Mexican Vegan Pasta Salad with Chipotle Cashew Cream Sauce

The last several weeks I've been really drawn to cooking plant based meals for our family. We're definitely not vegan and don't subscribe to any certain diet, but planning plant based meals has definitely helped the grocery budget and I'm not complaining about the health benefits of adding more plants to our diet. 

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How to Make Vegan Mexican Pasta Salad:
We made this Vegan Mexican Pasta Salad for dinner on Sunday and I love that it came together with basic pantry staples like canned corn, olives, black beans, and pasta that we always have on hand. I also really enjoyed the cashew cream sauce. We've made many sauces from cashews over the last several months and I'm always blown away by how creamy they taste and how much different spices can make them completely different every time. 

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The Best Budget Friendly High Speed Blender for Cashew Sauces:
If you're going to be making vegan cashew sauces, you're going to need a high speed blender. A lot of people will tell you that you need to have either a Vitamix or a Blendtec, but I've used both Ninja and Kitchenaid blenders in the past and find those less expensive brands to work really well. We're currently using the KitchenAid K400 blender and haven't had any issues! 

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If you're in the market for a great vegan pasta salad that you can serve for dinner in your home, or bring to your next summer BBQ look no further! This can be made and served immediately while it's still a little warm, or chilled in the fridge for up to three days! Eating warm or cold you can't go wrong, this vegan pasta salad is perfect either way!

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Ingredients:
8oz Fusili Pasta
1 Pint Grape Tomatoes
1 15oz Can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 15oz Can Fire Roasted Corn
1/2 cup Black Olives, sliced
1 Bunch Scallions, sliced
Chipotle Cashew Cream Sauce (recipe below)
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
Boil pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, drain and add to a large bowl.

Prep your remaining ingredients while you're waiting for your pasta to cook, and add them to the bowl as well. 

Make your chipotle cashew cream sauce (see below), and pour on top. Mix everything together and then serve immediately, or allow to chill in the fridge until you're ready to eat. 

Chipotle Cashew Cream Sauce
1/2 cup Raw Cashews
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp water
1 tbsp Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce
1 Clove Garlic, smashed and peeled
1 1/2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Paprika
3/4 tsp Sea Salt to taste

Directions:
Blend all of the ingredients together for 1-2 minutes in a high powered blender and then pour on top of your Mexican Vegan Pasta Salad! 

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