Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad

Hello everyone! I’m just sitting enjoy a hot cup of peppermint tea (tea is kind of my new nightly thing) and sort of dreading writing this. Not because the recipe isn’t fabulous (really, I think it is one of my recent bests!), more just because I am so exhausted and tired that I think I could fall asleep in 5 seconds if given a fluffy blanket and comfy pillow. BUT, as I said, this recipe I think may be one of my best, or at least up there with the best, so I feel like I need to share it sooner than later. I’m not necessarily a pasta salad fan, but this pasta salad was so good that I have had it for lunch for the past 3 days in a row……. and am planning on finishing it out tomorrow πŸ™‚

What makes this pasta salad so fabulous? Not only is it creamy, flavorful, and pungent, but its also light and refreshing for the summer. There are a lot of flavors going on, but they all seem to meld perfectly! From the salty olives and bold feta cheese to the creaminess of the avocado and hearty whole wheat pasta, this pasta salad has a little something for everyone. With temperatures reaching the 100’s this week (yes, I’m finally experiencing my first Arizona summer…. please wish me luck), a hot meal is number 1 on my current list of top 10 most unappealing things. Regular salads are great, but let’s face it…. can get a little boring after the 7th day in a row. I really hope you try this flavorful, veggie-filled pasta salad. Don’t be afraid to experiment or add your own twist, but I do promise it is quite perfect the way it is! Enjoy!

Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad

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Ingredients:

Dressing:

  • 1 avocado, fairly soft
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/3-1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • garlic powder (I didn’t measure the seasonings, sorry! add to your best judgement)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika

Salad:

  • 2 cups whole wheat pasta, I used penne
  • 1 small container of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups asparagus, chopped
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olive without pits
  • black pepper

Add all dressing ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside while you prep your other ingredients. Cook your pasta until tender; at the last minute, throw in your chopped asparagus (make sure to chop off the woody, rough end, about 1-2 inches from the bottom). Allow your asparagus to cook for ~2 minutes in the boiling water, then drain both the pasta and asparagus. Set aside to cool.

Chop the rest of you ingredients, including the olives. I halved the olives, but feel free to chop as fine as you like or leave whole. Once pasta is no longer steaming, add the rest of your ingredients to a large bowl and pour in your dressing. Mix until all ingredients are fully coated. Finish with a little sprinkle of black pepper. Serve chilled or lukewarm. Pasta salad will stay good in the refrigerator for ~4-5 days; your avocado may just turn a little brown in color. Enjoy!

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