Lunch Box Challenge Day 4: There’s an Elbow in the Salad

Macaroni Salad for lunch, well why the heck not? Doesn’t seem like a lunch box fixture does it? My kids find it to be a nice change and my youngest one just calls it Elbow Salad. Imagine a four year old yelling out in the store when you pick the pasta up,  “Are you going to put elbows in my salad again? I love that!” Yeah, that would be my kid and yes I’m putting elbows in the salad again. 

This can either be the main part of the lunch or a side dish, serve something light with it though like a small sandwich wrap, fruit or vegetables with dip.  I add extra vegetables in the salad, even chicken as well to beef it up sometimes. Make this the night before so all you need to do is divide it up or even make this for a dinner side and use it’s left overs as a lunch side .

I served the salad with broccoli and two mini pinwheels made up of spinach and left over turkey meat, with a side of oranges. 
Recipe for Macaroni Salad. 
4 cups elbow macaroni
3 cup minced celery
3 cups tiny shelled peas
1 cup chopped olives
1 cup chopped fresh red bell pepper
1 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/4 cup chopped dill 

Dressing Ingredients 
1 1/2 cups  mayonnaise
1/2 cup  buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
Pinch of teaspoon fine sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Preparing Salad
Prepare the pasta according to directions adding in the peas
in the last 3 minutes before straining pasta. Run the pasta and peas under cold
water when they are done cooking. Place in large bowl. Add in all the ingredients
then set aside to make the dressing. Simply place all the dressing ingredients
into a small bowl and whisk up till completely combined. Taste and season with
pepper or salt to adjust. Sometimes I add a little pickle juice to tweak out
the flavor.
Add the dressing into the pasta and peas and mix up. Let
this sit over night before serving or dividing up for lunches. 
Today’s Lunch Box Tip- Use left overs in different ways for lunches. It not only clears up the fridge but you can make some interesting sides or sandwiches using them and your also saving money. Something as simple as a Pasta Salad can spruce up any lunch, so don’t skip over that left over chunk of ham or chicken breast from the night before, use what you have on hand and you may find yourself shopping less for “lunch items”. 

13 thoughts on “Lunch Box Challenge Day 4: There’s an Elbow in the Salad

  1. Growing Up Madison

    I love macaroni salad, its the one thing I pride myself on making really good. Yours sound delicious too. I'm going to try yours as well and compare and maybe even mix it around a bit. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Michelle H

    I might be in danger of becoming un-American, but I just have never liked the pasta salad with peas and ham and mayo. My kids would probably look at me funny if I sent this in their lunch box. But I do love that you're using up the leftovers!

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