Spring is in the air!I love this time of year. Flowers are blooming and we are quickly approaching summertime. As we roll into Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to create a dish that is perfect for summertime cookouts and will please all of your guests! Pasta salads are always a great dish! I absolutely love them because you can play around with different herbs, vegetables, pasta shapes and sauces. When setting out to create this pasta salad recipe, I first thought about adding roasted vegetables of all different colors. Then, I had to create a sauce that complemented the veggies and really united this pasta dish.
TAHINI!When thinking of what ingredients would be featured in this sauce, tahini popped in my head. Lately, tahini has been one of my all time favorite ingredients. Tahini is such a versatile ingredient that can used to create creamy dressings, hummus, added to brownies and even sauces. The best part is, this ingredient is packed with nutritious vitamins and minerals. When purchasing tahini, there are two types: hulled and unhulled tahini. The one that is better for your health is the unhulled, because it’s made from the whole sesame seed which preserves all the vitamins and minerals.
Tahini Health Benefits
- High in calcium
- Higher source of protein than nuts
- Healthy source of fat
- Helps promote cell growth
- Prevents anemia
- Helps maintain healthy skin and muscle tone
- Promotes weight loss
Pasta SaladThis pasta salad is packed with flavor and nutritious ingredients. The roasted veggies featured in this dish include: red onion, zuchinni, cherry tomatoes, radish and bell pepper. For the pasta, I used a gluten free pasta so that everyone can enjoy this dish. I use banza chickpea rotini because it’s high in protein, low in carbs and high in fiber. To add some more flavor and protein, I cooked up a chimichurri chicken breast that I purchased pre-flavored at Whole Foods. To flavor a regular chicken breast, I recommend marinating it for 20 minutes in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon, fresh and dried herbs and a dash of cumin. Then cook it in a pan or cast iron, slice and add into the pasta salad. Once everything is finished cooking, add the pasta into a big bowl. Toss in a dash of olive oil so the pasta maintains a fresh texture. Then, toss in the veggies, chicken and drizzle in the tahini sauce. Place in the refrigerator, and allow flavors to fully combine. Before serving this dish, I recommend topping with toasted pine nuts, fresh basil and freshly grated parmesan….SO GOOD.
Lemon Tahini Pasta Salad
Yield 6 Servings
- 8 oz. of Gluten Free Rotini
- 1 tbsp olive Oil
- 2 Radishes
- 1/2 Zuchinni
- 2/3 c. sliced Cherry Tomatoes
- 1/2 Bell Pepper
- 1 ear of Corn
- 1/4 Red Onion
- 1/2 Lemon
- 2 Chicken Breast
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp Pine Nuts
- Freshly Grated Parmesan
Lemon Tahini Sauce
- 1/4 c. Tahini
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 Lemon squeezed & zest
- 1/4 c. water
- 1 tsp Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 Garlic Clove (roasted)
- dash of Turmeric
- dash of Dried Dill
- Dash of paprika
- 1/4 c. Finely Chopped Basil & Parsley
- 2 Fresh Mint Leaves chopped
- Preheat oven to 410 degrees F, on a baking sheet place down 1/4 red onion, sliced zuchinni, sliced radish, cherry tomatoes, garlic clove and bell pepper. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.
- Roast vegetables for about 30 minutes
- In a dish, marinate chicken for 10-20 minutes in 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon juice and one tbsp of olive oil.
- Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. When the pasta is ready, drain it and rinse it under cold, running water. Then place pasta in a large bowl, toss in a dash of olive oil to maintain freshness and set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, bring another pot of water to boil and add in ear of corn. Cook corn for five minutes then drain water and set aside corn to cool. Once cooled carefully slice down corn off of the cob on each side with a small knife
- At this point add in roasted vegetables and corn into the pasta. Make sure you set aside the roasted garlic clove as this will be used in the Tahini sauce
- Heat a skillet or cast iron pan on medium and coat with olive oil. Season chicken with sea salt and pepper and allow to cook on each side for about ten minutes until completely cooked through. Then set chicken aside to cool.
- Now it's time to make the tahini sauce. Whisk together the sauce ingredients. The sauce should be easy to stir, if it seems thick add in water one tablespoon at a time until it reaches a desired consistency
- Toss in chopped chicken into the pasta, then add in the sauce. Toss to evenly combine all ingredients. Then taste the pasta and add salt, black pepper, and extra lemon juice or vinegar as desired.
- Allow time to refrigerate for 10 minutes
- Service with toasted pine nuts and freshly grated parmesan cheese, enjoy!
Courses Lunch, Dinner
hope you enjoy this dish! I love seeing all of your creations, share them with me Tag @theempowerist on IG or direct message me! With Love & Gratitude, Carly Say Hello: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat