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FITNESS

Eat Right

Ditch the mayo with these 3 alt veggie-filled pasta salads

Serious question time, GL girls: what’s not to love about pasta? That's a tricky one to answer, ain't it? It's great for carboloading, you can dress it up with any healthy ingredients you like and, seriously, it just looks pretty. Plus, when you add in veggies of your choice and sub out mayonaise for lighter dressings, you’ll be getting a load of nutrients in your diet while knocking some unsavory ingredients out. Summer is a time for light and colorful foods, and you can turn your pasta salad into exactly that with three of our fave simple pasta salad recipes.

Going Greek

If you love Greek salad, you’re sure to love this recipe because it has all the same ingredients! Here’s a tip: if you want a little kick, add a few pepperoncini peppers to the mix.

What you’ll need:

Cavatappi pasta (whole wheat recommended!)

Cucumbers

Feta cheese

Red onion

Cherry tomatoes

Black olives

Greek salad dressing (A low sodium or light dressing will do the trick *and* it's healthier)

Salt

Pepper

Directions:

1. Like any pasta, start by heating a large pot of water to a boil. Once your water is boiling, add salt. Toss in your cavatappi and cook until “al dente” (a.k.a. cooked, but firm to the bite). Then, use a colander to strain your pasta. Let sit to cool for a few minutes.

2. Dice up your cucumbers, onion, tomatoes and olives and combine in a large bowl. Add your cooled pasta and mix everything together.

3. Crumble the feta on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Add the Greek dressing on top of mixture, but don't go over board. Add only enough to lightly cover the other ingredients. Your pasta should not be drenched or dripping in dressing.

5. Finally, mix it all together and put it in the fridge to chill.

6. Taste your masterpiece and smile, girl!

The Fiesta

Here’s where Mexican food meets pasta! Make this dish for a party or cookout and your guests will be all over it. Here’s a tip: you can add a light sprinkle of cumin for some extra flavor.

What you’ll need:

Rotini pasta

Black beans (canned)

Corn (canned)

Tomatoes

Orange bell pepper

Cilantro

Red onion

Salt

Pepper

Light Italian dressing (weird, but it works!)

Directions:

1. Cook rotini, strain and let cool.

2. Open beans and corn and strain well. Then, rinse under cool water.

3. Chop up your tomatoes, bell pepper, cilantro and onion. Combine everything in a bowl.

4. Dress your pasta with your Italian dressing and add salt and pepper.

5. Mix everything together and–you know the drill–let it chill!

6. Dig in, babes.

Caprese Goodness

Craving something from the heart of Italy? This is the perfect recipe for you. The pesto is the perfect touch and adds tons of flavor. Here’s a tip: try substituting the cherry tomatoes for sundried tomatoes for a more rustic flavor.

What you’ll need:

Cavatappi pasta

Fresh mozzarella cheese balls

Cherry tomatoes

Basil

Pesto

Parsley

Salt

Pepper

Directions:

1. You know what to do: Boil and strain your pasta, then let cool.

2. Dice up your tomatoes, basil and parsley. Remove mozzarella balls from their liquid.

3. Combine everything in a large bowl and add the pesto (again, just enough to cover), salt and pepper.

4. Mix together and let your masterpiece chill in the fridge. 

5. Enjoy!

Which of these delicious recipe will you try the next time you're carboloading? Tell us in the comments below!

Photo Credit: Pinterest

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by Kristina Lee | 7/11/2016
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