Green peas add a sweet tang to this warm salad. This simple dish gets a protein-packed twist from creamy cashews along with a touch of sweetness from the balsamic vinegar and red bell peppers. I enjoy making this dish for my family every Monday afternoon, as it's the perfect meal to serve all week long. This salad stays good for up to four days in the fridge, so I can toss a scoop onto our dinner salads or serve a few spoonfuls with chopped avocado for an afternoon snack to nibble on.
If you're not a nut fan or have a nut allergy, you can easily substitute chia seeds or pumpkin seeds for the cashews -- both are good sources of healthy fats and protein. For added color, try using a yellow or orange bell pepper along with the red one. You can serve this dish cold as a main dish or as a side, but either way you'll be back for seconds (and you won't think twice about picking up the phone to order take-out).
Summertime Cashew Dill Pasta Salad
4 large red potatoes
2 cups frozen peas
1/4 lb. gluten-free elbow pasta, cooked and drained
1/2 cup soy-free vegan mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large red bell peppers, finely chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh dill, finely chopped
¼ cup cashews
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place potatoes in a small stockpot; cover with cold salted water. Cook over high heat, bring to a boil then reduce to medium heat and cook until fork-tender, about 8-9 minutes. Remove from heat; drain in a colander and set aside to cool. Cut cooked potatoes into 3/4-inch cubes.
Fill a small saucepan with salted water, and bring to a boil. Add frozen peas; cook according to package, then drain. In a large bowl, combine cooked peas, potatoes and elbow pasta. Set aside.
In a separate medium mixing bowl combine vegan mayo, balsamic vinegar and olive oil; mix well to combine. Fold balsamic mixture into potato and pasta salad. Add red bell pepper, fresh dill, cashews, sea salt and pepper; gently toss to combine.
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve chilled or at room temperature.