Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Juicy Grape & Broccoli Pasta Salad - A Pin Re-Spin

(picture coming soon)
It was time for our annual church family picnic on Sunday and while looking through my pin boards, I figured my Summer Recipes board would be the perfect place to start.  I settled on this Broccoli Salad recipe but, of course I had to put my own spin on it.  Especially when I saw how much sugar it called for.  Yuck!  In the recipe I created, I replaced the 1/3 C of sugar with just 1 Tablespoon of maple syrup.  However, I also doubled the grapes and, realized in the end, that the grapes add some much juicy sweetness that it really didn't need any maple syrup either.  And since my pregnancy with Mr. L, I have had a thing for bacon (which kind of grosses out Mr. A I think) so, I more than doubled the bacon.  And of course, I had to include gluten free pasta, plus I added a couple more of my own elements.  This is a plan ahead meal since you should let it sit for 8 hours at the very least.  But, I think it has the best flavor 24 hours after making it.  So, here we go...

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

2 C pecans (whole or chopped)
2 8 oz. packages of Ancient Harvest Organic Quinoa Pasta (I used the Rotelle shape but, any small shape would work fine)
 2 Lbs. fresh broccoli
1/3 C finely diced red onion
4 C seedless red grapes, coarsely chopped in the food processor
2 Packages of Applegate Bacon (apx. 22 slices total) cooked and crumbled

For the Sauce *Your going to make this sauce twice*:

 2 cup mayonnaise (separated) *I use Earth Balance MindfulMayo w/ Olive Oil or Lemonaise (original) brands since they are soy free*
2/3 cup creamy dijon mustard *I like Grey Poupon's Mild & Creamy w/ White Wine*
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 C non-dairy creamer *I use SoDelicious Coconut Milk creamer (original, red carton)*
2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp crushed black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° and place bacon from 1 package on a large, shallow baking sheet.  Bake for 20 min. or less (watch carefully in the last 5 min.).  Repeat with 2nd package.
  2. Place bacon on paper towels to cool off and then crumble and set aside.
  3. Increase oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
  4. Pulse pecans briefly in a food processor and set aside.
  5. Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water.
  6. Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Discard stems/stalks.
  7. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the sauce.  Separate the sauce by half and store 1 half in the fridge.
  8. Mix together pasta, broccoli, onions, grapes, pecans and bacon.
  9. Pour the other half of the sauce on the salad and mix well.
  10. Chill overnight or even better, for 24 hours.
  11. Just before serving, pour the 2nd half of the sauce onto the salad and mix well.
  12. Serve Chilled

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