100 lb. Club - Healthy pasta salad?

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06-10-2008, 02:55 PM
Does anyone have a good, light recipe for pasta salad? Pasta is so dense/heavy on the calories, but I am thinking if you added veggies to it for half the pasta it would lighten it considerably. I know I can use light mayo or nonfat yogurt in place of mayo. Any good recipes out there?

I used to make this pasta salad with the teeny pasta shells, green peas, and um I think some kind of creamy dressing. I wonder if adding broccoli (raw) would work? Any recipes please post em!

06-10-2008, 03:14 PM
Me me me! I just made a healthy pasta salad. So I used wheat-free pasta so that it's less dense, and less bloat making for me.. but you can use regular pasta too. I lightly steamed broccoli, asparagus, and carrots. I also put celery, green pepper, purple onion, and chopped kale into it. For non veggies? I put some light cheese in there! For a dressing, I mix some extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and greek seasoning. Very yummy! Just make sure you add the dressing just before you eat it, otherwise it gets all soggy and absorbs it.. this way you use less!

Phew! So thats my version of a pasta salad!


06-10-2008, 03:18 PM
Santa Fe Pasta Salad

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, rinsed in hot water and drained (may use canned corn, rinsed and drained)
1 cup salsa
½ cup of light or fat-free mayo
4 cups cooked salad pasta (small elbows or shells will also work), rinsed in cold water & drained
½ med. onion, chopped
½ cup red and/or green pepper, chopped
1 tomato, diced
2 - 3 tbsp. chopped, fresh cilantro (or to taste)
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 or 2 tbsp. diced black olives (use a small amount for flavor) (optional)
¼ avocado, diced (use a small amount for flavor) (optional)

Mix all the ingredients together, cover and refrigerate for a few hours. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

the slim me
06-10-2008, 04:50 PM
this isn't a pasta salad, but I thought you might like it. It's my 3 bean salad.

Take 3 cans or beans, your choice. I use black beans, garbanzo, and dark red kidney.
Add 1 box or can of corn.
add onion, celery, tomato, green pepper, olives.
at this point you could add some pasta too.
Dress with low cal/fat italian or vinegret dressing.

It makes a lot, so you have it in the fridge for lunches.

Suzanne 3FC
06-10-2008, 05:21 PM
I like to add chopped raw zucchini to cold salads, and I'll bet it would be great in a pasta salad. Cut it into a 1/4 to 1/2 inch dice and add tons of it for very few calories :T

06-10-2008, 10:47 PM
The other day I bought Tofu Shirataki (http://www.house-foods.com/tofushirataki_faq.html) noodles and made a sort of pasta salad with them. I added red beans, squash, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, tiny bits of asparagus, and used a evoo vinaigrette. Delicious, and the whole big plate was like 280 calories.

If you can find them near you, I highly recommend them!

06-10-2008, 10:50 PM
Someone posted an awesome recipe in here and I can't find it now. I'm afraid it may be in the "Lost Weeks". It had onions, peppers, black beans (?) and perhaps some other vegetables. It was dressed with 1 TBS olive oil, 2 TBS balsamic vinegar and some herbs. I took the leftovers, added more peppers, whole wheat pasta and a can of tuna (and a little more oil & vinegar).

I've always liked to have lots of veggies in pasta salad.
If you're the OP of the original recipe or saved it, I'd love to see it reposed. I'm not even sure what board it was on.

06-11-2008, 05:49 PM
The other day I bought Tofu Shirataki (http://www.house-foods.com/tofushirataki_faq.html) noodles and made a sort of pasta salad with them. I added red beans, squash, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, tiny bits of asparagus, and used a evoo vinaigrette. Delicious, and the whole big plate was like 280 calories.

If you can find them near you, I highly recommend them!

How can you eat the shirataki noodles? I was so excited to try them and made them and literally gagged from the texture. Glad you like them, but ooooooooo yuck. :p

06-11-2008, 05:53 PM
Heres a good pasta salad recipe:

Low fat Taco Pasta Salad:

elbow macaroni cooked aldente'
chopped onions, tiny
chopped green pepper, tiny
one packet of taco seasoning
fat free sour cream
fat free or low fat mayo (just a big spoonful, not much)
one can of red beans (I think kidney beans)

take some sour cream and the spoonful of mayo and combine it in a bowl with the taco seasoning packet. Then put all the other ingredients in the bowl you mixed it in and mix all together. Keep chilled and serve.

