Wow Your 4th of July Guests with this Pasta-less Zucchini Pasta Salad

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If you don’t know already, tomorrow is the 4th of July! Whether you’re hosting a July 4th party or going to one, I have the perfect item for your menu: pasta-less pasta salad. Imagine the look on your friends’ faces! Don’t be predictable and bring a bottle of wine or a box of cookies – bring zucchini pasta! My mother always taught me never to go to a party empty handed. It’s definitely life advice that I’ll be passing down to my children someday (those lucky little nuggets!)

Pasta salad is one of my favorites. My grandmother makes a mouth-wateringly good pasta salad with tuna, celery and macaroni. I don’t know why it’s SO good, but it is. You know what I don’t love about it? That I can’t eat it guiltlessly (because I have to eat a huge bowl of it -it’s so good!)

Worry no more, I’ve got a solution – a great creamy dressing to go on top of zucchini noodles. In this recipe, I peel the zucchinis first to get a better texture for a pasta salad. Mixed in with summer favorites like fresh (Jersey!) corn and beans and voila – you have a side dish that’s guaranteed to wow everyone – including yourself! Tasty and light – spot on for a 4th of July summer party! Oh, and warning: I LOVE (no, like – really love) Mexican food, so I got the inspiration from Mexican staples (ie corn, avocado, beans, pepitas, etc). The chili spices give this dish a nice kick – and the pepitas give this a yummy and salty crunch – mmmmmm. This tastes the best chilled, so make a big batch tonight and bring it tomorrow!

TIP: Toss the bun and place your grilled burger, chicken, hot dog, tofu, fish or whatever on top of a bed of this pasta salad and you have a light and tasty full meal!

Mexican Avocado Pasta Salad 

Servings: 2-3
Time to Prepare: 10 minutes
Time to Cook: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchinis, peeled and then spiralized
  • 3/4 cup of black beans
  • 3/4 cup of red kidney beans
  • 1.5-2 ears of corn
  • 4 tbsp pepitas (or more, if you like!)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (about 3/4 – 1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Mexican seasoning (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

For the Avocado Lime Cilantro Dressing (makes about 1/2 – 3/4 of a cup)

  • 2-3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 medium garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste (I like about 1/2 – 1 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 of a lime
  • 1 avocado, insides chopped

Directions

In a saucepan, place in your corn and then enough water to cover the corn completely. Boil the water and after 2-3 minutes, pour corn into a colander, drain, pat dry, and shave off kernels into a large bowl, using a knife. Set aside.

Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing and place in a food processor. Pulse until creamy and place aside, in the refrigerator.

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In the bowl with the corn, add zucchini noodles, pepitas, beans, cumin, Mexican Seasoning, chili powder, red bell peppers and onions. Pour in about 1/2 cup of avocado dressing and mix thoroughly to combine. Add more if desired. Top with more pepitas and serve into a cute tupperware bowl and bring to the party or serve in a big bowl to your guests!

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I am in Florida right now (Singer Island) celebrating the holiday with my boyfriend and parents. Relaxing and writing for the blog. Enjoy your 4th of July, wherever you may be!

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