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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer foods

If your family is anything like mine, summer can be a busy time. Soaking up every ounce of sunshine you can. Who wants to spend it in a hot kitchen? Not me!

With all the summer celebrations and quick trips into the mountains on the flip of a coin it is good to have some summer salads and dishes on hand. Makes relaxation nicer when you can grab a pack of hot dogs, or chicken breast and leave the house as fast as you can pack the cooler and grab a few blankets.

One of my favorite simple summer salads is this Macaroni and Tuna number:

Tuna Macaroni Salad. 

Begin by boiling some pasta. You can use any type of dry noodle my favorite for this salad is the Ditali pasta. (small tubular similar to elbow approx 3/8" long). It seems to hold the flavors in better. Boil the pasta in a pot of well salted water just to the Al Dente stage. or when it shows a slight resistance when chewed. (I check this by cooling one piece out of the pot and tasting)

While the pasta is boiling, dice some sweet green, yellow, red or orange peppers. Some green onions thinly sliced from the white on through the green. One medium sized cucumber. And one large ripe tomato.

This is the perfect time of year for this salad. It is great for the outdoor activities and most of the ingredients can be found in your own garden or the local farmers market.

Depending on how much pasta you are cooking, open and drain one or two 5oz cans of tuna fish in water. Or two pkg's of the new tuna in a pouch.

When the pasta is done, remove from the stove and drain. Let the pasta cool. Pasta can be rinsed with some cool water to accelerate the preparation. However, the more rinsing, the more starch is removed and the less the dressing will stick to the pasta.

Stir the vegetables and tuna into the pasta. Mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl (again portions depend on the amount of pasta used) mix together the following ingredients: 1c light mayonnaise, 1Tablespoon yellow or 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 Tablsp black pepper, 1 Teasp Salt, 1 clove chopped garlic, 2 Tablsp milk, and 1/2 teasp lemon juice.

Whisk well. Dressing should be the consistency of creamy salad dressing. If it is too stiff, add more milk. Too liquid, add some more mayo.

Pour dressing over the pasta and vegetables and stir until all is coated.
Keep refrigerated.

As I have been known to get a little bored with recipes... this salad can be changed up a little by replacing the tuna with a can of tiny shrimp or even fresh shrimp chopped finely. Different vegetables can be added or omitted. And a cup of Ranch dressing will substitute in a pinch for the dressing.

Should keep for up to 7 days in the refrigerator. A few days less if it has been in a cooler or in the sun.

Great with burgers, or BBQ.
Make a big batch for your Independence day party.


  1. I think my kids would love this.. am a vegetarian but might try it with veggies!!


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