Yummy and low fat! Hope you like it.

06-11-2008, 06:10 PM
My pot-luck special, can be made as a pasta salad. I take a bag or two of frozen mixed vegetables (Walmart's asparagus, broccoli or snap pea stir fry blends are my favorite). I add a light dressing or a full fat italian or other vinaigrette dressing that I dilute with equal portions of rice wine vinegar and a little splenda and garlic powder or minced fresh or dried garlic.

I add any of the following I feel like: onion, celery, bell pepper, pepperocini, cherry peppers or yellow pepper rings, artichoke hearts, olives, edamame (removed from shells), rinsed canned beans, cooked pasta (regular, rice, vegetable, or whole wheat, corn or spelt pasta shells or elbows or similar sized pasta).

Health food stores have a lot of different pasta varieties. Another great salad I like is fresh salsa, fresh or frozen corn, black beans, onion, corn pasta and "italian blend" frozen vegetables.

For any variation of this salad I mix it all together (vegetables still frozen) and let it thaw in the fridge overnight. No matter what I throw in, it always gets raves. For a lighter salad, I just use a lighter dressing and if adding pasta make sure that there is at least as many cups of vegetables as pasta.

06-11-2008, 06:24 PM
I love making 'pasta' salad without the pasta (I see you do the same kaplods!), have always done this even before losing weight. I've never been one for pasta. I add it in for my guys. I will have to try it with the shirataki noodles as I don't mind those.

I'll grill various veggies, asparagus, green beans, zucchini, add some grilled seafood - shrimp or salmon, add raw veggies like onions, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers and toss it with a pesto (Knorr pesto sauce if I'm feeling lazy). Sometimes I'll top it with a wee bit of asiago or parm cheese. Chill and serve!

06-11-2008, 08:11 PM
Thanks for all the great ideas!! Now I have lots of yummy things to try :)

06-11-2008, 09:32 PM
Okay I have to give an update!!

So after reading all the great ideas (and Suzanne I never thought to add zucchini at all!) and thought about adding more veggies, here is my first experiment.

I boiled a half cup of tiny shell pasta (I figure if I make one serving I cant go nuts). During the last 2 minutes of cooking I threw in a handful of frozen peas, half a grated carrot, and half a zucchini in dice the size of the shells. Then drained and rinsed til cold. I made a dressing of nonfat yogurt, lowfat mayo, and ranch powder. I seasoned it up with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I mixed it into the shells/veggies. I added 3 chopped green onions and about 2oz cubed chicken breast. Then added one slice of crumbled thin bacon (40 cal). Chilled a bit. OMG YUM!!!!!! It was SO fantastic.

What I learned:
Next time I will add at least double the veggies. The zucchini was almost indistinguishable from the pasta. It was nice and "al dente" and blended right in so it seemed like a huge serving of pasta. Next time I may even triple the veggies for the same amt of pasta and slightly more dressing. And more chicken too. Oh and I did add about 1T light ranch at the end because I wanted it to be a little "richer." Boy was it great!

Will be trying more ideas soon :)

mrs dorson
06-11-2008, 09:38 PM
theses all sounds yummy! i have new recipes!

Jolly Molly
06-12-2008, 05:05 AM
Yum... there are some great recipes to try!

I make pasta salad without mayo and use a dressing made with olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead. Then I add chopped tomato, fresh basil and LF mozzarella. I'm going to try adding zucchini next time.

06-12-2008, 03:14 PM
I always put use WG pasta, light shredded cheese, tomatoes, olives, bell peppers and broccoli (sometimes some pine nuts). Veggies vary on what im in the mood for BUT i always use FF Zezty Italian dressing for the sauce/dressing. that keeps the cals a little lower and i like the taste better than mayo. 2tbs of dressing go a lot farther than 2 tbs of mayo

06-14-2008, 06:22 AM
I love making 'pasta' salad without the pasta

Next time I will add at least double the veggies.

I definitely like the vegetables to be a significant part of a salad and the pasta to be an "accessory". I used to be disappointed at pot luck pasta salads that were mostly pasta and mayo with a garnish of vegetables. Now I'm not disappointed because I don't serve myself any of these dishes. :D
I love cold vegetables salads in the summer.