Ryan's Infamous Tuna Pasta Salad

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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).
 

THE COMPONENTS:

  • 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
  • mayonnaise
  • 1/2-1 ripe avocado (optional)
  • pickle juice
  • yellow mustard
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 cans of tuna

THE TOOLS:

  • knife
  • cutting board
  • measuring cups
  • large bowl
  • mixing spoon
  • dressing shaker
  • can opener
 
Photo by: Linh Nguyen

Photo by: Linh Nguyen

 

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.

Ryan Mandryk & Kirsten Oilund circa 1992.ย (Please note the calm, cool, collected dude on the left and the scrappy, dirty, sticky gal on the right....)

Ryan Mandryk & Kirsten Oilund circa 1992. (Please note the calm, cool, collected dude on the left and the scrappy, dirty, sticky gal on the right....)