Friday, August 2, 2013

Southwestern Zucchini Pasta Salad with Tomato-Cilantro-Avocado Sauce

I created this recipe when I needed a reason to try a new local pasta brand, and eventually turned it into a vegan salad with raw zucchini noodles! I also added the avocado the second time around and loved the creaminess it gave the sauce. It's a light, spicy salad that satisfies and refreshes on a hot summer day. I've posted the zucchini version, but know that you can use a box of your favorite pasta if you're so inclined.

SW Pasta Salad with Tomato- Cilantro- Avocado Sauce

By Caroline Mac

Serves 3-5 

4 zucchini, sliced into thin strips (I used a vegetable peeler)
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 c carrot, shredded
1 container (3 cups) Pomi diced tomatoes, split in half
1 c fresh cilantro, plus 1/4 c to be added later
1 15 oz can low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 avocado, plus more for garnish
Juice of 1 lime
2 cloves garlic
1 t SW style seasoning
1 t smoked paprika
1/2 t cayenne pepper
3 pinches salt
Cholula hot sauce, to taste

Step 1: Combine 1.5 c tomatoes, 1 cup cilantro, avocado, lime juice, garlic, and all seasoning in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside.

Step 2: Combine Zucchini noodles, cucumber, carrot, 1.5 c tomatoes, 1/4 c cilantro and beans in  a large bowl. Stir gently until thoroughly mixed, careful not to break the zucchini noodles.

Step 3: Pour sauce evenly over the vegetables and stir gently until all ingredients are thoroughly coated.  Serve cold or at room temperature with a few slices of avocado for garnish.



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