Summer Orzo Pasta Salad


Summer Orzo Pasta Salad | vegan plant based vegetarian pasta salad easy recipe

Ahh pasta salad. My ultimate go-to broke college kid meal. A package of noodles, some Italian salad dressing, cheese, some shrimp or chicken was considered gourmet back in those days. These days, cutting out animal products and heavily processed foods means that I’ve had to come up with a totally new way to get my pasta salad fix. Since it’s always a family barbecue staple, this Memorial Day weekend had me craving a good pasta salad more than usual.

Since it’s early summer, my mom’s garden is growing like crazy, so I’ve always got buckets full of fresh homegrown whatevers. This week it happened to be cucumbers and tomatoes. I don’t know about yall, but simple sliced tomatoes and cucs with some salt and pepper has always been a favorite go-to snack of mine. I decided to go that route with this recipe and just dress it up a bit.

One of my all time favorite salad dressings is a simple 50/50 mix of olive oil and red wine vinegar with a touch of oregano and pepper. For this salad, I combined a tiny teaspoon of olive oil (remember that thing about cutting down on processed foods? Refined oils fall under that category, so I try to keep them to a minimum), some red wine vinegar, lemon juice, tons of fresh chopped oregano out of my herb garden, red chili flakes, freshly ground black pepper, and Himalayan pink sea salt.

I decided to go with orzo for two reasons. 1. I had it in my pantry. 2. I hadn’t had any in a while. That’s it! Really any other pasta would also work, especially the “traditional” pasta salad varieties like rotini or bowtie. I’m glad I went with the orzo, though! For some reason, I find that it always pairs really well with lemon, so those two really tied the whole situation together for me.

This recipe filled a medium casserole dish to the brim, so it makes plenty for a family get together or for lunch prep throughout the week.

Hope you guys enjoy!

xx

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad | vegan plant based vegetarian easy pasta salad recipe

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad

Summery, light pasta salad with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Keyword orzo, pasta, salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 65 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 4-6 sprigs fresh oregano stems removed, chopped
  • 1.5 cup orzo cooked
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon juice from
  • 1 tsp pink salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper more or less to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain and set aside to cool.

  2. Wash all produce. Dice cucumber and tomatoes. Finely chop garlic and fresh oregano.

  3. In a large bowl, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic, and oregano. 

  4. Add cooked orzo, diced tomato, and cucumber and stir well to combine. Add more salt, pepper, or crushed red pepper to taste.

  5. Chill before serving.

Vegan Southwestern Chickpea Frittata

 

Vegan Southwestern Chickpea Frittata Recipe by the crispy mama | dairy free | egg free

Eggs were probably my biggest breakfast staple before going plant based. They were quick, easy, and versatile. After adopting a plant based vegan diet, I found myself missing a quick and easy savory breakfast option. I tried the ever-popular vegan tofu scramble and wasn’t a fan. Honestly, I found it bland, boring, with a less than pleasant texture. After searching for vegan egg options (and weeding through about a zillion posts about flax seeds), I finally discovered chickpea flour. It’s often used as a gluten free flour option for baking, but also creates a nice egg like texture when combined with water and spices. I used Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground Garbanzo Bean Flour that I found at Whole Foods, but any brand will work. Now for some nutritional information… It’s fairly light in calories, while being a decent source of fiber and protein. Check out the full nutritional info here. This frittata uses Trader Joe’s Vegan Soy Chorizo, fajita veggies, black beans, and spinach as fillings, but the recipe is really customizable. Basically anything that you would put in a traditional frittata, you can put in here.

My toddler loves this, but note that he’s pretty tolerant of spicy foods. I’d suggest toning down the spice factor by using a different vegan sausage option and less chili powder and paprika if you don’t want to feel the burn. Unfortunately, it isn’t the prettiest thing to look at but it’s SO DANG GOOD. I brought the leftovers to work for an on-the-go breakfast and was surprised at how well it reheated. I popped it in the microwave for about a minute, covered with a damp paper towel and it was just as good as it was straight out of the oven.

vegan southwestern chickpea frittata by the crispy mama dairy free egg free

Vegan Southwestern Chickpea Frittata

Spicy, smoky, savory, egg and dairy free frittata recipe.

Course Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword chickpea, frittata
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Calories 180 kcal

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin ground
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt or more to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper or more to taste
  • 1/2 zucchini sliced
  • 1/2 purple onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms sliced
  • 1/4 red bell pepper sliced
  • 1/4 package Trader Joe's Vegan Soy Chorizo
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup black beans canned, cooked

Instructions

  1. Mix together chickpea flour, water, baking powder, and spices and set aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to absorb. 

  2. In a large frying pan, sauté zucchini, purple onion, sliced mushrooms, red bell pepper, adding water as needed to prevent sticking.

  3. Add soy chorizo to veggies and cook until slightly crispy.

  4. Add spinach and cook until wilted, adding more water if needed.

  5. Add chorizo veggie mixture and black beans to the chickpea flour mixture.

  6. Pour into a nonstick, oven safe, preferably cast iron skillet and bake at 400F for approximately 30 minutes or until slightly browned at the edges and cooked through.


  7. Top with vegan cheese, fresh cilantro, salsa, vegan sour cream, fresh oregano, or any other desired toppings.