For this month's Recipe Redux, we were asked to create a healthy recipe using a favorite cooking tool handed down from a family member. Sadly, I don't own anything like that, so I decided to create this Garden Veggie Tuna Mac Salad, a recipe I adapted from one of my mom's staple dinners during the summer.
When my mom made garden veggie tuna mac salad (and she made it a lot), she'd add in whatever fresh veggies she had on hand from her garden at the time. My mom was so proud of her garden, and with good reason...there was usually a bounty of goodness planted in that raised bed! She'd use the veggies to create bright, healthy, delicious, and budget-friendly dinners. Mom used to load her tuna mac salad up with a mayonnaise based dressing, but I wanted to keep the calories and fat down a bit in mine, so I made a light lemon pomegranate balsamic vinaigrette dressing instead. It created a tangy, sweet, and delicious dinner. I used Dreamfield's low carb pasta and water-packed tuna fish to keep the calories and sugars in check. It comes together in about 15 minutes. You really can't ask for an easier weeknight meal, especially during the warm weather months, when the last thing you'll want to be doing is standing over a hot stove making dinner!
OK, that was a really tall vertical collage! LOL I didn't think it would be quite that big...but hey, it's a gorgeous garden veggie tuna mac, isn't it?
Before you grab the recipe, take a look at all of the other gorgeous, healthy dishes from my Recipe Redux buddies:
Are you hungry yet? I think it's time to cook! Grab your apron and I'll meet you in the kitchen!
Garden Veggie Tuna Mac
- 4 ounces (dry) elbow macaroni (I use Dreamfield's low carb pasta)
- 6 ounces canned tuna( packed in water), drained
- 2 stalks celery, diced small
- 1/2 cup julienne cut carrots
- 2 small bell peppers (any color or variety), diced small
- 1 medium yellow or red onion, diced small
- juice of medium lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate balsamic vinegar (or other fruit flavored balsamic)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon onion salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- Cook pasta to al dente per package instructions, making sure to salt the water well after it comes to a boil (it should taste salty like sea water). Drain water and transfer pasta to large mixing bowl. Add drained tuna and all veggies and stir to combine.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add all ingredients for vinaigrette dressing. Use a whisk to combine. Pour over vegetables and tuna and stir to combine. Cover bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.
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