Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
Cumin-infused Pasta and Bean Salad! Pasta salad with garbanzo beans, celery, and a creamy curry-chutney dressing.
I could not wait to share this post with you today. Besides posting this over-the-top flavorful pasta salad recipe, I get the opportunity to talk about one of my passion projects: food insecurity.
Several years ago when I was working toward my RD, I was fortunate enough to spend a few months volunteering at my local WIC office. Gaining this first-hand experience in the struggle that many families face with putting healthy food on the table completely changed the way I viewed nutrition.
That experience was also a huge driving force in the creation of this blog. My purpose and passion is to show that healthy eating doesn’t have to be overly complicated or expensive. Simple, in-season eating is typically the best approach to nutrition- and your weekly food budget.
So when Dreamfields Pasta reached out and asked if I would like to create a #Pastapalooza themed recipe to benefit a local food bank, I was all in! This cause hits home. Following my WIC experience, I worked as a RD at a university where one of my pet projects was setting up an on-campus food bank for students. While I knew that food insecurity is a huge problem in our country, I was seeing it day-after-day with my students. Many of them were struggling to pay their way through college and food quickly became a last-priority. Thankfully, through the generosity of the Stockton community, we were able to establish a food bank on campus and the pantry has been a success for the last five years.
Therefore, it is with great enthusiasm that I enter this pasta salad in the Pastapalooza Market Basket Challenge to Help Fight Hunger! I would love your help in voting for this meal (or any pasta dish that catches your eye) in the contest! The winning recipe will receive $1000 to be donated to their local food bank!
Really, we’re all winners here. Regardless of which recipe is awarded the top prize, we are helping to steer awareness and funding to this massively important issue. As a thank you for voting, one randomly drawn voter will receive a family pack of Dreamfields + a $1,000 donation to their local food bank. Win. Win. Win. I am so honored to be affiliated with this challenge, and I hope you will join me by voting here.
Onto the challenge! I was asked to participate in the Mediterranean Basket Challenge, which required that I use the following ingredients, plus 2 of my choosing:
Cumin, Za’atar or Harissa
Ok, now I know what Chopped contestants feel like. You open your basket and a thousand ideas come flowing all at once. Since I had just made my epic curry-chutney chickpea salad sandwiches, I couldn’t shake off the idea of a chutney mayo playing a role.
So, how about a chutney-curry pasta salad? With garbanzo beans! And fresh lemon! Now we’re talking. Contestants, on your mark, get set, go.
To make the dressing, I whipped together mayo (use an egg-free version to make this vegan), chutney, garlic, fresh lemon juice, fresh ground pepper, and lots of cumin to mimic the curry taste. While I was limited to the ingredients in the basket, I would encourage you to use both cumin and a little curry powder when you try this one at home.
Honestly, I would eat this dressing with just about everything. It’s so flavorful, with just a hint of spice. Perfect to toss with Dreamfield’s pasta and my favorite legume on the planet, garbanzo beans.
This Moroccan-inspired pasta salad is the perfect side dish for an upcoming BBQ or potluck when you want to break out of the monotony of the same old pasta salad. After this delicious pasta wins the day, please share that this dish is also helping to fight hunger. Double word score!
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!Print
Curried Pasta and Bean salad! Pasta salad with garbanzo beans, celery, and a creamy curry-chutney dressing.
I was limited to the ingredients for this challenge but if you prefer a more “curry” taste, then add in 1 tsp. curry powder to the dressing (reduce cumin powder to 1 tsp.) You can also add in chopped red bell peppers and/or parsley