Mediterranean Pasta Salad
This Mediterranean Pasta Salad was inspired by some friends during a virtual birthday party this past weekend. Virtual birthday I know, weird times we’re in huh) The group started reminiscing about a trip to the Mediterranean. It reminded me of my trip to Italy and Greece last year. Man doI have the travel bug worse than ever right now. Since, I can’t go anywhere, I figured there is no better way to get there than with food. So it inspired this delicious recipe—all of the classic taste from my favorite region. Chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives and of course no Mediterranean dish would be complete without olive oil and lemon 🙂
Yesterday might have been the roughest day for me in quarantine yet. Maybe, because it was a holiday, the end of another week with no idea when this is going to be over. Perhaps I was sad because we officially canceled the flights we had booked for my brother’s wedding :(. I am trying to stay thankful for all the good things. Still, even with that yesterday, I felt sad. But then I reminded myself that’s ok. Even though you know there are things to be grateful for, and even if people have it worse than you, which a lot of people do, you can still allow yourself to be sad.
However, I chose not to dwell on it, and today I feel better. It’s ok to be sad, but sometimes it’s also ok give yourself a kick in the ass, and say let’s not be sad. To pull yourself up and not let a sad become a sad week. I know it is not always that easy, as someone who has suffered with anxiety and depression my whole life, I know sometimes that feels impossible or IS impossible. But for me at least right now, I made the decision to not let my sadness get the best of me. To put one foot in front of the other, and just try my best. I have a feeling this is going to be a good week 🙂 Let me know how you are feeling in the comments below. I love hearing from all of you who are reading this!
Living My Best Life
I honestly think two of the happiest weeks of my life were spent in Italy and Greece. The term “living my best life” had never felt more appropriate than when Dave and I were vacationing there for 15 days last year. The food was some of the most incredible I’ve ever eaten. At one point in Sicily, we walked into this hole in a wall restaurant, and I kid you not had the freshest most extravagant charcuterie board for 10 Euro that the chef threw together for us. The reason the food there is so great is it’s light, and simple. Of course, the lemon always brings that acid that brightens up any dish. These were the flavors that I wanted to capture with this salad, but with easily accessible ingredients.
Because we add so much to this salad, I only used half a box of pasta. It is surprising how far the pasta stretches, after you add the other ingredients. Chickpeas add some protein and fiber to this dish, the fresh arugula makes all the other pantry staples come to life. The olives, sundried tomatoes, and artichokes bring those classic Mediterranean flavors. Then we top it off with a little olive oil and of course, fresh-squeezed lemon!
Tips, Recs, Subs
- Pasta – If you are vegan, make sure you use vegan pasta, we used vegan and gluten-free pasta. I think rotini works best for this dish, but whatever you have will do. Because we add so many ingredients, I only used half a box of pasta, and we had plenty for dinner and leftovers for lunch for both of us. The other ingredients add lots of volume to this dish.
- Olives- I used black olives, but kalamata will also work great in this dish. If you do use kalamata olives, make sure you cut back on the salt.
- Herbs- If you have fresh herbs you want to add in, I am sure they will add even more to this dish. Basil or parsley would be great additions
- If not vegan or dairy-free Parmesan cheese is a perfect topping!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Mixing bowl, Medium to large pot
- 1/2 Box Pasta I used Rotini but any kind will do Make sure you use vegan or gluten free if needed
- 5 Oz (1 regular sized bag) of Arugula
- 1 Can Chickpeas drained and rinsed well
- 1 7.5 oz Jar Artichoke Hearts Drained and chopped
- 6 Oz Olives
- 1 Handful of sun dried tomatoes chopped
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Juice from fresh squeezed lemon
- Cook pasta according to instructions, drain. Add all the ingredients for salad to a bowl, toss to combine.
- Make dressing, combine olive oil, lemon juice salt and pepper. Pour over salad. Toss well. Serve and Enjoy!
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