My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pasta Salad with Lime Vinaigrette Dressing

Pasta Salad with Lime Vinaigrette Dressing. This is an awesome twist to traditional pasta salad. It has a crisp, sassy flavor! It is fun for picnics and casual dinners...much tastier than traditional macaroni salad! (My daughter's comment as a child was: "Why do people call it macaroni salad when it is pretty much noodles with globs of mayonnaise mixed in it? How is that a salad?") Kids say funny things but she was right! I always added a lot of veggies to the food I prepared when my kids were growing up so they would get used to eating healthy. I never made traditional macaroni salad because I wanted the kids to eat a version with a lighter dressing and fresh veggies.  I think introducing these kind of salads when kids are young helps encourage them to like veggies as adults. Plus it is great finger food for toddlers! Lots of different colors and textures!

Our family isn't a huge fan of mayonnaise so I am always looking for side dishes and summer salads that don't contain it. This particular recipe is just a basic pasta salad and the lime flavor came from improvising! (A lot of my recipes are created from improvising in a pinch!). I usually add Italian dressing or a greek dressing but I was out of it and since it was 110+ degrees outside...I wasn't in the mood to go running out to the store and get all sweaty! I did have some leftover lime vinaigrette dressing in the refrigerator so I improvised. The results were great! My family loves the bold flavor of lime so this recipe worked great for us.

This recipe is VERY FLEXIBLE. You can add your favorite salad dressing if you don't care for lime vinaigrette or if you don't have it on hand. You can also leave out any of the ingredients you don't like and you can also add additional items like olives, peppers, cheese or whatever else you like in your pasta salad. I try to keep the salads colorful and tasty. I happen to love cucumbers and tomatoes so I add those to most of my pasta salads! I leave the chunks small enough to eat but large enough that people can pick out anything they don't like. You can even add grilled chicken, ham, pepperoni or salami to make it a main dish meal. I used gluten free elbow noodles but if you don't have a gluten allergy then you can just use regular noodles. I usually make my lime vinaigrette dressing homemade but I will say that Kraft Zesty Lime Vinaigrette Dressing is tasty and very quick for those that want to get the salad done fast or don't want to bother with making homemade dressing.

Pasta Salad with Lime Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe:
  • 1 pound of noodles (I used the gluten free elbow noodles from Winco grocery store bulk section - see my photo below but you can use your favorite gluten free noodles or if you don't have a gluten allergy then just use regular noodles. Any noodle shape is fine! I have even used spaghetti noodles for this recipe!) Cook & rinse noodles.
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups of chopped tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes cut in half)
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled & chopped into bite size chunks
  • 2 green onions, chopped (or 1/2 cup chopped onion of your choice)
  • 1 tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 cup corn (I used frozen corn, thawed but you can use canned corn or cooked fresh corn)
  • cilantro, optional
  • you can also add any other items you like including olives, peppers, cheese, meat or whatever else you like in your pasta salad. This recipe is flexible so you can add or delete whatever you want!
Lime Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe: (this recipe is good for marinading chicken and for coleslaw also!)
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • Juice & zest from 2 limes (in a pinch you can use bottled lime juice but you won't get the same delicious fresh flavor that only fresh limes give you!)
  • 4 tbs. Agave Nectar or honey or sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbs. minced garlic
Mix all the dressing ingredients together with a whisk or spoon. Then combine all the pasta salad ingredients into a bowl. Pour the dressing over all the noodles & other ingredients. Toss gently. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving so flavors blend and noodles soak up some of the dressing.

    Gluten free Elbow Noodles I found in the bulk section of WinCo Foods

    Hope you enjoy this very casual but yummy pasta salad!
    Gluten Free Casually


  1. Ronzoni and Barilla both make a good GF noodle now too!

  2. The last time I made this I had some cilantro left in my refrigerator so I mixed just a handful of the cilantro leaves (not stems) into the lime dressing and put it all in the blender for a quick puree. It was fantastic!