Eat with the seasons by making this Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad to share with your loved ones at your next cookout!
Eating seasonally has a huge impact on the quality of your fresh produce. This is because when and where your produce was grown contributes to nutrient content. In fact, the moment your produce is harvested, the nutrient density starts to drop. Long story short, when you choose locally grown produce that’s in season right now, you’re getting the most nutrients – and flavor!
Eating seasonally can also help you save money! Have you ever noticed that berries in the summer are significantly cheaper than berries in the winter? This is because fresh produce is always less expensive when it’s in season. It makes sense, right? When your food has to travel less “food miles” to get to the store, the savings are passed along to you!
In honor of seasonal eating, I’m sharing a super simple Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad recipe. Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, zucchini, shallots, and fresh basil – it basically screams summer. And it’s perfect for your next BBQ or summer cookout.
Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad
- 10 ounces pasta, GF if needed
- 2 ears of corn, cooked and kernels removed
- 1 10 ounce can chickpeas, drained and thoroughly rinsed
- 1 zucchini, chopped and lightly sauteed
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, packed and thinly sliced
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 tbsp red vinegar
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp basil
- Sea salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Place a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, drain the pasta and set aside. Pro tip: toss the cooked pasta in a bit of olive oil to prevent it from sticking to itself!
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the veggies accordingly.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine pasta, veggies, and chickpeas. Pour in dressing - remember, you will have leftover dressing!
- Either serve immediately or cover and place in refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Consider adding a touch more of the dressing if it dries out in the fridge!
*You will have some leftover dressing! Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Do you have lots of BBQs and cookouts on the calendar this summer? It might feel impossible to stay on track with your health goals when you’re hanging out at cookouts all summer long, but I assure you it’s not. Staying aligned with your health goals and still having fun can be done, it just takes some thoughtful preparation. Check out this blog post for 6 ways to stay on track at summer cookouts!