Baking & cooking with an enthusiastic amateur

Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad on a bright blue plastic plate fora 4th of July, picnic-style feel!

I don’t know about you, but one of the things I always have in my cupboards in pasta. It’s what my roommate lives off of when I’m not home to cook, and it’s a very cheap last-minute meal. Pasta is tasty, but I try not to use it as a main course too often, so I’ve been looking into other ways of using it. As I’ve experimented, I’ve found that in a side dish with some vegetables, pasta can work really well!

In the recipe below, I cook the vegetables for just a couple of minutes to make them more tender without losing all of their crunch. They don’t taste raw anymore but they’re still bright and full of texture and personality! So as not to make more dishes, I just put them in with the pasta near the end of cooking, and ensure that I drain the pasta and veggie mixture carefully.

Macaroni Salad
5 oz macaroni (approximately)
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt

Bring a saucepan with water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 7 minutes. Add the carrots, onion, and celery, and boil for another 3 minutes. Drain well.

Stir in the oil, cheese, and spices. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Makes eight side-dish servings.
Cost per serving: $0.22
Nutrition per serving: 146 calories, 8g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 15g carbs, 2g fiber, 4g protein

On Tweaking:

  • To reduce the calories, you can increase the ratio of veggies to pasta, or reduce the amount of olive oil to 2-3 tablespoons.
  • To make this vegan, simply omit the parmesan cheese and double-check that the pasta is vegan. Most standard pasta you buy in a box at the store is vegan.
  • You could substitute other types of pasta, such as wheels or ditalini, but you should check their cooking times and adjust accordingly.

With fruit salad and a chicken sandwich, pasta salad provides some extra vegetables and completes the meal.

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This entry was posted on July 1, 2012 by in Everything Vegetarian, Sides, Sides, Apps, & Snacks, Vegetarian Sides, Apps, & Snacks and tagged , .
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