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  • Writer's pictureDawn Hames

Tuna Pasta Salad

It is time for summer salads. Here is an old favorite. It is full of vegetables, pasta, and important protein from the tuna. For the pasta you can use regular macaroni, bow ties, or shells. If you are using bow ties or other larger-shaped pasta, you may want to increase the amount of pasta by an additional 1/2 cup. This salad also works great with brown rice pasta. I like to choose the olive oil mayonnaise for its additional health benefits. In this recipe you can use a yellow onion, or chop up about 8 green onions. Red pepper is a good source of vitamin C and vitamin A. Nutrients found in red peppers are beneficial for eye health, and increases thermogenesis in our metabolism. Celery adds lots of delicious crunch to this salad. Celery contains at least twelve different anti-oxidants that have shown to protect our cells, blood vessels and organs. Celery is also anti-inflammatory, calming to the nervous system and hormone balancing. Celery is protective of the digestive system and may help protect our digestive system from the damaging but flavorful compounds found on barbequed meat, which we love during the summer. Tuna is an excellent and inexpensive source of protein, that can take this dish from a salad to a full meal. Tuna is also a source of omega 3 fatty acids that benefit the heart, eyes, and brain. When selecting canned tuna, look for small tuna varieties such as light and skipjack, and avoid the larger varieties such as albacore, which will contain mercury. The B vitamins in tuna help to strengthen bones and skin. Tuna is a good source of potassium and when combined with its omega 3, it is helpful in both reducing cardiovascular inflammation and lowering blood pressure. The peas add more protein in the plant-based version, while carrots add even more variety for building a diverse and healthy microbiome for a strong immune system.

Tuna Pasta Salad

2 cups frozen peas and carrots

3 cups macaroni

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

1/2 red pepper chopped

1 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup sweet or dill relish

1 teaspoon salt and pepper

3 cans of tuna drained

In a pot of water, add the peas and carrots, and bring the pot to boil, add in the pasta, and cook until tender. Drain and set the pasta aside to cool. When the pasta has cooled, in a large bowl, add all the ingredients and gently combine. Season to taste. Chill.

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