Much of the country is buried in snow and icy cold temperatures right now and so many of us are longing to have warm weather and sunny days back.
Dreaming of refreshing spring salads and cold summer fruits that allow us to use the garden’s bounty shouldn’t limit you from actually having your favorites now.
Thinking about heart healthy foods and how to make our favorite family standards lower in fat, I have decided to add a little Mediterranean flair to a warm weather salad that will give our cold winter hearts and our mood a lift! We don’t just have to dream of summer but get a taste of it now!
One of our family’s favorite meals in warm weather is a cold salad, such as potato or macaroni. It is brings a picnic every time! Unfortunately, the traditional family favorite is usually loaded with mayonnaise, which means extra fat and calories.
In this recipe renovation, I have switched it up and added some ingredients to give us more healthy nutrition and great flavor! It is easy to prepare and is even better the next day so make enough for more than one meal.
It’s Not Your Grandma’s Macaroni Salad Recipe Renovation
As with every recipe renovation, here is the nutritional breakdown highlighting the improvements. Check out the difference in fat and calories! (*Please note that if you make your own vinaigrette the added sodium and sugar will be reduced even more.)
|Nutritional Comparison per 1/2 cup serving||Not My Grandma's Macaroni Salad||My Grandma's Macaroni Salad|
|Total Fat, g||7||17|
|Saturated Fat, g||2||3|
|Mono/Poly unsaturated fat, g||2/2||4/9|
Not Your Grandma’s Macaroni Salad Recipe
8 oz dry Rotini Macaroni (or your family’s favorite shape), cooked and drained
Note: rotini shape preferred to better hold the dressing
4 oz. Artichoke hearts, chopped
½ cup Celery, sliced
¼ cup Green peppers, chopped
¼ cup Onion, chopped
2 oz. Black olives, sliced
2 oz. Roasted red pepper, large chunks
½ cup Feta cheese crumbles
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
½ cup Italian dressing, reduced calorie (preferred homemade Oil and Vinegar Vinaigrette)
Cook macaroni according to package directions and drain.
After cooking the macaroni, rinse it with cold water before adding other ingredients.
Add remaining ingredients and toss with vinaigrette dressing.
Chill before serving.
Yield: 8 servings
Serving suggestion: Serve mixed with grilled chicken strips, poached salmon or cubed tofu
Hopefully this taste of spring will help you look forward to warmer days as you face six more weeks of winter! Enjoy!