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Everywhere I look I see posts for the beginning of fall and saying goodbye to summer.  Stop, please stop… it’s not the end of summer.  In the Northern Hemisphere, Fall will not begin until September 22.  Yep that means we have almost 2 more glorious weeks of summer.  Let’s make the best of it, thanks.  So, here’s a recipe I made on Labor Day for our BBQ dinner and it was delicious for days after the holiday.

Half of us were vegan and half of us were not – so it was a well divided judge panel and we were all in agreement – it was perfect!  Our guests were old-fashioned Americans that prefer traditional meals which are not always easy to accomplish when turning traditional recipes into healthier vegan ones.  Thankfully this specific recipe was easy to put together and convert to a vegan one, plus, it was helpful since the ingredients are late summer harvest produce.  These ingredients are still in season in most places around the Northern Hemisphere so go ahead and take advantage of this recipe while the produce is easy to find.  We loved the final product for its light seasoning and would definitely think of making again for a get-together.  The taste comes out even more so a few days later.

Here are the changes I made to the recipe from the original:
 
Salad:
1 c whole wheat pasta, cooked according to pkg
2 med zucchini
1 lg red bell pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning (I used Penzey’s Pasta Sprinkle too)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
4 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
½ c kalamata olives, drained, pitted, and coarsely chopped
 
Dressing:
1/4 c olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Trader Joe’s Whole Grain Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp dried dill
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
 
1.  Cook pasta according to pkg.
2.  Cut the pepper and zucchini into fourths.  (Remember to remove seeds and ends.)
3.  Lightly spray oil grill or aluminum foil and place the pepper and zucchini slices on the grill.  Grill on all sides (flipping occasionally) until you get gorgeous blackened grill lines.  Once down, remove and cool so you can touch them.
4.  Cut the zucchini and peppers into chunks.  Place in a large bowl with all the other salad ingredients and mix well.
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