It’s no surprise that when I first became vegetarian my entire family couldn’t understand it. The criticism, jokes, and sometimes even the ridicule that I was put under was something that, although difficult to understand, gave me a reason to continue further on this meatless path. However, it never really upset me.
What did upset me, quite a lot I must confess, was the fact that I could hardly ever find anything to eat at family gatherings. It was disrespectful to bring my own meal, yet their idea of providing a vegetarian meal was really bizarre. Basically, I was expected to either eat lettuce and tomatoes or to eat around the meat in dishes.
Now, I understand that one of the reasons why vegetarians are often left with no food options at gatherings is because people just don’t know what to make. So, I have created an easy and fool proof recipe that anyone, vegetarian or non-vegetarians alike, can make and enjoy: Mexican Pasta Salad.
Pasta salad is prepared in so many ways, by so many cultures, and for all types of gatherings. From picnics at a park to more intimate events, pasta salad is somewhere to be found. What I love the most about this recipe is that it can be served as a side dish AND it’s a complete meal all by itself.
Please stop starving your vegetarian friends and go make this pasta salad for your next gathering. Your vegetarian friends will thank you and everybody will enjoy!
Serves approximately 4 people
2 cups uncooked brown rice fusilli pasta
1 large avocado, cubed
1 large vine ripe tomato, chopped
1 small cucumber, chopped
1/4 onion, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
1/3 cup mayo (vegan mayo for vegan)
1/3 cup cilantro
The juice of 1 large lemon
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup baked tofu (optional), cubed
Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta as directed, depending on what pasta you used.
- In a large bowl, add pasta, avocado, tomato, cucumber, and tofu.
- Using a food processor, add the onion and celery and pulse until you reach a very fine mince. Then add to pasta.
-In a food processor or blender, add mayo, cilantro, lemon juice, and olive oil. Process until smooth.
- Mix all the pasta ingredients carefully then add dressing, salt, and pepper to taste.
As a side note, you can use any pasta you want but I like brown rice pasta as it is healthier for you. Also, baked tofu is easy to find at any health store (I love the flavor from Trader Joe’s). Otherwise, marinate it and bake it for about 40 minutes on a 350 degree oven. Moreover, you can substitute the tofu for ham if you are not vegetarian.
Feel free to post your comments or questions.
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