|Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Fried Kale, Tomatoes, Olives, Feta and Pesto Vinaigrette!|
This recipe for Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Fried Kale, Tomatoes, Olives, Feta and Pesto Vinaigrette was something that started out as a complete experiment when I was cooking with my nephew Jake and we'd just gotten some Garofalo Whole Wheat Fusilli in the mail from Amazon.com. I'm such a fan of the Garofalo Whole Wheat Spaghetti that I've been using for a few years now, that I couldn't wait to experiment with this new whole wheat pasta shape. (And if you've been disappointed by other whole wheat pastas, I can assure you that this Italian whole wheat pasta tastes great!) Jake and I experimented with some kale from the garden and other ingredients we had on hand, and this delicious pasta salad was the happy result!
I think of mayo-free pasta salads like this one as more of a main dish than some pasta salads, and I use less pasta and more other ingredients for a more low-glycemic dish. I enjoyed this for dinner the night we made it, and now I'm recommending it to you for a Meatless Monday dinner or lunch idea. (You can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index, and I'm also doing a meatless slow cooker recipe each Monday on Slow Cooker from Scratch. For more Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, where I write a weekly post spotlighting one of the fabulous meatless recipe ideas I find around the web.)
Garofalo Whole Wheat Fusilli that came in the mail and inspired the recipe!
When the pasta is drained, stir about half the dressing into the still slightly-warm pasta. Let it sit while you cut up the olives and tomatoes and crumble the feta.
Then gently stir in the tomatoes and olives. Add more dressing as needed, depending on how moist you like your salads.
(Makes 4-6 servings; recipe created by Kalyn, with suggestions from Jake.)
8 oz. Garofalo Whole Wheat Fusilli, or other whole wheat pasta of your choice
1 tsp. salt (for pasta cooking water)
6-8 oz. kale leaves, coarsely chopped
1 T olive oil (for stir-frying the kale)
1 cup cherry tomato halves
1 can (6 oz.) black olives, drained and cut in half
1/4 cup crumbled Feta
1 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 T white balsamic vinegar, or other mild white vinegar
2-3 T pesto (I used my Basil Pesto with Lemon)
2 T olive oil
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta, stir, and reduce heat to a low boil and cook for exactly 11 minutes (or according to package directions if you're using a different type of pasta.) Drain pasta into a colander placed in the sink and let it drain well.
While the pasta cooks, chop up the kale leaves (cutting away the inner ribs if they're large), and wash kale in a salad spinner if needed. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan with high sides, add the kale all at once, and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until the kale has wilted and is starting to get tender. (It should still be a little chewy but not raw tasting.) Turn off pan and let the kale cool.
Mix together the fresh-squeezed lemon juice, white balsamic vinegar, and pesto, then whisk in the olive oil to make the dressing. (Start with 2 T pesto and then taste to see if you'd like to add the other tablespoon for more pesto flavor.)
When the pasta has drained well but is still warm, transfer it to a bowl and stir in about half the dressing. Let the pasta sit while you cut cherry tomatoes and olives and crumble the feta.
Stir the cooled kale into the pasta in the bowl. Add the tomatoes and olives and gently combine; then add more dressing as desired (depending on how moist you like your salads.) If you don't use all the dressing save it for drizzling over tomatoes or to perk up any leftover salad. Gently stir in the crumbled Feta, season salad to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and serve.
I usually don't like to refrigerate salads with tomatoes, but this was still quite good the second day.
South Beach Suggestions:
With the whole wheat pasta I used, or other types of whole wheat pasta or Dreamfields Pasta, this salad would be approved for Phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. To keep the salad as low-glycemic as possible, I use a smaller amount of pasta in comparison with the other ingredients than many pasta salads.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Tasty Meatless Pasta Salads:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Karina's Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad from Gluten-Free Goddess
Whole Wheat Orzo Salad with Kale, Chickpeas, Lemon, and Feta from Kalyn's Kitchen
Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Beans, Capers, & Balsamic Yogurt Dressing from Cookin' Canuck
Pasta Salad with Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Grilled Zucchini, and Basil from Kalyn's Kitchen
Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad from Macheesmo
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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