Father’s Day & Dump Pasta Salad

Father’s Day is a great day to break out the grill. For many dads, this is an exciting day of burgers, ribs, or steak. What’s a vegan daughter to do?

Control the dinner and make the brother cook the steaks!

I decided to make a pasta salad, since that’s something I could easily make into a meal for myself, but would satisfy the omnivores as a side dish. This was my first time making a pasta salad from scratch: I always made the boxed kind with the disturbing chunks of what smell like dehydrated vegetables, but taste like rubber. But I’d be lying outright if I said I don’t enjoy these. In fact, my salad would probably have been courtesy of Betty Crocker with an olive or two thrown in, if not for the fact my go-to flavor apparently has cheese!

So I got creative. My original idea was to toss the grilled veggies with the salad, but I ended up making a big enough salad with the cold ingredients that I could keep two distinct dishes. For the salad, I layered about one package of Wacky Mac with spinach, grape tomatoes, olives,  Annie’s Goddess dressing, homemade vinaigrette, and half of a sliced avocado.

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The vinaigrette was equal parts Annie’s garlic olive oil with balsamic vinegar, and a bit of lemon zest.  The original intent was to toss the salad with the entire bottle of Goddess dressing, but my mom took one finger lick of the dressing and protested to having any of the dressing on her portion. I took a sample too and found it to be a bit strong for my taste. I found that mixing the two really helped balance things out, and taste less like hummus with a chickpea-ectomy.

The veggies included a head of brocolli with a red onion, a red bell pepper, and a zucchini. My mom helped with this too, and made a marinade of lemon juice, lemon zest, and garlic oil. We also grilled four rounds of pineapple with brushed on generic Asian sesame dressing.

These dishes with a bean burger for me and meat for the rest, with a simple seasonal fruit salad.

My brother grilling up the veggies. . .

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The fruit salad. . . Can you tell pineapple was on sale this weekend?
(Sidenote: if anyone knows how to take pictures of food in bowls without it looking like complete crap, I’d love to hear your secrets.)

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The finished veggies with my black bean burger (pre-made last week, adapted from Veganomicon).

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More veggie porn. . .

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My finished plate, which was so big I couldn’t finish!

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More bean burger goodness. . .

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The guest of honor with two of his babies!

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They didn’t need to make him food or buy a card. They make him happier than the human kids ever could just by being their cute little selves!

Speaking of these puppies, my parents are leaving town for a wedding this week. Guess who gets to play with the dogs, mooch off the satellite TV, and use the gigantic kitchen for a week?

Do you really have to guess?

I’m just hoping when I get there tonight, Annie (bichon frise, left) hasn’t left me any angry presents, and that Sparky (King Charles Spaniel/chihuahua/???????, right) isn’t borderline-suicidal without his daddy.

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One thought on “Father’s Day & Dump Pasta Salad

  1. Pingback: VeganMoFo Day 6 | Reno Vegan

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