Camping season is here and we’re happy to finally be adding recipes to the blog!
The following recipe is for my Mom’s Pasta Salad. I have modified it to be vegan compliant but I will share the original with you as well. This wasn’t made in Lady T but I always make it before we go camping.
Step 1: The Pasta
I use penne pasta but you can choose something else if you like. Boil one box of penne until the pasta is “al dente”. This means firm to the bite. If the pasta is overcooked, it will turn into mush once you add the other ingredients! I don’t add salt to the water but you can add salt to taste after mixing the other ingredients.
Step 2: The Onion
I like to use red onions because they are a not as strong and look more colorful in the mix. I usually dice about two-thirds of a medium red onion but you can modify this to taste.
Step 3: The Vegan Treatment
I had to try this recipe a few different ways before it was close enough to my Mom’s for me to enjoy. The Sazon (without annatto) was always part of my Mom’s version, but I had to find substitutes for the mayo and bacon. Earth Balance Mindful Mayo is delicious and can be found at any Whole Foods store. McCormick’s Bac’n Pieces are made from textured soy and add salt to the recipe.
Step 4: Drain
Once your pasta is cooked, drain into a colander large enough for you to swish the pasta around. Immediately run cold water all over the pasta until completely cooled. This keeps the pieces from sticking together and doesn’t turn the vegan mayo watery from the heat.
Step 5: Stir It Up
In an airtight container (I use Lock & Lock brand) mix the pasta, 3/4 of a cup of vegan mayo, red onion, a quarter cup of imitation bacon bits, and a packet of Sazon. I also add the following:
- Fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
- Pinch of garlic salt
- Pinch of cumin
Your pasta salad will keep for up to three days in a sealed container. You will have to mix again if the salad sits for a while, as the oils from the mayo will settle to the bottom.
To make Mom’s original recipe, change the following:
- Substitute vegan mayo for Cains mayo. You can make it creamier by adding a whole cup.
- Substitute imitation bacon for real bacon pieces or chopped bacon strips
- Add a can of mashed white albacore tuna
- Leave the cumin out
There you have it! I love making this quick and easy recipe for the road and I hope you will too. Let us know how it turns out by visiting us on Facebook and posting your pics. Enjoy!