This colorful pasta salad features pickled beets and beans, so there’s no need for any heavy, mayonnaise-based dressing. Whole-wheat shells are evenly matched when paired with these brine infused legumes, so use healthier pasta for a fuller flavor and a fuller stomach. This recipe comes to us from Janet of Mosiac Kitchen.
For the Marinated Tofu:
- 8 ounces extra firm tofu
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
For the Pickled Veggie Pasta Salad:
- 2 cups whole grain pasta shells
- 1 15 ounce can jar bean salad
- 1 1/2 cups homemade bean salad
- 1 15 ounce jar pickled beets
- 1 1/2 cups homemade pickled beets
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup orange segments
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olive, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- lettuce leaves*, to garnish
- crumbled feta*, to garnish
To make the Marinated Tofu:
Gently press the tofu between 2 clean dish towels to absorb excess moisture. Once pressed, cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes.
Measure the olive oil, vinegar, water, salt and dried oregano into a pint sized jar. Add the tofu cubes, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and turn several times to mix. Set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, turning the jar about every half hour, or up to 2 days, turning frequently.
To complete the Pickled Veggie Pasta Salad:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium high heat. Cook the pasta shells according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool quickly. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
Meanwhile, drain the bean salad, reserving the dressing. Drain the pickled beets and cut the beets into 1/2 inch cubes, if needed.
Place the cooked pasta shells, bean salad, pickled beets, avocado, cucumber, orange segments and olives together in a large bowl. Season with the mint and oregano. Toss well. If the pasta seems too dry, add some of the reserved bean salad marinade until pasta is dressed to preference. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Serve the Pickled Veggie Pasta Salad on a bed of lettuce with feta on the side, if using, and enjoy.