Seafood Pasta Salad (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free)

This is a recipe passed down from my mother and grandmother.  They traditionally made it for our July 4th celebration along with blueberry muffins since usually by early  in July, we’d have fresh peas as well blueberries in central New Hampshire.  They made it with canned salmon, crab and shrimp but these days fresh or frozen seafood is also widely available.  My mother also always made it with the pasta shells for esthetic reasons but you can use whatever type of pasta your family likes.

You can also make it two ways, like the potato salad and the cole slaw, with either a vinaigrette or mayonnaise.  I prefer the vinaigrette since it has a lighter taste, especially in the July heat.

Mix in a medium sized bowl:

  • 6-8 ounces of cooked salmon
  • 4 ounces of cooked tiny shrimp
  • 6-8 ounces of cooked lump crabmeat
  • 6-8 ounces of cooked peas
  • 3 stalks of celery diced, don’t forget to add the leaves as well — they have a wonderful celery taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion, chives, or scallions
  • 2 cups cooked gluten-free pasta [here I’ve found that the quinoa pasta works the best because it doesn’t get all mushy if it sits for a day; I’ve also gotten into the chickpea pasta to add more protein]
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite vinaigrette [I make mine with 1/2 olive oil, 1 tablespoon spicy mustard, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons agave nectar (or 1 teaspoon stevia), and 1/4 cup of water.]; if you need to, you can add more vinaigrette especially if you let the salad sit awhile in the refrigerator since the pasta will absorb the moisture.
  • OR 1/2 cup of your favorite mayonnaise mixed with several tablespoons of cold water [the water will loosen up the mayo and make for a lighter dressing without affecting the taste].
  • Salt and pepper to taste along with some fresh parsley to taste

I like to serve it on a bed of lettuce with some cherry or grape tomatoes as a garnish.  This recipe serves 4.  Delicious!

Pasta and Cheese (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan)

Doesn’t everyone love a good pasta and cheese?  For those of us who are allergic or sensitive to dairy this is one comfort food we thought we’d have to give up forever.  However, today with all the non-dairy cheeses that are available, making a pasta and cheese dish is quite easy to do.  And if you want to lighten it up, substitute cauliflower rice for half the pasta.  You could also use chopped broccoli.  This one is very creamy and luscious.  Here’s how I make it.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups of non-dairy milk
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces of cheese (Daiya, Kite Hill, etc.)
  • 8 ounces of pasta
  • Topping of cheese or gluten-free breadcrumbs mixed with a fat such as olive oil or your favorite margarine

In a 2 qt saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups of your favorite milk (I use Tempt hemp milk; its strong flavor holds up to the cheese).  Add 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper and 12 ounces of Daiya Classic Cheese blend or your favorite non-dairy cheese (you want to use grated cheese here).  When milk gets hot, reduce heat to low.  Stir frequently to blend as the cheese melts.

Heat 4 qts water in a large pot.  When its boiling, add 8 oz of your favorite pasta (I used Ancient Grains Supergrain rotini but I often use Lensi Chickpea pasta, or  POW) along with 1 teaspoon salt.  Cook according to package directions, drain.

Grease a 2 qt casserole pan, add cooked pasta and about two-thirds of your cheese sauce.  Stir to mix.  I top it with a couple of slices of Daiya Provolone but you could also use a mixture of margarine (or oil) and gluten-free bread crumbs (my husband’s favorite).  Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.