This pregnancy has me craving cold dishes. I have probably made 5 different pasta salad variations in the past 3 weeks. I just can’t get enough of them! Plus it’s a good way for me to get more raw vegetables in my diet, which I need even more since I’m, you know, growing another human being.
Take a look at those beautiful colors! Any dish with that many colors has got to be packed with tons of good stuff, right? And as long as you use whole grain pasta, there will be nothing bad about this salad.
Pasta Salad with Cucumber-Lime Vinaigrette
half a box of your choice of pasta salad noodles (I chose penne)
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and chopped about 1/4 inches thick
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/2 to 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes (your preference)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (took me 3 juicy limes)
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or another flavorless oil, like canola)
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like things spicy)
generous amounts of salt and pepper for seasoning
Boil pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. In a large bowl toss cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, and cilantro to mix well. In a small bowl mix lime juice, oil, honey, red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour vinaigrette over pasta and vegetables.
It keeps pretty well overnight in the refrigerator, so you can make this dish ahead of time. It’s great for Saturday BBQ’s or potluck dinners at church. You can make it gluten-free, too, by replacing the noodles with gluten-free noodles, of course.