Salads – Pasta & Meal-type
Summer Squash and Pasta Salad
A wonderful “using up the summer squash” recipe, this time in a pasta salad.
Place all ingredients below in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth:
12 oz. Roasted Red Peppers
2-1/2 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tsp. Dried Rosemary
2+ Cloves Fresh Garlic
1+ Tbsp. Fresh Basil
Gradually add to the dressing last, in a steady stream:
1/2 C. Olive Oil
Grill on a hot, oiled rack for approximately 10 minutes, the following vegetables:
3 Zucchini Squash, Sliced
3 Yellow Summer Squash, Sliced
3 Red Onions, Sliced
Turn vegetables once. After cooking, cut the grilled vegetables into thin strips.
Cook, drain and cool:
1 Lb. Penne Pasta
Toss Dressing and Vegetables together with the cooked, cooled Pasta. Chill or serve immediately.
Springtime Pasta Salad with Asparagus
A tasty springtime treat for Lenten “oil” days or for after the Fast when asparagus is in season. Cooked and peeled shrimp can also be added. This salad can easily be served as a main dish, with bread on the side.
1 Lbs. Pasta – Bowtie, Spirals or Shells, uncooked
2 Lbs. Fresh Asparagus
1 Sweet Onion, Finely Chopped
½ C. Fresh Parsley, Finely Chopped
1 Tbsp. Fresh Dill, Finely Chopped
1 Jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts, Coarsely Chopped, Liquid Reserved
1 Tbsp.+ Lemon Peel Zest
½ C. Olive Oil
1/2 C. + Lemon Juice
¼ C. White Wine, Optional
¼ C. Green Olives w/Pimentos, Sliced, Optional
1 Pkg. Fresh Mushrooms, Coarsely Cut, Optional
5 Ripe Roma Tomatoes, Chopped, Optional
1 Lb. Cooked, Peeled & Cut-Up Shrimp, Optional
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Red Pepper Flakes, Optional & to taste
Stir chopped vegetables and seasonings into lemon juice, wine, artichoke marinate and olive oil. Lemon peel zest can be easily made in a food processor. Allow flavors to blend while preparing the pasta and asparagus. Cook pasta in salted water until “al dente.” Rinse and cool the cooked pasta. Cut or break asparagus into small, bite-sized pieces. Stir fry or steam until tender but still “bright.” Stir together all ingredients. Add shrimp, if it’s being used. Adjust seasonings. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Savory Southwestern Summer Salad
This savory salad is a meal by itself. It can be served on a bed of lettuce, crowned by a cool dollop of guacamole, with warm tortillas or tortilla chips on the side. Or, serve it with a side of rice. The salad can be eaten at room temperature, just after it has been prepared. Or, can be chilled if it’s meant to be served later. Either way, the preparation is relatively easy and doesn’t expend much kitchen heat, which is counted as a big blessing!
For a Lenten/Vegan Version, substitute 1 lb. Firm Tofu for the meat, or even long strips of summer-type squash.
Marinade Meat, Tofu or Squash in the following for several hours or overnight:
2 – 3 Sour Oranges (or, 1 Lg. Lemon + 3 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar)
1 Tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce (regular or low-sodium)
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tsp. Liquid Smoke
4 Lg. Cloves Fresh Garlic, Pressed or Finely Minced
1 Tbsp. NM-style Powdered Red Chile
1 Tsp. Mexican Oregano, Dry (or regular)
½ Tsp. Ground Cumin (Cominos)
1 Tsp. Salt, or to taste
Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
1 Can Whole Corn, Drained (or equivalent fresh, cooked)
1 Can Black Beans, Drained
1 Can Black Olives, Drained & cut into halves
1 Med. Red Onion, Finely Diced
1 Med. Red Sweet Pepper, Finely Diced
1 Small Summer Squash, Mexican, Yellow or Zucchini, Finely Diced (Optional)
1 Small Hot Pepper, Finely Minced
¼ C. Fresh Cilantro, Finely Chopped
Well drain the canned vegetables. Mix all ingredients together. Stir well.
To Complete the Salad:
Drain the marinade off the meat, tofu or squash as best possible. Reserve this liquid. Coat the bottom of a heavy skillet with olive oil. Heat the oil and quickly brown the drained meat or tofu. When the pieces are tender but done, add the reserved marinade and cook them together briefly, until the sauce has slightly thickened. Pour the meat, tofu or squash and its sauce over the salad ingredients. Stir together well. Serve immediately, or chill until time to eat. At serving time, top the salad with small cubes of fresh, white Mexican Cheese (Queso Fresco), optional, if not during a fast.
Marinated Tofu Salad
One of my long-time friends and favorite cooks, Julie Kinney of Lithonia, Georgia, shared this recipe with me years ago while we were still living nearby her family. It is a great, protein-rich summer-time fasting salad, and can be varied in many ways.
2 Lbs. Firm Tofu, Cut into ½” Cubes
4 Tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar (Or a Citrus Substitute)
3 Med. Cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced or Pressed
1 ½ Tsp. Dijon-style Mustard
2 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro and/or Fresh Parsley, Finely Minced
½ Tsp. Dried Tarragon
½ Tsp. Dried Marjoram or Oregano
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
½ C. Olive Oil (or other oil, in reduced amount, during a Fast)
Mix together the marinade ingredients. Add cubed tofu. Place in a tightly-lidded container and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more. Serve marinated tofu on a bed of lettuce greens. Optional: Add any other salad type vegetables you wish, such as chunks of ripe tomato, cucumber, onion, jicama or summer squash, etc. Top the salad with either black or green olives.