I live in a very tiny apartment/studio here in LA. It’s a mix between a bachelor and one bedroom and despite the fact that I am convinced I am living in Hades, this place was not equipped with air conditioning. Why that is, is beyond me but we have a window unit that lovingly blows cool air directly onto the couch. Now I said that I live in a small place but there are crevices in this apartment that gets no cool air whatsoever. We call this place the kitchen. It is also the place I spend the majority of my time so you can imagine that when summer hits, I want nothing to do with that area.
Which inevitably means that when summer rears it’s ugly head, for my sanity and for those that live with me (hi Matt!) I stick to a few recipes that I know are easy to put together and requires minimal time near the oven or even in the kitchen itself. This Summer Veggie Pasta Salad is actually a family favorite here as I don’t have to do much in its prep other than chop tons of crunchy vegetables and mince up some fresh herbs. That’s it. I used Ancient Harvest’s new Red Lentil & Quinoa Rotelle for the pasta which gave a good boost of protein and a nice lentil-y flavor. I don’t know how else to explain it but lentils have a certain bean-like flavor that is almost spicy (flavorful, not in terms with heat). The best part of this pasta? Totally didn’t get mushy and weird the way most gluten free pastas do the day after.
Make this a fun summertime lunch or dinner by placing the summer veggie pasta salad into hollowed out bell pepper buckets. It’s perfect for the days you sit on the couch, miserable (with a stream of air blowing directly on you), wishing you were at the beach. At least you can feel like you are dipping your feet into the cool water.
- ½ box Lentil & Quinoa Rotelle from Ancient Harvest, cooked according to the box
- 1 small cucumber
- ¼ c. cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- ¼ red onion, minced
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. fresh basil (or 2 tsp. dried)
- 1 tsp. fresh oregano (or ½ tsp. dried)
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme (or ½ tsp. dried)
- pinch of sea salt to taste
- Drain the pasta.
- Place everything into a large bowl and toss until well-combined.
- Add more seasoning according to taste.
- Slice the tops off of 4 bell pepper and clean out the insides.
- Cut a piece of the bell pepper off the top to create a ring that is approx. ½" thick. Cut in half.
- Using a piece of the pointy part of a toothpick, connect the bell pepper "handle" to the side of the bell pepper "bucket."
- Fill the pasta salad into the buckets and serve.