I am a lover of any get-to-gether that involves food! I love to host and help by bringing a creative dish to any party. I had the idea for this recipe as I got the first backyard bbq invite for the season. I thought, “There has got to be a healthy swap for the traditional pasta salad”. So, I loaded up on veggies and threw them together and did some research on poppy seed dressing. Carrots, red onion and tomatoes are pretty common for a pasta salad, where I got creative was the kale! Because of the poppy seed dressing, the kale softens and blends well with the other ingredients. Make sure to chop or break apart the kale with your hands in small pieces and remove the stems. I choose the celery for crunch. Yum!
I found so many poppy seed dressing varieties and even scanned the label on the store bought one I had in the pantry. It can be made in a variety of ways, some use more mustard, some use mayo, and some use sour cream or other cheese. My recipe is more of a vinaigrette with apple cider vinegar and no dairy or mayo.
Options are popping up everywhere for those with Celiac Disease, which effects 18 million Americans. Some are more natural than others. Gluten Free pasta is usually made with natural ingredients like brown rice and quinoa. I have tried many brands of brown rice pasta and Ronzoni and Aldi’s Live G Free brand are both good. Other types are popping up too like chickpea and lentil, but I haven’t experimented.
Price – Aldi sells g-free pasta for $2.89 and Ronzoni $1.99. The vegetables in this recipe are all reasonable (where I shop, $2.99 and under) and available year round. The poppy seeds were the most expensive item. I found the organic was actually cheaper than the conventional because it was on sale ($4.50).
Rainbow Pasta Salad Recipe
½ box of Gluten Free Rotini Pasta (about 6-8 ounces) (I prefer Ronzoni or Live GFree Brand)
1 Cup Matchstick Carrots
1 Cup Celery, sliced
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 ½ Cup Kale, packed and chopped, stems removed
2/3 Cup Red Onion, diced
Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Recipe
1 cup Canola Oil
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
¼ Cup Sugar or Honey
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Ground Mustard
2 Tsp Onion Powder
2 dashes of salt
1 tsp Poppy Seeds
Cook pasta as directed on package. I prefer Ronzoni brand, or you can use any type of G-free pasta. Chop all vegetables as noted in the ingredients list. In a large bowl add pasta and all vegetables. For the dressing, in a small bowl or blender, add canola oil, then vinegar and honey. Mix until blended and you get a creamy consistency. I try to avoid plain white sugar, but for this recipe, it helps create the white color and consistency. You can decrease the amount or use honey if you like. Next add lemon juice, ground mustard, onion powder, salt and poppy seeds. Stir until blended. Add all the dressing to the salad and mix until all the pasta and veggies are coated. If serving the next day wait to add the dressing until a couple hours before.