This salad is a meal, a 15 minute vegan fat-free plant-based protein pasta salad dinner! Black olives, cucumber, whole grain rotini pasta, frozen peas, corn, tomatoes, green onions plus Italian seasonings and lemon juice make an extraordinary delicious high fibre FRESH healthy pasta salad.
Assemble the vegetables - including the frozen ones - add the drained pasta, stir and the temperature will become perfect to serve. The peas will melt, even cook a bit, the pasta will cool, it's awesomely fast.
We are always surprised by how tasty this simple combination is. It's just perfect. Kids love the sweet peas, salty seasonings, and the pasta!
Heat water for pasta. We like whole grain rotini for this, the rotini shape holds the seasoning well and doesn't get soggy as leftovers. Once water is boiling, add the pasta, stir. Cook to be firm - al dente, following package directions, don't overcook.
While the water heats, dice the cucumber, tomatoes, green onions and add to an extra large bowl.
Open the cans of black beans, corn (if using canned) and black olives.
Add corn with it's juice (max 1/3 cup) to the bowl, I like to splash some of the black olive juice into the salad bowl too. If you are using frozen corn it will create some juice when it hits the hot pasta, so don't worry.
Add the drained black beans and olives.
Add frozen peas - it is important that they are frozen at this point because they cool the pasta.
Add seasonings and lemon juice to a small bowl or measuring cup, stir to combine, taste test and adjust to your preference, pour over salad, and stir through.
Once pasta is done, drain pasta well, while it is still hot add the pasta to the vegetables and dressing.
Stir to combine. Wait a couple minutes for the herbs to release their flavours, and serve!
Sub herbs for a dried Italian seasoning purchased mix. Store mixes usually contain salt, so don't add any extra salt. Read the label, choose a mix that doesn't contain added oils.
Sub cucumber for orange and yellow peppers, zucchini, or romaine lettuce. As long as you keep the peas, corn, tomatoes and olives other vegetables work well.
Omit the Pasta: This tastes great without the pasta as well, as a bean salad, serve with toast, pitas, or rice, or just with spinach.
Vinegar: I'm curious if a vinegar would make this even nicer. Afraid to try, because my kids aren't into vinegar much yet and we've got something here that works.
If anyone tries adding vinegar, please let me know!! Personally, I'd use a balsamic.