20 June 2007

Perpetual Quest

Pasta Salad with Honey-Wasabi-Mayo Dressing

A woman can never be too thin. Well, at least to herself. There's always that extra bit of flab on the arms. And the thighs. Not forgetting the tummy. So, the one battle that a woman, or girl, has to fight constantly is to keep off that extra pound or inch or dress size. (Maybe there's another one at the annual GSS.) To do so, we turn to diets (yeah, I think it's more popular than the exercise way). Atkins, low-fat, low-carb, vegetarian, soup-and-vege, 1000-calorie, two-apples-and-one-granola-bar, one-cup-of-Milo-a-day, ... the list is endless! Then there's this one thing that's almost indispensable in a diet menu: salads. (Aha! We're finally at our main topic.) So we gnaw away at leaves of Iceberg while the others enjoy their burger. It's not easy being female, okay? Except maybe when you're the much hated envied don't-ever-put-on-weight-whatever-you-eat kind.

That said, salads are not dreadful. I love salads! Well, this is Salady speaking. I love packing salads to school and to work. They're easy: one bowl kinda food and you can prepare them the night before and just grab the box when you're heading out. They're versatile: sick of mayo? Use a vinaigrette. Change one ingredient and you'll have a different salad. And they're health. Just remember not to drown your greens in a bottle on mayonnaise. So, given my LOVE for salads, how can I not be excited about this?

I made this pasta salad for a barbecue with my friends the other day and it was quite well received. I don't know if any of them didn't like wasabi but they seemed to like the dressing a lot. I love wasabi so I tend to add quite a lot of it whenever I have the chance because it gives an extra kick to an otherwise okay-only dressing. If you're worried about your wasabi tolerance or perhaps intolerance, add a little wasabi at a time and taste-test to your liking. The honey actually tones down the wasabi a bit and rounds up the flavour of the dressing. At most, you can skip the wasabi, but that isn't all that special already.

Pasta Salad with Honey-Wasabi-Mayonnaise Dressing

50g dried pasta (I used wholewheat fusilli in small spirals and this in large spirals)
1 egg
100g cherry tomatoes (about 8?)
1/2 avocado (I used the other 1/2 for a milkshake)

1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tbsp sour cream
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp wasabi (I used 1 tsp)
Salt and pepper
Mixed Italian herbs (optional)

- For the dressing, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and let the tastes develop. Refrigerate till ready to use.
Boil a pot of water. Upon hitting boiling point, add 1 tsp of salt and pasta. Cook till al dente.
- Drain cooked pasta and toss with 1/2 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and dried herbs if desired. Refrigerate.
- Cook the egg in a pot of water over medium heat. When water boils, remove from heat, cover the pot and allow to cook further for 15 mins.
- Cool the egg under running water, shell and dice. Half the tomatoes.
- Cut the avocado, remove pit, peel and dice (read how to). Do this just before serving as avocados brown if left in contact with the air for too long.
- To serve, toss pasta, vegetables and egg with dressing. Sprinkle with pine nuts if desired. I think walnuts will do too.



Lis said...

I believe this is our first pasta salad! YAY!!! I was hoping we'd get some.. your's looks SO GOOD! I love the colors and the textures, everything about it. It's wonderful!

Thank you so much for participating - and if you feel the need to make another salad, we'd be grateful for that one too! You just can't have too many salads, right? =)

Thanks again!!


Helen said...

Love that salad! I really like the avocado (p.s: share that milkshake recipe) and the wasabi in the dressing. Very clever!