Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Recipe: Bean & Pasta Salad

My husband and I practice a gluten-less lifestyle, so I buy gluten-free pasta. Neither of us has a gluten or wheat intolerance, unlike my niece, but we do feel gluten-free products leave us feeling more comfortable and less bloated after eating.

Fortunately, gluten-free kinds of pasta are more available now and are of better quality. When we visited Italy, we were told all Italian pasta are gluten-free because Italian pasta is less processed than US pasta. I have no idea if that is true, but we still focus on labeling in the US.

We gave up our microwave in 2011 when we moved to our new home, so we also attempt to avoid processed foods, mostly. A lot of foods I will make from scratch, such as Italian dressing and tomato sauce, and then only buy 'packaged' foods that have ingredients listed on the label that we can both read and recognize.

My husband's favorite foods are soups and salads, while my favorite foods are vegetables - like real vegetable dishes, not just salads. As a result, most of our meals feature these items, usually more than one.

Bean & Pasta Salad

3 cups (7 1/2 ounces) uncooked medium pasta shells
2/3 cup Italian dressing
1/2 cup Feta (cubed not crumbled)
1 medium carrot, shredded (1 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
1 can (19 oz) red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can (15 oz) chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained & rinsed
1 can (14.5 oz) organic diced tomatoes with Italian herbs or stewed tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup black olives, pitted
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook and drain pasta as directed on package
Toss pasta and remaining ingredients. Serve warm or cold.

Other types of beans also work in this salad, which can be a side or main dish.
Oil & Vinegar alone or with Italian seasoning can be substituted for the Italian dressing
Pasta shells should be cooked only to al dente
Dish is even better when allowed to marinate in refrigerator a few hours or the next day
Approximately 6 servings

Deedra Abboud is the founder of the Global Institute of Solution Oriented Leadership, a "rising tide raising all boats" resource on the art and science of finding solutions, not fault - at work, at home, and in the community. She is an author, keynote speaker, lawyer, and frequent media resource. When she's not helping clients or speaking at organization events, she's traveling the world.  At last count, she's been to over 15 countries including Bahrain, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

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