This Creamy Chipotle Pasta Salad is one of my new favorite meals! I ate it every single day for lunch last week. I make a very similar dressing in my cookbook that I use for a delicious veggie wrap. I was craving the wrap for lunch, but did not have all the ingredients to make it. However, I did have most of the ingredients for the chipotle dressing, so I decided to use it in a pasta salad.
Boy oh boy was that a good idea!
In my cookbook I use store-bought vegan mayonnaise to make the dressing, but this time I wanted to make it healthier. I love eating healthy plant fats whenever I can and some of you may notice that just about ALL of my creamy dressing recipes contain cashews or avocados. For this recipe I decided to use cashews in the dressing to make it creamy, instead of vegan mayonnaise, and I add some delicious chopped avocado to the pasta salad before serving.
If you didn’t know, there is actually a such thing as healthy fats! Crazy right?! For years we’ve bee told that fat, in general, is bad. No one really distinguished between the good fats and bad fats. We were just told that if you eat fat, you’ll be fat (which I totally disagree with). Luckily these days there are plenty of articles that you all can find online that will tell you all of the benefits of these healthy fats. The main thing to remember is that 9 times out of 10 (probably even 10 times out of 10!), plant fats are healthier than animal fats.
Some will say that we should barely eat any fat. I know of health professionals who say we should not eat more than a small handful of nuts a day. Seriously?! That just sounds a little ridiculous to me.
There are others who say 50% – 70% of your diet should consist of healthy fats. That sounds a little much to me.
I say, do what feels right to your body. Moderation is key when it comes to most things in life. I eat healthy plant fats every single day, whether it’s avocados, cashews, or my delicious homemade peanut butter. I do what feels right to my body.
If you decide you want to eat a few more healthy plants fats, try this Creamy Chipotle Pasta Salad. I PROMISE you’re going to like it!
- The avocado in my Creamy Chipotle Pasta Salad is rich in monounsaturated fat that which easily burned for energy. Avocado consumption has been associated with lower metabolic syndrome risk. There is even a natural vegetable extract, Avocado-Soybean Unsaponifiables, that has been used for years to treat osteoarthritis (OA). Also, check out This Study to find out what an important role tree nuts, such as the cashews I use in my Creamy Chipotle Dressing recipe, play when it comes to the risk of Cardiovascular Disease.
*** This blog is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified healthcare practitioner. All information contained in this blog is the opinion of Monique and is not to be interpreted as medical advice.
Creamy Chipotle Pasta Salad
- 4 cups cooked spiral pasta
- 1 zucchini peeled
- ¼ cup cashews
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- juice of ½ a lemon
- ½ cup cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt to taste
- black pepper taste
- ¼ cup water filtered if possible
- 2 cups pico de gallo store-bought or homemade (recipe on my website)
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 2 cups fresh spinach roughly chopped
- 2 cups corn I used roasted corn and it tasted great!
- 1 cup kalamata olives pitted, roughly chopped
- 1 avocado peeled, pitted, and diced
- To make the dressing, place the peeled zucchini, cashews, olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro, garlic, chipotle, cumin, salt, pepper, and water in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Place the cooked pasta in a large bowl. Add the pico de gallo, red bell pepper, spinach, corn, and olives to the bowl. Pour the creamy chipotle dressing over it. Mix everything thoroughly and top with diced avocado. Serve.