Day 3: Beau-Thai Pasta Salad

This 7-Day Salad Challenge is turning into a global foodie expedition. Day 3 was somewhat Asian-inspired, based on a salad I had once in my life, many years ago. It was a simple pasta salad with veggies and ham (from my omnivore days). My version of it kept the salad simple yet added complex flavors.
I called it my Beau-Thai Pasta Salad. Hearing the name may make you think of a traditional bow-tie macaroni salad. However, I went with the play on words because I think the dish looks pretty with long pasta, veggies and Thai flavors. 
For this dish, I used spaghettini #12 pasta, which is thinner than your traditional dried spaghetti. You could also use vermicelli. A thin long pasta works best. 
I also included some Asian ingredients like tamari, rice wine vinegar, sweet chili sauce and fresh lemongrass. Combining these with veggies used kept the dish light. Bringing everything together was Veganaise, a non-dairy mayonnaise, which actually didn’t make the dish that heavy, as traditional mayo would. The meal was topped off with sliced veggie meat and roasted peanuts.
In my opinion, this is a great substitute to macaroni salad. I’d totally bring this to a barbecue or picnic with friends. Then again, I’d have a problem sharing it with guests, as I’d want it all for myself…oh and Artie too!
Beau-Thai Pasta Salad
Source: Mac’s Memory and Thensome
Serves 4
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 lb of cooked long, thin pasta, like spaghettini or vermicelli
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 c. shredded carrot
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, the yellow part minced or pulsed in food processor
  • 1 c. Veganaise
  • 1/4 c. tamari
  • 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices of your favorite veggie meat, julienned (veggie ham works nicely)
  • 1/2 c. of unsalted roasted peanuts, shelled and chopped

Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, mix the pasta with garlic, scallion, tomato, bell pepper and carrot. Set aside
  2. In a small bowl, mix lemongrass with Veganaise. Pour into large bowl
  3. Add the tamari, vinegar, chili sauce, and red and black pepper. Toss salad mixture until evenly coated
  4. Top with veggie meat, and sprinkle with peanuts
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