Ryan's Infamous Tuna Pasta Salad
Heading to your first bar-b-q of the season? Don't worry, I've got you covered. This tri-color tuna pasta salad is SUCH a crowd-pleaser. I know because I was a member of the crowd when I tried it for the first time. As served by my super-awesome older (but not wiser!) cousin, Ryan, I give to you the most DELICIOUS pot-luck dish: Ryan's Infamous Tuna Pasta Salad.
Serves lots (~20).
- 4 cups of cooked tri-color macaroni (includes some whole grain)
- 1/2 cup diced radish
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced carrot
- 1/4 cup diced green onions
- 3/4 cup cubed strong cheddar cheese
- 1/2-1 ripe avocado (optional)
- pickle juice
- yellow mustard
- salt & pepper
- 2 cans of tuna
- cutting board
- measuring cups
- large bowl
- mixing spoon
- dressing shaker
- can opener
THE HOW TO:
Mix together the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Now make the dressing: start with a few generous spoonfuls of mayonnaise and smooshed avocado, and thin out the mixture with some pickle juice. Add a few squirts of mustard and salt & pepper to taste. Shake, shake, shake the dressing until thoroughly mixed. Next up, dress the salad and stir in 2 cans of flaked light tuna.
Store in the fridge until serving.
THE DIETITIAN REVIEW:
What a satisfying mingle of complex carbohydrates, omega-3 rich protein (aka tuna), savoury cheddar, and colourful veggies. This pasta salad can be a meal in itself or a side dish to accompany some BBQ chicken and grilled corn. Also, it is a perfect recovery meal after your favourite activity...it's got some carbs, protein, salt (think pickle juice!), aaaand antioxidants.
A few notes about key ingredients:
Radishes: DYK that radishes are excellent companion plants and grow well in cool, mountain climates? Like the Rockies! I'm going to give them a whirl in my garden this year. My favourite way to enjoy leftover radishes (that aren't packed into this pasta salad) is to cut them in quarters, squeeze on a bit of lime juice, and add a sprinkle of coarse salt and cracked pepper. Such a sharp and fresh flavour.
Tuna: Light varieties of tuna (ex: skipjack and yellowfin) are lower in mercury than the white (albacore) variety of tuna, making them a safer alternative to eat. This is especially important for young children and pregnant/lactating women. For more information about mercury in fish, check out Health Canada's article here.