Warm Cranberry Balsamic Pasta Salad

I got to catch up with Sona yesterday afternoon over a hot cup of tea at a Starbucks in Inglewood.

The original plan was to hit up Wildernest Dream Cafe but they were closed. It’s been a year since I’ve heard of the place but have yet to visit. Eh, what’s another couple months?

Sona is one amazing woman. She’s inspiring, strong, and filled with so much  zest for life, it’s infectious.

Every time I chat with her I get so empowered to just be in the present, believe in myself, and push forward.

I don’t have many “people” in my life, but the ones I do have are hands down the warmest, most supportive, understanding, and loving individuals. Having these connections has been one of the key aspects to unlocking my happiness. I remind myself often that it’s okay to be vulnerable, open, and let people in.

Guh, I’m so lucky!

On my drive home from our tea date I was left with so much to sort through; namely, is there an emotion or mindset holding me back from living out my dreams and feeling healthy?

Instead of getting into a pull over on the side of the highway soul searching session I cranked up DeadMau5 and thought of the amazing people in my life that I’m grateful for.

When I got home I had some leftover pasta salad, had a shower, a dessert of sliced apples, flax, almond butter and apple butter and then retreated to my closet for my first meditation in over 1.5 years. Bring on the balance. I’m ready.

On with the eats…

I’ve become obsessed with putting yesterday’s recipe in a bowl and pouring almond milk over top.

Seriously… you need to try it! It will change your life.

Another thing I’m obsessed with?

Putting cranberry in foods where you’d least expect it.

I blame Cranberry barbecue beef oven stew for this behavior!

To me, pasta salad is a summer meal, but not if it’s warmed up! This pasta is seriously delicious and makes for a perfect lunch leftover [it’s guaranteed to make everyone in the office jealous of the smells radiating from your desk!]

Warm Cranberry Balsamic Pasta Salad

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free

Ingredients

Cranberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice – I used unsweetened juice
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon herbamare or Himalayan rock salt
  • pinch stevia
  • pepper to taste

Salad

  • 2 cups dry pasta – I used rice pasta!
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup raw slivered almonds + more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley + more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup green onions

Directions

  1. Cook pasta as per package instructions. Once cooked and strained, set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all vinaigrette ingredients in small saucepan. Heat on medium-low heat until it boils, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Make sure to stir every 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. Drop cooked pasta into a large serving bowl, top with remaining salad ingredients and pour vinaigrette over top.
  4. Stir to coat and serve immediately.

Makes 6 cups of salad, depending on what type of pasta is used.

Nutrition stats [1 cup]: calories 248; fat 11g; carbohydrates 36g; dietary fiber 4g; sugars 2g; protein 3g

 

Do you surround yourself with loving people?

When you read the word “friend” who is the first person you think of? Have you told them how much you value them in your life?

I think of Kevin. He’s so supportive and knows me better than I know myself most times. I confide in him daily, depend on him, and love him to bits!

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