This summertime macaroni salad is egg- and oil-free. And while most macaroni salad recipes call for sugar in the dressing, in this recipe a couple of dates take its place, resulting in a dressing that is reminiscent of Thousand Island.
2 cups dry whole-grain macaroni pasta (brown rice or quinoa are good)
water for boiling pasta
3 ribs celery, small diced
2 carrots, grated
1 red onion, small diced
1 red bell pepper, small diced
1 15-oz. can black olives, sliced
1 cup parsley, chopped
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
½ cup water
½ cup raw cashews
2 medjool dates, pitted and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. In a small bowl, place cashews and pitted, diced dates in the ½ cup water; set aside. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions; drain, rinse in cold water.
2. In a large bowl, toss the celery, carrot, red onion, bell pepper, olives, parsley and basil.
3. In a high-speed blender, blend all of the dressing ingredients: soak water, cashews, dates, garlic, mustard, lemon juice and pepper until smooth.
4. Add the pasta and dressing to the bowl of vegetables and mix everything. Garnish with avocado, chopped parsley and/or basil.
Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 12-15 minutes (for pasta)
If you do not have dates on hand, a ½ cup of apple juice may be substituted for the dates and water.
You may also make the dressing without the cashews, it just won’t be creamy, but will still taste good (and lower calorie).