The weather has been incredible here in Utah lately, and it feels like we completely skipped spring and gone straight into summer! I've been craving all sorts of summer food lately: watermelon, grilled corn, bbq, etc., and pasta salad is another summer dish that I love, so it seemed appropriate with the weather and such.
Okay, enough about the weather (seriously, has it come to starting off a post with weather talk now? sheesh).
I found this southwest pasta salad on Our Best Bites' blog, but tweeked it to make it a lil' healthier:
1/2 lb Banza pasta (made from chickpeas! super good)
1 14oz black beans, drained and rinsed
2 roma tomatoes, diced or about 3/4 C or halved cherry tomatoes
1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 C sliced green onions
1/2 C frozen fresh corn
zest from 2 limes
8 oz diced cooked chicken
6 Tbs fresh lime juice (about 3 juicy limes)
1/4 C white wine vinegar
4-5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro
Cook pasta according to package directions. While it’s cooking, prepare dressing.
First zest your limes and place the zest in a large salad bowl.
Place the lime juice, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and salt in a blender. (Basically everything except the cilantro and oil) Process until smooth. With the motor running slowly, add the oil in a steady stream until incorporated. Add the cilantro and pulse so it gets broken up, but some pieces still remain in tact.
When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse immediately with cold water to cool. Place the pasta in the large salad bowl with the lime zest. Add black beans, tomatoes, diced pepper, green onions, corn (no need to thaw the corn), and chicken. Toss with dressing. Taste, and add additional salt and pepper to taste. For best results, chill for 1 hour before serving. Right before serving, sprinkle cheese on top. Serve with extra lime wedges if desired.
Makes about 4-6 dinner sized servings or 10-12 side servings