Cucmber Relish Pasta Salad

This pasta salad was intended to just be a relish on top of the salmon, but I couldn’t think of another side; we had been eating too much rice lately, so good old rice just wouldn’t do. Instead, I decided to take the relish and turn it into a pasta salad. This salad is packed with nutrients. Yes, there is some oil in it, but fat is good for you – as long as it is the right kind. Olive oil and Canola oil contain monounsaturated fatty acids, which are super heart healthy. Something I didn’t know until my Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism class was that a lot of the phytochemical in vegetables are fat-soluble, which means they need some added fat to help with absorption. 


Take home message: Using some healthy fats in your meal will assist in absorbing more of the beneficial phytochemicals, help you feel full (satiety), and make your meal taste great. 


Cucumber Relish Pasta Salad
Serves 6-8


Ingredients
  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 white onion, diced
  • 1 large stalk of celery
  • 2 cups of whole wheat penne pasta, cooked
  • 1 tbsp oil 
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Directions

  1. Combined the vegetables and pasta into a large bowl.
  2. Combine the ingredients from the oil down in a small bowl and whisk well. Add more oil if needed.
  3. Pour marinade on the pasta-vegetable mixture and mix well. Use a spatula to make sure you get all of the marinade out of the bowl and well distributed. 
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
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