozzarella (I used two Buf Creamery containers), cut into cubes
-2 medium tomatoes, chopped
-10 basil leaves, chopped
-1/2 cup balsamic vinnegar
-2 tbsp olive oil
-Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) Cook your pasta according to the instructions. Let cool until it reaches around room temperature, or you can just toss it in the fridge.
2) In a large bowl, mix together the tomato, penne, basil, and mozzarella.
3) Drizzle with the balsamic and olive oil and top with salt and pepper.
4) Enjoy!

I told you it was easy! And it's sure to be a crowd pleaser! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Healthy Cobb Salad with a Spicy Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Cobb salads are a combination of some of the most delicious things. Their only downfall is they generally aren't particularly healthy. I was craving a Cobb but wanted it to fit into my normal eating habits without sacrificing flavor. So I decided to give it a little remix of my own.

I wanted to include most of the normal, delicious components. So this salad is all about moderation and healthier alternatives. I kept most of the whole, healthy ingredients, switched out bacon for turkey bacon, and still managed to get some blue cheese in there. I also decided to skip on the blue cheese dressing and replace it with a seriously delicious spicy honey apple cider vinaigrette. Trust me, the dressing makes the salad.

Here's What You'll Need:

-4 cups spring mix
-1 medium tomato, chopped
-2 eggs, hard boiled and chopped
-4 pieces turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
-1/2 avocado, sliced
-4 tbsp blue cheese crumbles
-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (with mother)
-1 tbsp Bushwick Kitchen's Bees Knees Spicy Honey
-1 tbsp water
-1 tbsp olive oil
-salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) Mix together the apple cider vinegar, honey, water, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
2) Split the spring mix between two bowls.
3) Top each bowl with 1/2 of the tomato, egg, bacon, avocado, and blue cheese.
4) Drizzle 1/2 of the dressing over each bowl.
5) Enjoy!

If you aren't a fan of spicy, you can switch out the spicy honey for traditional honey. But if you are a fan, you really need to try this. Spicy honey is SO good! Let me know what you think in the comments below!