Southwestern Pasta Salad With Creamy Avocado Dressing

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Southwestern Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
4-6 servings

ingredients:

salad:
8 oz rotini pasta
1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 C grape tomatoes, halved
1 can olives, drained
1/2 C diced red bell pepper
1/4 C diced orange bell pepper
1/4 C diced yellow bell pepper
1/2 C diced red onion
1/2 C sweet corn, drained
2 large avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
salt and pepper to tasted
1 lime for juicing over salad
1/4 C chopped cilantro
feta cheese for sprinkling

dressing:
2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
3 T plain greek yogurt
1/2 C low-fat buttermilk
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
2 T chopped green onion
1 small jalapeno pepper, chopped and seeded
2-3 T fresh lime juice
1/4 t ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

method:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Rinse with cold water, and place in a large bowl. Add black beans, olives, tomatoes, peppers, red onion, corn, and chopped avocado.
2. Make dressing: combine all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add more buttermilk if dressing isn’t thin enough. Pour dressing over pasta salad, and top with a sprinkle of lime juice and feta.

recipe adapted from: two peas and their pod

On average, two restaurants a week closed in the year to the end of March, including casual dining chains, as well as upmarket and independent establishments, according to the latest data from analysts CGA and corporate advisory firm AlixPartners. Graeme Smith, the managing director of AlixPartners, said he expected restaurant numbers to continue to drop throughout the year as large chains in particular slim down. There have already been high-profile closures by burger chain Byron, Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s, the Prezzo Group and Sir Terence Conran’s Albion restaurants, but more large chains and independents are expected to suffer. “It’s easy to say this is a crisis in casual dining,” said Peter Martin at CGA. “This is a crisis happening for everyone.” Restaurants are suffering because the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote has made ingredients more expensive while staff costs have risen, partly due to increases in the minimum wage. Economic uncertainty has stalled growth in the sector just as competition has increased after a surge in openings partly fuelled by private equity investment.

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