Inside Scoop: This B.E.L.T Gluten-free Pasta Salad is your new local favourite.
Did you know that the B.E.L.T sandwich is totally a Canadian thing?
Yes, Timmy’s markets this breakfast sandwich of goodness, knowing just how delicious the combination of bacon, eggs, tomatoes and lettuce can be, and we definitely get it!
We’re all about keeping it Canadian, and we’re especially about keeping it local to Ontario when we can. So, bring on the local bacon, the fresh farmers market lettuce and tomatoes, and, absolutely, one of the most quintessential parts of a B.E.L.T., some fresh sourced, local Conestoga Farms Free Run Omega-3 Eggs.
We definitely talk a lot about how we have ‘hands down favourite’ foods, and you’ll probably find us saying this about certain foods like… chocolate, sweet potatoes, chocolate combined with sweet potatoes and then drizzled with more chocolate. Yes, we really like chocolate and sweet potatoes.
But, if we could think of that one food that we actually eat on a daily, and regular basis, it would have to be farm fresh, Conestoga Farms Free Run Omega-3 Eggs.
Eggs are a staple in our kitchens. We have scrambled eggs with sauerkraut for breakfast, make egg salad sandwiches for lunch, use eggs in the base of most of our baked goods, and we’ve even made supermarket runs at 7am due to the fact that we have no eggs left in the fridge.
Not only do eggs offer up some pretty amazing food options and are the base to so many great dishes, but they are incredibly healthy as well.
THE AMAZING HEALTH BENEFITS OF EGGS
People often think that consuming eggs will increase their cholesterol levels and have a negative impact on their health. On the contrary good friends, eggs have some amazing heart protective properties. And, while cholesterol is mostly seen as something “bad”, it’s important to note that you need cholesterol to survive. It’s a vital molecule that’s used in the production of hormones and is part of every single cell in your body.
So, not only is it okay for you to eat 1-3 eggs a day if you’re trying to stay healthy, but eggs help to improve your HDL cholesterol, which is the ‘happy’ kind.
Eggs are also a rich in:
- High quality protein. In fact, eggs are one of the most bioavailable sources of protein out there.
- Excellent source of choline. An essential brain nutrient (part of the B family) that many of us don’t get enough of.
- Rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. These are 2 important antioxidants that help protect your eye health and they’re only found in the yolk!
- Contain so many other vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, zinc, iron and selenium.
Suffice to say, these eggs are pretty darn good for you!
But, in our humble opinion not all eggs are created equal, and getting eggs that are local, free run, omega-3 enriched and/ or organic can make all the difference in the world. And our favourite local brand for eggs, Conestoga Farms, goes out of their way to ensure that you’re getting access to the most nutritious eggs out there.
Especially when we live in North America where we don’t get enough of the essential omega-3 fatty acids in our diets. That’s why Conestoga Farm’s Free Run Omega-3 Eggs are some of the healthiest eggs you can buy since they are enriched with anti-inflammatory omega-3 from flaxseeds.
Not only is Conestoga Farms keeping their hens healthy, but they also go out of their way to ensure that the types of eggs you are getting are wholesome and locally sourced from Ontario.
We love keeping it local as it creates support within the community and helps the local economy flourish. And not only are local purchases great for the economy, but you know that your eggs are coming to you nice and fresh, which is something we absolutely love! If you’re in Ontario like us, then look for the Foodland Ontario logo to know you’re supporting your local farmers.
Let’s Go Back To The B.E.L.T.
We love the idea of a B.E.L.T. sandwich sourced with Conestoga Farms’ locally raised eggs, but in light of these hot summer days, and picnic season (it’s National Picnic Month after all), we thought maybe there was a more refreshing and cooling way to recreate one of our local favourites into a healthy, summer pasta salad.
That’s where this Gluten-Free ‘B.E.L.T’ Cold Pasta Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing comes in. It takes all the delicious elements of your classic sandwich and tosses it in a light and creamy dill ranch dressing. We decided to go a little healthyish and use arugula, sundried tomatoes, as well as some other fresh veggies all chopped up in a rice noodle base to create a dish that’s sure to please everyone!
Not only does this B.E.L.T Cold Pasta Salad serve as a perfect picnic, or BBQ recipe, but it’s also incredibly healthy. It’s loaded with veggies, greens, healthy fats, protein, complex carbs, and of course Conestoga Farms Free Run Omega-3 rich eggs.
We decided to create it completely gluten-free, but you can go for spelt or kamut fusilli noodles, or just regular fusilli noodles. No matter what you choose, this recipe is healthy in a way that no one needs to know about. You know what we’re saying, right?
Light, and refreshing, make sure you grab some local Conestoga Farms Free Run Omega-3 eggs, or if you want to keep it super quick and simple then go for the Conestoga Farms ‘Free Run On the Run’ Hard Boiled & Peeled Eggs and whip up this healthy B.E.L.T. Cold Pasta Salad for your next event. We promise it’s going to impress!
Gluten Free ‘B.E.L.T.’ Cold Pasta Salad With Avocado Ranch Dressing
- 5 cups brown rice noodles fusilli, about 350grams (spelt or kamut work nice too)
- 8 sundried tomatoes packed in oil, julienned
- 1/2 pack bacon or 1/2 cup cooked pancetta
- 4 cups arugula packed
- 1/2 cucumber large, chopped
- 2 peppers chopped (we like to use variety of colours)
- 6 Conestoga Farms Free Run Omega-3 Rich Eggs hardboiled and chopped*
- Avocado Ranch Dressing you can use the full recipe or just 1 cup, depends on how heavy you want to dress this salad up *see below
Avocado Ranch Dressing [makes about 1.5-2 cups]
- 1.5 cups kefir or regular yogurt avoid full fat, the recipe will come out too thick
- 1 avocado
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice fresh squeezed (apx. 1 lemon)
- 2 tsp dried or chopped chives
- 1.5 tsp dried dill
- 2.5 tsp garlic powder
- 2.5 tsp onion powder
- 1 shallot or 3 tsp dried onion
- 2.5 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1-2 Tbsp water if you want your recipe less thick (if using yogurt will be thicker than with kefir)
- Hard boil your eggs, set aside in cool water.*
- Cook the noodles as per package directions. Run under cold water until noodles are chilled, and set aside.
- Meanwhile cook your bacon and peel your eggs.
- Prepare all of your pasta salad add-ins (julienne the sundried tomatoes, chop your veggies, cut bacon, chop eggs) and add all of the salad elements to your pasta noodles.
- Meanwhile, prepare your dressing by adding everything to a blender and puree until mixed into a creamy dressing (be diligent if you’re throwing a whole shallot in there).
- Take your dry salad and add 1 cup of dressing to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
- If you would like more dressing on your salad you can add the rest, all according to preference.
- Toss, serve and enjoy!
* Crunched for time and not a fan of peeling eggs? Save time and grab Conestoga Farms ‘Free Run On the Run’ Hard Boiled & Peeled Eggs.
**This pasta salad is delicious chilled for 1-2 hours before serving. Make ahead of time if you are bringing to an event.
Disclaimer: This recipe was developed in a paid partnership with Conestoga Farms. All partnerships we promote align with our core nutrition values and teachings. And, all opinions in this post are genuine. You can find more about our NN Approved Healthy Brands here.