Last weekend I posted some tips on eating healthy at group functions. One of my tips was to “healthify” old family favorites. One of our favorite family summer dishes is Macaroni Salad. Macaroni salad typically is loaded with mayo.
The thing about long-standing family recipes is that you can only change them so much before they become completely different dishes. There comes a point where you have to just accept family favorites for what they are and watch your portions.
I am not a big fan of mayo in general, so I cut out a lot of mayo by replacing it with chicken broth. The reason macaroni and potato salad need so much mayo is because the pasta and the potatoes soak up so much of the moisture that you have to keep adding more and more mayo to get the moisture you want. By using chicken broth, the pasta can soak up the chicken broth (10 calories per cup) vs. the mayo (917 calories per cup). And the chicken broth actually enhances the flavor of the dish. This recipe will still please the traditional “mac salad” lover while being a little lighter for the health conscious. Note: This is by no means health food, and should be eaten in moderation and on special occasions, but it is really good, inexpensive, easy to make for a big crowd and is great leftover.
Slightly Slimmed-Down Mac Salad
1 pound salad macaroni
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 stalks celery, diced small
2 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup sliced black olives
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cold water, drain and let cool.
2. Combine all ingredients except the olives and mix well. Taste and season to your liking.
3. Add olives just before serving. If added ahead of time, they can give the salad a brownish hue which isn’t very appetizing.
Tip: Make this the day before your event. As the salad sits, it will soak up some of the moisture. Taste the next day and add chicken broth and mayonnaise as needed.
Serves 8 – 274 calories per serving