The Last Summer Pasta Salad

SummerThe Last Summer Salad with Herb Sauce | Life Healthfully Lived is having its last hurrah.  Half of this week has been ridiculously hot and humid.  I’m talking two showers-a-day hot and humid.  But that humidity finally broke a few days ago and now you can feel a touch of fall in the air.

While I absolutely love fall, I’m not quite ready to give up my summer just yet.  My farmer’s market still has plenty of end of the summer vegetables like corn and tomatoes and there are still a few 80 degree days in the forecast.  Warm days like that beg for a meal that doesn’t require you to turn on the oven. The Last Summer Salad with Herb Sauce | Life Healthfully Lived

I came up with this pasta salad last Sunday when even thinking about turning on the oven made me sweat, and I was already sweating buckets.  This meal comes together fast and tastes amazing served up cold.  It also packs in a lot of vegetables and herbs and can be customized to whatever produce you have lying around.

So if you’re like me and aren’t ready to say goodbye to summer, whip up this salad and enjoy these last few days.

The Last Summer Pasta Salad with Herb SauceThe Last Summer Salad with Herb Sauce | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 2 cups cooked pasta, I used brown rice rotini
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels removed (you can also use frozen kernels, thawed)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup bell peppers, I used a mix of yellow, green, and red
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced

Herb Sauce

  • 1 small bunch of basil leaves, about 1/2 cup tightly packed
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • juice of half a lime
  • salt and pepper to tasteThe Last Summer Salad with Herb Sauce | Life Healthfully Lived
  1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender and set aside.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute the onions until softened and then add in the peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and corn.  Cook until the edges are slightly brown.  Add in the garlic at the very end and saute for one more minute.
  3. Remove the vegetables from heat and let them cool.  In a large bowl combine the pasta and quinoa and the cooled vegetables.  Mix everything well.
  4. Pour the herb sauce over everything and stir to combine so everything is coated.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.  You can serve it right away or put it in the fridge to cool completely.

Avocado and Corn Gazpacho

I’m going to be honest with you, I haven’t been the biggest fan of gazpacho in the past.  The idea of cold soup isn’t super appealing to me but this gazpacho has made me rethink my tastes.  The avocado adds a really nice creaminess and this dish is super refreshing on a hot summer night.  If you don’t like gazpacho, try this one out before you swear them off forever.

 

Avocado and Corn Gazpacho

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  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (if using frozen let them thaw first)
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch scallions chopped
  • 1 3/4 vegetable broth or water
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • salt and pepper

 

1.  Peel and mash avocado with the lime juice, set aside

2.  Saute the corn, garlic, and half the chopped scallions for about 5 minutes.  The corn should have a little bit of char on it.

3.  Place the corn saute, and avocado into a blender and blend until smooth.  Add in the broth or water and almond milk and blend together.  Top with rest of scallions and salsa if desired.

You can serve this at room temperature or let it chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving.  The gazpacho improves with time so the next day it will taste even better!  Just a word of warning though, this soup will only last about a week before the avocado starts to turn brown.  So eat it as fast as possible, which shouldn’t be a problem!