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Recipe: Gluten-Free & Vegan Coconut Pasta

January 2, 2013

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It's time for those New Year's healthy eating resolutions and I've got just the perfect dish for you to help you maintain them! Instead of making a resolution to eat perfectly, try to add in a few new healthy foods to your everyday meals and snacks.  It's fun to get creative and explore new foods like hemp seeds, nori seaweed, coconut flakes, chia seeds and oat milk . For instance, in this pasta salad- usually reserved for summer barbeques- I've combined a few fiber-ific add-in's that are surprisingly delicious and make it into a hearty winter dish..

This surely is not your grandmother's pasta salad. This classic pasta salad gets an update with coconut milk mixed right into a bowl of gluten-free pasta. It's especially comforting on a cold day when you're ready to warm up after the winter chill.  Making your own healthy pasta salad is easy and lets you enjoy it as spicy or sweet as you like it.  I like to think of it as a vehicle to get your roommate, child, boyfriend or spouse to eat more whole grains.

Made with coconut milk instead of mayonnaise and packed with healthy fillers like bell pepper, red grapes and coconut flakes, this dish is still a taste bud pleaser- but now it's also perfect for health conscious diners, too! Winter warmth is provided by the spicy undertones of crushed pepper and curry, while the grapes and coconut flakes lend a sweet touch.  

These flavors created a more sophisticated pasta salad and the recipe is easy to make and perfect for a quick dinner (and leftovers for lunch tomorrow). Preparing this meal won't take more than 30 minutes; other than slicing the vegetables and cooking the pasta, no extensive preparation is needed.

Bon Appétit.

Gluten-Free & Vegan Coconut Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. gluten-free pasta such as TruRoots brand
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 large orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 pound red grapes
  • 2 scallions, thinly slice
  • 1 tsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, combine olive oil, coconut milk and curry powder in a large pan over medium heat; cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add cooked pasta; cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Add remaining ingredients; gently toss to combine.
  4. Serve warm.

Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP is the Editor-in-Chief of TheHealthyApple.com; she is a Manhattan based Personal Chef, Culinary Nutritionist, Professional Recipe Developer, Food Photographer and Writer specializing in simple gluten-free and dairy-free ‘Clean’ recipes for the home cook.