Pasta Salad As A Healthy Alternative

Pasta has always been associated with weight and a heavy feeling. True, pasta is rich in carbohydrate, a food group most often than not, shunned by weight watchers. However, there are still people who find it hard to avoid this altogether. And they are right in thinking so.

Although it tends to add weight if taken in excess, carbohydrate is very important because it gives the body the energy it needs to enable it to do its work properly. So for those who cannot give up pasta, there is an alternative.

Instead of having it th traditional way ( with meat and bacon, and cream and all the fatty substances), why not have it as a salad? Below are three fantastic recipes gathered from all over:

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TURKEY PASTRAMI AND PASTA SALAD

Ingredients:

3/4 lb. TURKEY PASTRAMI, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
8-ozs. rotini, cooked and drained
1 14-oz can artichokes, drained and cut into quarters
1 cup carrrots, chopped (2 medium)
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1/2 cup chopped celery (1 stalk)
1 4-oz can black olives, drained and sliced
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 /2 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 lettuce leaves

Instructions:

1. In large bowl, combine pastrami, rotini, artichoke, carrots, onion, celery and olives.

2. In small bowl, combine oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss together with pastrami mixture and refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. Serve on lettuce leaves.

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APPLE PASTA SALAD

Ingredients:

1 container (8 oz.) plain nonfat yogurt
1 can (8 oz.) unsweetened crushed pineapple, undrained
1/2 tsp salt, optional
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 Tbsp honey
2 cups uncooked rotini pasta
1/2 cup shedded carrot
1 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup raisins
3 cups diced, unpeeled apples (suggested: Empire, Gala, Ida Red, Jonagold, Jonathan, McIntosh, Red Delicious, or Rome)

Instructions:

Thoroughly combine yogurt, pineapple, salt, spices, ginger, and honey; refrigerate. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly. Cool completely. In large bowl, combine all ingredients including yogurt dressing. Chill thoroughly before serving.

GARDEN PASTA SALAD

Ingredients:

1 can (16-ozs) mixed fruit in juice or extra light syrup
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 pkg. (8-oz) spinach spiral pasta
2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup green onion, thinly sliced
– Romaine lettuce leaves

Instructions:

Drain mixed fruit, reserving liquid. Drizzle fruit with vinegar and set aside. Cook pasta in boiling water until tender; drain and cool slightly. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, whisk together reserved liquid, cornstarch, basil, and garlic.

Stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Remove from heat; stir in mixed fruit and vinegar. Toss pasta with tomatoes, celery, and green onion. Fold in fruit and sauce; chill. Spoon onto Romaine lettuce to serve.

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