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Old-fashioned macaroni salad sometimes contains jarred pimientos, diced ham or pickle relish, but this version is simple and deliciously plain with fresh chopped celery, carrot and onion. To make ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to three days.

EATINGWELL: A lighter, healthier macaroni salad

Old-fashioned macaroni salad sometimes contains jarred pimientos, diced ham or pickle relish, but this version is simple and deliciously plain with fresh chopped celery, carrot and onion. A combination of low-fat mayo and sour cream lightens up the dressing, and whole-wheat elbow noodles, spinach and edamame add extra nutrients.

To make ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to three days.

Macaroni Salad

Yield: 12 servings, about 1 cup each

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 3/4 hours

3 cups whole-wheat elbow noodles (14- to 16-ounce package)

3/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise

3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon celery seed

Freshly ground pepper to taste

3 stalks celery, finely chopped

3 carrots, shredded

1 small Vidalia or other sweet onion, finely chopped

1 cup baby spinach, chopped

3/4 cup frozen (thawed) edamame

1/3 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese

Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water until tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain. Transfer to a large bowl to cool for at least 15 minutes.

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, salt, celery seed and pepper in a small bowl.

When the noodles have cooled, add celery, carrots, onion, spinach, edamame and the mayonnaise mixture; stir well to combine.

Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle with cheese just before serving.

Recipe Nutrition:

Per serving: 190 calories; 7 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono); 13 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrate; 1 g added sugars; 7 g protein; 3 g fiber; 366 mg sodium; 215 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (60 percent daily value)

2 carbohydrate servings

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat

(EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com.)


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