I fell in love with the Mediterranean philosophy of good wine, good food & family.
I love this quote because it truly speaks to the soul. Good wine, food & family are all you in life to be happy.
What I love most about Mediterranean food is that it has this ability to fill you up and leave you feeling light and airy at the same time. The obsession for mediterranean food is REAL. I easily eat it once a week if not more. I may or may not have the Zoe’s Kitchen app on my phone & get free treats at least 3 times a month because I eat there so often.
Okay, so now that we have established I am a Mediterranean food freak, lets talk about this protein power pasta salad.
As I have stated before on the blog, I am not a huge meat eater. Because I do not consume protein through meat, I am constantly trying to find new fun ways to get those necessary benefits that come with consuming protein. That is where farro came into play. It is not only a good source of protein, but it also has many other health benefits!
I call this dish the Mediterranean protein power pasta salad because it can be eaten as a main dish (or a side) & gives you all the nutrients you need in one easy dish!
Here is a tip for cooling down your pasta:
In order to allow your pasta to cool down without sticking together, first rinse the pasta with cold water. Next drizzle a little olive oil over top your pasta and give it a good mix. This will help your pasta not only cool down faster, but also not stick together in clumps.
The secret weapon to this pasta salad is the salad dressing. This is my go to dressing for mediterranean meals. It takes a total of 5 minutes to make and can be used for anything your heart desires after it is made!
Before you serve your pasta salad:
Make sure to give the pasta salad a good mix to combine and marinate all the flavors of the dressing into every piece of pasta. I place the completed dish into the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to cool down before serving!
This Mediterranean Protein Power Pasta Salad really is a jack of all trades kind of dish.
You can eat it by itself as a meal, throw in meat for extra protein, or even serve it at your next get together with friends. It stays well in the fridge & is just as tasty on day 3 as it was day 1!
However you eat it just make sure you, ENJOY!
- 3/4 cup cucumber, slices and quartered
- 1/2 cup orzo
- 1/2 cup farro (10 minute Farro from Trader Joes)
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 cup Mediterranean salad dressing **
- 1/4 cup black olives
- 1/8 cup feta cheese
- 1/8 cup red onions, diced thinly
- fresh basil, julienned
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in orzo and farro. Cook for 10 minutes until al dente. Allow to cool down after draining.
While your pasta/grains are cooking, begin to dice vegetables. Cut your olives and tomatoes in half (long ways). Thinly dice your onion. Julienne your basil.
Add your vegetables into a large bowl along with your cooked pasta.
Next add 1/2 cup of your salad dressing, feta cheese & basil into the bowl. Mix to combine all ingredients until they are coated generously.
Refrigerate 15-20 minutes before serving (this is best served chilled). Enjoy!
** Recipe for the salad dressing can be found here!
How to "Julienne" your basil:
- Stack/layer basil leaves on top of each other
- Roll basil into tight circle
- Thinly cut the basil so it forms long basil "strings"