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Lemon Pasta Salad – pasta, tomatoes, red pepper, and lemon make the perfect side dish that is easy to make, vegan, and delicious.
I recently went to a restaurant that I usually would not eat at. I actually rarely even ate at this restaurant before becoming vegan. But I was going out to dinner with friends and this is the place that they decided to eat at and so I decided to be a good sport and go to this particular place knowing that surely there would be something that I could eat on the menu.
After a quick check online of the menu, I was happy to realize that they actually had their vegan options listed and that I could have several pasta options, the tomato basil pasta sauce, bread, and of course salad and steamed vegetables. These were options that I knew I could work with. So we arrived at the restaurant, were seated at our table, and when our server came to take our order I promptly ordered the salad with oil and vinegar as my dressing and pasta with the tomato basil pasta sauce.
The server advised me that they were currently out of this particular sauce and she could substitute it with something else. Knowing that this would not work for me because this was the only sauce that was listed on the website as vegan, I decided to enjoy my salad instead with a plate of steamed veggies as my meal. I enjoyed the time catching up with my friends and left the restaurant very satisfied.
So with all of that being said, I will share my two biggest tips for surviving be vegan when going out to eat with non-vegan family and friends.
- Check out menus online prior to going to the restaurant so that you know what options are available and this will help you to better plan your meal.
- Be Flexible! You can have your meal fully planned out before arriving at the restaurant and one item, such as tomato basil pasta sauce be unavailable, can throw your whole plan off so you have to be able to deal with the challenges presented to you and focus on what you can eat instead of dwelling on what you cannot.
And if all else fails, then you can always make your own vegan pasta dish at home using this simple recipe for lemon pasta salad.
Lemon Pasta Salad
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon brown mustard
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon peel, grated
- 6 ounces penne pasta
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 3/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, and lemon peel to blend.
Taste the dressing and add salt and pepper to your liking.
Cook the penne pasta in salted boiling water until tender but still firm to the bite.
Drain and rinse the pasta with cool water and drain again. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl.
Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, green onions, and toss.
Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss to coat.
Feel free to season with additional salt and pepper to taste and you may also top with some crumbled feta cheese.