Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fresh & Easy Asian Pasta Salad + A Little Soul-Bearing

I'm a perfectionist.  There.  I said it.  That took me about 10 minutes to write because I had to make sure I said it perfectly...


Okay, now that that's off my chest, I wanted to let you know that I'm making changes.  That's right.  I'm no longer going to worry about writing the "perfect blog" or posting the "perfect recipe" or taking the "perfect picture".  Okay, maybe I will a little, but my goal is to just do something I enjoy and hope that you all like it.  Otherwise I'll be missing for weeks (Months?  Yes, months....) on end again, and that would be lame, right?

I was reading a book today about why people procrastinate, and it said something really interesting about Action and Motivation.  Which comes first?  "If you said motivation, you made an excellent , logical choice.  Unfortunately, you're wrong."  (Oops!)  "Motivation does not come first, action does!  If you wait until you're in the mood to do something, you may wait forever!"

Amen.  Hence, my absence as of late.

So, thanks for being patient.  I'm back to cooking, inventing and experimenting again, and it feels good.

And you thought you just came here to read a recipe for Asian Pasta Salad!  Ha!  Poor things.. Thanks for letting me spill my guts.  I feel better now :)

Fresh & Easy Asian Pasta Salad
Serves 6

1-16 oz. package brown rice noodles (penne or spiral)
1-15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
1-15 oz. can kidney beans, drained
2 cucumbers, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 green onions, both green and white part, sliced thinly
1/4 cup red onion, minced
5 green olives (preferably marinated in hot oil), minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Cook pasta according to directions on package.  Rinse and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine both beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, both onions, olives and cilantro.  Add pasta and toss with dressing (recipe below).  Serve over lettuce for extra nutrition.

*Note:  Brown rice noodles, strangely enough, tend to turn al dente when refrigerated (I didn't mind it, it just surprised me), so you may want to either eat it all in one sitting or try a different type of noodle if you want to eat it as leftovers.  The flavors marinate well though, and everything keeps its crunch.

Asian Dressing
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbs dried basil
2 Tbs agave nectar
2 Tbs real maple syrup
2 Tbs soy sauce

Combine all ingredients and whisk until everything is incorporated and consistency thickens a bit.

This dressing is so mild, making it very versatile.  You can use it on plain lettuce salads, 3 bean salads, or even as a sauce over cooked veggies.  I almost always prefer to use fresh herbs when cooking, but in this case I usually have all these ingredients on hand so it makes for a very quick dinner.  Feel free to substitute if you'd like.

This salad is perfect for summertime.   Hope you like it!


  1. Love your blog Em. Glad you're back!! You're awesome :)

  2. I love you, I love this. I often get "Analysis Paralysis" so I know where your coming from. Usually, I just have to go for it, with my eyes closed, which makes for a lot of mistakes, (mostly spelling and grammatical, cause if I read it over and over, Ill get to critical), but over all, it ends up the most authentic story :) You are awesome, keep up the rad work :)

  3. Looks yummy Emily! Can't wait to make this one.