Garden veggies will be popping up at midwest farmer’s markets very soon, so I decided to create this Garden Veggie Tuna Mac Salad, a recipe I adapted from one of my mom’s staple summer dinner recipes.
When my mom made 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. She was so proud of her garden, and with good reason…there was usually a bounty of healthy goodness planted in that raised bed garden! She would use the fresh vegetables to create bright, healthy, delicious, and budget-friendly dinners. Mom made her tuna mac salad with a mayonnaise based dressing, which I loved! That creamy texture was pure comfort food to me.
For this recipe, I wanted to keep the calories and fat down a bit, so I made a light, lemon pomegranate balsamic vinaigrette dressing instead. It created a tangy, sweet, and delicious dinner. I used Dreamfield’s elbow macaroni, which is a bit lower in carbohydrates than traditional enriched pastas are, and I used water-packed tuna fish to keep the calories and fat in check.
This entire dinner 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!
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 Salad
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.
For more healthy garden produce recipes, check out these posts. I think you’ll love them!
Eat well and be well, my friends!