Quinoa Pasta Broccoli Salad

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Spring is in full force!  The blossoms on my enormous cherry trees in the back yard cover the branches and litter the grass beneath and the crab apple tree in front is the brightest fuchsia pink I’ve ever seen.   That means that people are uncovering the grills and firing them up once more. This gluten free, dairy free version of broccoli salad is a  yummy and filling side to serve at your next barbecue along side some Fired Up Pork Ribs! This salad can go together in a snap if you have planned ahead.  Make your own {Homemade} mayonnaise the day or two before for an even healthier, preservative free dish.  

1 – 8 oz. box quinoa Rotelle pasta (I use Ancient Harvest brand; organic and gluten-free)
1 head fresh broccoli, rinsed and florets trimmed off the stem
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 green onions, diced
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup cashews, roughly chopped

Cook pasta according to directions, for about 9 minutes. Cook bacon until crispy, pat the grease off with a paper towel and crumble.  Chop and prepare your broccoli, carrots, onions and cashews.   Once the pasta’s done, drain and rinse in cold water.  Throw everything together and pour the dressing over top. Toss to coat and serve chilled!

Dressing
1/4-1/3 cup agave nectar or honey
1/4 cups olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup previously prepared {Homemade} Mayo
Salt and pepper to taste

{Homemade} Zesty Lemon Mayonnaise 
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon prepared Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white wine or champagne vinegar
good pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
dash raw sugar 
1 cup olive oil
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest

Add all ingredients except oil and lemon zest.  Get a hand mixer going with one hand and with the other VERY slowly drizzle the olive oil in.  I’m talking really slow!  Like it took me a couple minutes to pour the entire cup of olive oil into the bowl.  It will begin to thicken as you mix and you can pour a little faster toward the end.  Once it resembles mayo then add the lemon zest.  Mix to combine, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for 20 minutes or longer to let the flavors marinade and to chill. It will only last about 3 days in the fridge so use it!   


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