Maureen Fraîche

Mixing Business and Pleasure in the Kitchen

Lighter Lemon Thyme Macaroni Salad

I’ve never been a big fan of macaroni salad, truth be told.  I’m sure part of it is that growing-up, it really wasn’t a part of my family’s dining repertoire.  Aside from that, however, macaroni salad has never really done anything for me.  Excessive mayo glopped on helpless macaronis otherwise lacking in any personality?  No thanks.  But every now and then, I have a dream.  A dream about a macaroni salad that doesn’t coat my tongue and is full of bright flavor and crunchy appeal.  I’ve come close at times.  This recipe may be the closest I’ve gotten yet.  The lemon, dijon, and Tabasco definitely perk things up and all the fresh veggies make every bite a good one.  To top it off, fresh parsley and lemon thyme add an extra little dimension for your enjoyment.  Oh, and it contains just 1/3 to 1/2 the calories of most macaroni salads.  Your hips will love that.

Lighter Lemon Thyme Macaroni Salad
Serves 8

Ingredients

8 oz Barilla Plus macaroni
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced small
1/3 cup red onion, minced
1 celery stalk, diced small
1/2 cup light mayo
2 Tb lemon juice
2 tsp dijon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp Tabasco
2 Tb fresh parley, minced
1 Tb fresh lemon thyme, minced

Cook the macaroni according to package instructions.  Drain, rinse with cold water, and transfer to a large bowl.  Toss in the bell pepper, onion, and celery.

In another bowl, whisk together your light mayo, lemon juice, dijon, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and Tabasco.  Pour this over your macaroni and use a rubber spatula to thoroughly combine.  Sprinkle in the fresh herbs and fold those in as well.  Transfer to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to eat.  This dish holds well for a couple days in the fridge.

Nutrition Information per serving (1/8 recipe, about 3/4 cup): 165 calories, 6 g total fat, <1 g saturated fat, 23 g total carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein

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