Recipe: Corn Pasta Salad!

Happy Fourth of July weekend!!!

It’s been a while – guess my latest trend has been one post a year which is pretty lame, I know. :/ Hope you’ve all been doing well!! A super quick update on me: I’m going into my senior year of college (scary) and currently working at my dream internship learning a whole lot about my (hopefully) future career in forensic science and I am loving every second of it!!

A couple weeks ago my mom and I were waiting in the line at Wegman’s (our favorite grocery store with soooo many gluten free options), and we picked up a magazine that had a beeaaautiful picture of a pasta salad on the front. We instantly flipped through the pages to find the recipe and I snapped a picture so we could make it ourselves (that’s allowed right???). Pasta salad is such a Fourth of July staple that we figured this would be the perfect time to make it!! So let’s get into the recipe 🙂

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What you’ll need:

  • a pound of gluten free rotini (we used Barilla because that’s my mom’s favorite – my go-to is usually Tinkyada)
  • 1.5 cups frozen shelled edamame (we couldn’t find any shelled so we just bought the ones in the shell and did all the work ourselves)
  • 1 medium zucchini, spiralized and cut to about two inch lengths
  • 2 cups halved grape tomatoes (we only had red but you can use a mix of red and yellow to make it a little more fun)
  • 1.5 cups diced bell pepper (again we only had red but you can spruce it up with some more color!)
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil (or parsley if you prefer)
  • 5 ears of sweet corn, husks and silks removed, cooked
  • 1 clove of garlic (or two if you’re like me and always double the garlic)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper to taste

How to make it:

  1. First you’ll want to get your corn cooking since that takes the longest. While that’s cooking, you can get your pasta going and start chopping up your tomatoes, pepper, and basil, spiralizing your zucchini, and shelling all your edamame if you also can’t find shelled edamame. If you do have frozen shelled edamame, the recipe says to toss the edamame into your pasta water in the last two minutes of cooking to defrost them.
  2. To make the creamy corn dressing, cut the corn from 3 slightly cooled ears of cooked cobs and blend that up with the garlic and water until it’s smooth. Press this mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and throw away the solids. Whisk together the corn liquid, lemon juice, Dijon, salt, and pepper.
  3. Toss all your pasta, edamame, zucchini, tomatoes, pepper, basil, and the corn from the remaining two cobs in a large bowl (make sure everything is cool by running under cold water), coat with the dressing, and enjoy!!! We finished ours off with a little grated parmesan cheese, too.

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This is such a fresh and summery recipe and it’s sooo yummy. Perfect for a meal (you could even throw some protein in it if you want) or as a side for a barbecue!

Hope you guys like this recipe as much as I do and hopefully you’ll be getting more posts from me soon and it won’t take me another year 🙂

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Nuts.com Products (and Recipes)!

Hi guys! I was so excited to receive an email from a representative from Nuts.com asking me to tell you all about their great products. They were kind enough to send me a couple of their products to try out (yay free stuff!).

First up, black walnuts!

Now, black walnuts are like regular walnuts, but with a much more unique flavor. They’re also full of great health benefits; they contain more protein per ounce than any other tree nut, and they are very low in saturated fat, and high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (those are the good ones, they help maintain good cholesterol!). They come shelled and ready to go in the package, and I decided to make some pumpkin muffins and toss some of these in there! (I apologize for the lower quality photos, I forgot to bring my nice camera home so I had to make do with my iPhone camera)

These were really good! We used some pumpkin muffin mix that we got from Trader Joe’s. The muffins were fluffy and moist, and the walnuts provided a great crunch (I also added some chocolate chips, because a little chocolate never hurt anyone right?) I liked the walnuts in the muffins, but be warned, they are a little bit of an acquired taste. I probably wouldn’t eat them by themselves, but the unique flavor works pretty well when you put them in other things.

Next, pine nuts!

I never thought to eat a pine nut on its own, but I tried one and it actually tasted really good! It kind of reminded me of a sunflower seed. They have a great flavor that goes well in any kind of dish, and toasting them brings out even more nutty flavor! Like the black walnuts, these are also high in monounsaturated fats, which are great for heart health. They also contain nutrients that naturally increase energy levels (because who couldn’t use a little energy boost?). Anyway, the first thought that popped into my head for how to use these in a recipe was in pesto. But no, that’s too expected. I had to do something different. I didn’t want to blend them up into a sauce—I wanted to showcase them and their flavor. So I decided on a pasta dish with fresh tomatoes, artichokes, garlic, and basil. Heres the recipe! (Again, low quality pic, sorry 😦 )

Pasta with Tomato, Artichoke, and Pine Nuts

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What you’ll need:

  • 1 package Tinkyada Brown Rice Spaghetti (or whatever spaghetti you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • one 8.5oz can of artichokes, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • a little bit of oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan

How to make it:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and sauté the pine nuts and garlic until light brown (I didn’t use all the oil for this step, just enough to toast the nuts and cook the garlic)
  3. Add the rest of the oil, tomatoes, artichokes, basil, and oregano and let it simmer for a little bit, and season with salt and pepper
  4. Toss in the pasta, and serve with grated parmesan

This really was such a delicious, fresh dish, and it allowed you to really taste the pine nuts. I can’t express how much toasting the nuts brings out the nuttiness; it was just so good. I will definitely be adding this recipe to my regular lineup.

Finally, the kind folks at Nuts.com sent me some gluten free snacks to try out. I got roasted chickpeas, veggie chips, and half-popped popcorn.

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The chickpeas were really really good. I’ve been wanting to give chickpeas a try as a healthier alternative for a snack, and they exceeded my expectations. I’ve been sitting in my dorm snacking on them since I got them. I think they taste kind of like a cross between a peanut and a sunflower seed. It’s great. Some friends on my floor had a little sampling session in the hallway and they liked them too! So the chickpeas have been college student approved. Now the next two snacks were kind of a toss up; I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about them. I’ll talk about the veggie chips first. I didn’t think I was going to like them that much. Well, correction, I knew I would like the sweet potato chips, I wasn’t sure about the carrots, squash, taro, or green beans. Yes, I said green beans. Someone made green beans into chips. And surprisingly, I liked them. And everything else in it for that matter. They each have a unique flavor, and I really like it. As for the half-popped popcorn, the name is literal—it really is only popped halfway. I was imagining the weird pieces of popcorn that don’t get fully popped when you microwave the bag. But these were not that. They are delightfully crunchy in just the right way. I really enjoyed them! I’m happy to have these great snacks as options for hanging out in my dorm. I might just have to order more when I run out!

I’m so happy that I got to try these products, and a big thank you to Nuts.com for sending them to me! They’re definitely worth a try!

Although I was not paid for this review, I received free samples of Nuts.com products. However, everything I’ve said in this review is my honest opinion and reflects my own personal experiences.