Each and every Summer since I was a babe, I’ve gone to a family cabin in Northern Minnesota to celebrate the 4th of July. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite holidays because we all get together and celebrate with ridiculous little traditions.
It all starts early in the morning when my Godmother (my second Mom) puts an old school Shaggy CD on full blast. When we were little, we hated his music with a passion. These days, it makes us laugh and we stumble out of our rooms cracking up and shaking our heads.
Next up is the cinnamon roll tradition. We make ridiculously huge overnight cinnamon rolls and caramel pecan rolls for everyone to enjoy once the boat parade is over. And yes, I just said boat parade!!! How Minnesotan of me. Yep, we decorate the boat with over-the-top HUGE American flag, banners, streamers, and more. The dog even gets to wear an American bandana and SHE LOVES IT (or so I think). Most of the family is dressed up in some sort of flag ensemble and equipped with whistles. Everyone from the lake lines their boats up and we all honk our horns and wave to each other.
Yes, this is the tradition I’ve loved since I was little. And of course, it’s weird. But it’s also really, really fun.
This year I hope to make it back up to Minnesota so I can celebrate with everyone and whip up a few of my favorite recipes. The one I’m sharing today has become a go-to this Summer because of how easy it is to make. AND BONUS points, it’s healthy! Because we all know how BBQs can get a little outrageous with the chips, bbq-drenched meat, weird potato salads and over-the-top desserts. All incredibly delicious, but sometimes you need a little something lighter to bring to the table.
But most importantly because I know you’re going to have shots and blueberry pie after the fireworks. Or at least that’s what I’ll be doing.
This southwest inspired pasta salad is slightly spicy, sweet and packing all of my favorite taco flavors (except without the meat). The dressing is creamy, refreshing, but a little bit of a firecracker in your mouth thanks to the greek yogurt, chipotle, honey and lime juice. LA LA LOVE!
And to top it all off, I created this recipe with Ancient Harvest’s wonderful gluten free pasta that’s made out of lentils and quinoa. Each serving has 7g of fiber and 12g of protein. Now I know you wanna try it.
If you make this or any other recipe from AK, be sure to snap a picture and use the hashtag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram. You can also post a picture to my Facebook page! I love seeing your creations.
Healthy Southwest Pasta Salad with Chipotle-Lime Greek Yogurt Dressing
A gluten free, healthy southwest pasta salad with an incredible sweet and spicy chipotle-lime greek yogurt dressing. Great for Summer BBQs, and protein and fiber packed!
- 1 - 8 oz package Ancient Harvest Red Lentil & Quinoa Pasta
- 1 - 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup organic sweet corn
- 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup diced green onions
- 1/3 cup sliced black olives
- 1/4 cup fresh diced cilantro
- For the dressing:
- 3/4 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (plus more to taste)
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
- For garnish:
- Diced avocado
- Diced green onion
Cook pasta according to directions on package. Once done cooking and pasta is al dente, transfer to a strainer and rinse with cool water then transfer to a large bowl.
Add in black beans, corn, tomatoes, green onions, black olives and cilantro; gently stir with a spoon to combine all of the ingredients.
In a blender, add the dressing ingredients: greek yogurt, chipotle pepper, honey, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Blend for 30 seconds or until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. If you'd like more of a kick, add in another chipotle pepper. Sometimes I like to throw in cilantro into the dressing as well! It's up to you.
Add dressing to pasta and stir well to combine and coat all of the pasta. Cover and refrigerate for an hour, then serve cold. Can be made up to one day ahead of time, just give it a stir before serving. Garnish with avocado, extra cilantro or green onions, if desired. Makes 6 servings, a little under 1 cup each.
Note: You can sub the spices (chili powder, etc) for about 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning. Add more to taste.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Ancient Harvest. I love the integrity of their products and think you’ll love them too. All opinions and text are my own. Thanks for continuing to support AK and the brands I work with!