Sunday, August 22, 2010


Tom loves macaroni salad, but it has never been a big thing in my family so we usually bought some for him at the deli.  The deli salad was thick with salad dressing and had very few crunchy vegetables.  After making the KFC Coleslaw (Post: 8/16/10), I decided I would use the relatively low-fat dressing from the coleslaw with a few changes and make Tom some good macaroni salad that wasn't as harmful to his "girlish figure".

I eliminated the white vinegar in the dressing because I think that white vinegar is only good for cleaning.  In the Michigan Cottage Cook dressing, I use cider vinegar, skim milk and low fat mayonnaise.  I decided that pasta salad did not require as much sugar as coleslaw.  For the pasta, Tom choose multigrain pasta rather than a whole wheat.  Adding some pasta cooking water to the cooked pasta keeps it from sucking up the dressing; therefore, the salad requires less dressing.  When the salad was finished, Tom was thrilled.

Tom's Pasta Salad--enjoy!!!  This has Labor Day Family Picnic written all over it!

¼ c sugar
½ t to 1 t salt (depending on your tastes)
1/8 t – ½ t black pepper
¼ c milk
½ c mayonnaise (low fat works well)
¼ c buttermilk
1 ½ T cider vinegar
2 ½ T lemon juice

Ingredients:  Sugar, mill, buttermilk, mayonnaise, cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl.  Stir or whisk well to blend until all the lumps are gone.

14 oz. multigrain pasta elbows
4 hard-cooked eggs, shelled and chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
4 to 5 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
Dressing for pasta salad

Ingredients for the salad that we choose: Multigrain elbows, celery, red onion, hard-cooked eggs, red and green bell peppers.  Use ingredients of your choice if so desired.

Cook pasta according to directions on the box.  Before draining pasta, remove some of the pasta cooking water. Drain pasta and run cold water on it to chill.  Put chopped eggs and vegetable in a 4-cup measuring cup.  The amount of eggs and vegetables should be approximately 4 cups, more is fine.  Put cooked, drained and chilled pasta in a large bowl.  Add some reserved pasta water to the macaroni.  Add vegetable mixture to the pasta.  Mix well.  Add dressing to mixture and mix well.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your individual tastes.  (I grew up in a salt-free household because of my Grandma's health so frequently my food needs more salt for some people.)

Measure out the milks.

Add sugar and mayonnaise.

Juice lemon. Add lemon juice and cider vinegar to mixture.

Add salt and pepper.

Stir or whisk to combine.

Dressing lump free and ready.  Chill while making the salad.

Cook eggs.  See Michigan Cottage Cook Post: 3/31/10 for Easy Hard-cooked Eggs Every Time.  Shell and chop.

Chop green and red bell pepper.  I happen to have a pepper that was both red and green.

Chop celery.

Chop red onion.

Add all the vegetables and egg to a measuring cup.  Should have at least 4-cups.  Chill.

Cook pasta according to the directions on the box.

Before draining the pasta remove some of the cooking water and reserve.

Drain pasta and chill with cold water.

Put drained pasta in a large bowl and add some of the cooking liquid.  I added between 1/4 to 1/3-cup.  Mix.

Add vegetables and eggs.

Mix well.

Add dressing.  Mix well.

Chill pasta salad for at least 3 hours.  Then it is ready to be served.  Enjoy!!

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