Pasta might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a low-fat food, but if you're looking for a fat-free pasta salad, this low-fat vegan pasta salad recipe comes pretty darn close.
On its own, pasta is a very low-fat food, with only 1.34 grams of fat per two-ounce serving of pasta. What generally gives pasta its bad rap is the quantity in which people consume it, and the toppings added to it. Two ounces of uncooked elbow macaroni comes out to about a half cup of cooked pasta, which is a far cry from the heaping portions served at restaurants that pack on the calories.
This vegetarian and vegan-friendly recipe cuts back on all the unhealthy aspects of pasta. It combines the fresh flavors of artichoke hearts, onion, bell peppers, green beans and black olives for a side dish or main course that's great for backyard cookouts. The pasta salad is best served chilled and is finished with fat-free Italian salad dressing and seasoned with fresh basil.
- 1 1/2 cups bowtie or corkscrew pasta
- 1 cup broccoli, chopped small
- 1 12 -ounce can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 purple onion, diced
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 12 -ounce can green beans, drained and diced
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 3/4 cup fat-free vegan Italian salad dressing
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta according to package directions in salted water until al dente. Drain and allow to cool.
Lightly steam the broccoli, until just tender.
In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, broccoli and remaining ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Allow to marinate in the refrigerator at least one hour before serving. Toss again before serving.
Overcooked pasta can taste mushy and breaks apart easily in dishes. Stir the pasta while cooking, and be sure to check it two minutes before the cooking time on the box. Cook just until the pasta has reached a springy and chewy texture, which called "al dente."