Summer Veggie & Basil Pasta Salad
Dearest Pasta People,
I haven’t forgotten about you–it’s just that, sometimes, a steaming bowl of pasta doesn’t sound like the most bomb.com idea in the heat of the summer.
As any true pasta lover knows, though, pasta can be enjoyed at any temperature (kind of like it’s beautiful Italian cousin, pizza).
SO…I bring to you a cold pasta salad perfect for summertime enjoyment. Well, I say “I,” but what I really mean is “we”–because I had a partner in delicious crime for this one.
I had the pleasure of working with my new-found friend, Maggie Rotanz, to develop and photograph this recipe. She’s a local photojournalist who, a lot like myself, spent some time in Ohio and then decided it was time to mosey back home to the mountains (they’re kind of like this pasta salad–once you get a taste, you can never stay away for too long).
Anywho, Maggie is a walking jar of awesomesauce. She’s great at what she does (food photography), and was willing to teach me a few tricks in exchange for some nutrition + cooking tips. Perfect trade, if you ask me.
This dish is the perfect fit for a light, nutrient-dense bite. It’s loaded with fiber from the chickpea pasta and veggies, healthy fats from the olive oil, and protein *also* from the chickpea pasta. It’s naturally gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan–depending on your view of honey.
Let’s peep this recipe’s featured nutritional highlight:
Basil is a flavorful herb known well in Italian, Thai, Indonesian, and Vietnamese cuisine. Its bright, green leaves are rick in vitamins K and C, as well as magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium1.
There are about 35 different types of basil, but the species most revered for its medicinal properties is Holy Basil. The oils of this plant are used medicinally in traditional and folk medicines of Southeast Asia and India.
However, all types of basil have been shown to have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, liver-protecting, and pain-reducing properties.
The flavonoid antioxidants found in basil help to safeguard the DNA of healthy cells from potential oxidative (or “DNA damaging”) free radicals. Phytochemicals (the biologically active, disease-protecting molecules found in plant foods) found in basil are protective against inflammation and certain cancers. Some essential oils present in basil have also been proven to protect against harmful bacterial growth2.
Plus, it’s delicious–and that’s enough reason alone to convince me! Basil…more like BAEsil, am I right?
Bone apple teeth!
P.S. If you wanna check out more of Maggie’s stunning food photography, click here!
Sources & Additional Readings:
- Food Composition Databases Show Foods — Basil, fresh. Food Composition Databases Show Foods — Oil, soybean, salad or cooking. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/02044?fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=basil&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=. Accessed July 25, 2018.
- Baliga MS, Jimmy R, Thilakchand KR, et al. Ocimum sanctum L (Holy Basil or Tulsi) and its phytochemicals in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Advances in pediatrics. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23682780. Accessed July 25, 2018.