15 Mar Blueberry and Broccoli Pasta Salad
Blueberry and Broccoli Pasta Salad with a tangy Lemon Buttermilk Dressing ~ spring forward with this colorful and healthy pasta salad made with Chickapea gluten free pasta, lots of fruits and veggies, and an extra dose of crunch!
Say hello to the newest member of our Chickapea Team – Sue from The View from Great Island! Sue brings her creative talent and enthusiasm for whole foods to our talented group of bloggers who love cooking with our healthy pasta. Her passion for creating unique dishes is well known and her readers eagerly follow her kitchen experiments each week.
This salad was to fun to invent, and so easy to put together once I had all the flavors figured out, but honestly, when I told my husband I was making a salad with blueberries and broccoli he screwed up his face in the most annoying way. If you’re not sure about blueberries and broccoli just trust me ~ the first bite of this wonderful salad will convince you. It all starts with a box of naturally gluten free Chickapea Pasta, made from just 2 ingredients ~ organic chickpeas and lentils! So you can see where we’re going here…this salad is not only yummy, it’s honest to goodness super food. My spirals are full of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals ~ no empty carbs here.
There are carbs, and then there are smart carbs ~ smart carbs like chickpeas and lentils are better for us because our bodies burn them more slowly and evenly, preventing the spikes in blood sugar that can lead to diabetes and other health issues.
After cooking and draining, I toss the pasta with some of my lemony buttermilk dressing ~ it keeps the pasta from sticking together, and will also soak in a bit while I prep my other ingredients. This salad has an unusual mix of fresh veggies and fruit, along with dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. The end result is really wonderful, I love the contrast between the sweet and savory flavors
TIP: This salad is sophisticated enough for an adult palate, but also a great kid-pleaser ~ those juicy blueberries and crunchy apples can help introduce the joys of broccoli to your picky eaters,
You can make this healthy pasta salad recipe in the morning, it will hold up fine in the refrigerator. I like to refresh it with a little more dressing just before serving. The dressing is a tangy mixture of lemon juice, poppy seeds, buttermilk, and mayo…not as thick as most mayonnaise based dressings and so delicious I could eat it with a spoon! I used a similar dressing for my CHICKEN SALAD WITH POPPY SEED MAYONNAISE, but that one doesn’t contain buttermilk. If you want to try a mayo-less version, check out my LEMON POPPY SEED DRESSING recipe.
Why are smart carbs so important?
So many of the carbs we consume in our Western diet are empty, overly processed carbohydrates like white bread and white rice. They’re wreaking havoc with our bodies and leading to all sorts of health problems like obesity and diabetes. But I love carbs, and I’m not about to do with out them, so I try to replace the empty ones with better choices. Good carbs, or smart carbs, are foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans. You can instantly improve your diet by simply switching out refined flour pasta with this chickpea and lentil pasta, I love simple solutions like this!
The flavors in this salad work together so well, I hope you give it a try, I have a hunch it’ll become a family favorite. And if you have little ones who would live on pasta if they had their way, this is a really smart choice for them. My youngest daughter wanted ‘buttery pasta’ 24/7, I wish Chickapea had been around for me then 🙂
Chickapea pasta tastes just like regular pasta, I can’t tell the difference. The texture is firm and chewy, no limp noodles here, and they hold up beautifully in sauces and salads like this one.
I’m thrilled to be working with a team of talented bloggers as part of the Chickapea influencer team ~ I hope you follow me on facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest because I’m sharing lots more easy recipes you can make with your Chickapea pasta.
- 8 ounces Chickapea Spiral Pasta 227g
- 1 cup small broccoli florets 175 grams
- 1/2 cup blueberries 50 grams
- 1/2 cup diced apples tossed with lemon juice to prevent browning 50 grams
- 1/3 cup golden raisins 50 grams
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries 40 grams
- 1/4 cup diced red onion 50 grams
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds 45 grams
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds 35 grams
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise 120 grams
- 3 Tbsp buttermilk 45 mL
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 Tbsp poppy seeds 15 mL
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse the pasta in cold water to stop the cooking. Put in a bowl and drizzle with some of the dressing, toss gently.
Put the broccoli in a microwave safe bowl with a tablespoon of water and microwave for 90 seconds. Drain.
You can assemble the salad in two ways ~ You can arrange the ingredients on top of the pasta, and then dress and toss at the table, or you can mix everything together, it's your call.
Add just enough dressing to moisten the salad without drowning it, you can always add more later.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.