Lunch Today: Avocado Pasta Salad

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avocadoI am on an avocado kick right now. One of my favorite snacks is half an avocado sprinkled with sea salt, and just eating it with a spoon. I also am trying to find creative ways to use up all the avocados, since I buy so (too?) many at a time and they all get ripe at once! Avocado pasta salad is a great choice.

Avocados are loaded with phytosterols and polyhydroxylated fatty alcohol (PFA), which contain an arsenal of anti-inflammatory benefits to help prevent and relieve osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Over half the fat in an avocado is made up of monounsaturated fatty acids, which help decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and raise HDL (good) cholesterol, reduce risk of strokes, and maintain good heart health. Plus, one avocado contains more potassium than a banana and, ounce for ounce, has more fiber than most other fruit – one whole avocado contains a whopping 10 grams of fiber.

This pasta salad is a favorite, easy-to-make, vegan, and most importantly, delicious recipe.

Avocado Pasta Salad

• 1 pound rotini pasta (gluten free, spelt or whole wheat)
• 1 yellow or orange sweet pepper, finely chopped
• 1 cup chopped broccoli florets, lightly blanched
• 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
• 1/2 cup diced red onion

Dressing

• 2 ripe avocados, pitted
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
• 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
• 1/2 cup lime juice
• 1/2 to 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• Sea salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain in cold water and set aside.

In a large salad bowl, combine sweet pepper, broccoli, corn and red onion.

Using a food processor or blender, combine avocado, garlic, basil, sunflower seeds, lime juice and extra-virgin olive oil, plus sea salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth and creamy. If the avocado you’re using isn’t soft, you may need to add a little bit more olive oil or water to make it creamier.

Add cooked pasta to the vegetables and mix together. Pour the dressing on top and mix until combined. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. This pasta salad gets better the longer it sits!

Photo from here, with thanks.

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June 2020
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