BLT Pasta Salad
Any recipe that replaces the "Bacon" with "Bread" in a BLT makes my carb-lover heart smile...so this recipe instantly attracted my attention!
This delicious and easy vegan salad comes to us from a new cookbook I just picked up in Vancouver. With the ever-rising price of groceries becoming a burden, I think we can all appreciate a book entitled "Fast Easy Cheap Vegan" by Sam Turnbull.
This book has very accessible, delicious-looking recipes to dig into this summer, so check it out if you can! I think a few of these recipes will be tested out in the coming weeks for my blog!
For the Cajun Seasoning:
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
1-1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp cayenne (optional)
For the salad:
3-1/2 cups pasta (bowties, macaroni, etc.)
2 Tbsp vegan butter
3 slices vegan bread cut into cubes (I used vegan French bread)
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning (see ingredients above, or store-bought)
2 large tomatoes cut into wedges
1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1/4 red onion, thinly slices
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (Veganaise is the BEST)
2 Tbsp lemon juice (I used fresh squeezed)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Combine all ingredients for cajun season, unless you are using store-bought. Note: the recipe makes waaay more than you need, so you could cut it down, or make the full recipe and have it on hand for other seasoning opportunities.
Boil the pasta as indicated on the package, then rinse with cold water and set aside.
Heat a frying pan (medium-high) and melt the vegan butter.
Add the bread cubes and cajun seasoning and fry the bread to your desired crispness, stirring gently to coat the bread with the seasoning.
Set bread cubes aside for later.
Prepare all the veggies: chop the lettuce, slice the tomatoes and onions.
Combine the pasta (completely cooled) and veggies in a large bowl.
The recipe says to toss all the "dressing" ingredients in separately, but I combined the mayo, lemon juice and salt and pepper before adding to ensure consistency.
Toss the dressing with the pasta/veggies and add the toasted bread cubes on right before serving.
**A few notes after making this once:
- The pasta part tasted much better a few hours later. Next time, I would dress the pasta and let it sit in the fridge for a while before adding veggies and bread.
- The bread was good, but next time, I think I would try some vegan garlic croutons to see how it changes the flavor profile.
- Even though the "B" in BLT is bacon changed to bread in this recipe, I actually think some vegan bacon crumbles or artificial bacon bits (no meat) would be an interesting compliment to the lettuce (L) and tomatoes (T).
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - This was super-simple and used ingredients that are standard in my house.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- Very good, and a nice alternative to my standard pasta salad.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - "Excellent!"
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - "Easy 5/5!"