Pasta salads can be heavy, oily and low in nutritional value. Not this one.
Using whole-wheat pasta instead of regular pasta instantly boosts the fiber content and increases a sense of fullness, says Katie Rankell, director of the UCI Health Weight Management Program.
Beets and spinach deliver nitrates, which help lower blood pressure and heart rate. If you’re an athlete, adding natural nitrates to your diet can improve performance. Beets also help reduce inflammation and support brain health, says Rankell.
Red onions add so much more than flavor. They’re high in a bioflavonoid called quercetin, which has been shown to possess anti-cancer, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
Top it all off with some crunchy walnuts, which have cholesterol-lowering Omega-3 fats.
Beet and Whole-Wheat Pasta Salad
- 2 cups cooked spiral, whole-wheat pasta
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach, shredded
- 1 12-ounce jar whole beets (1-1/2 cups), cut in half
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon virgin olive oil
Mix pasta, spinach, beets, onion and walnuts in a salad bowl. Combine maple syrup, vinegar and olive oil in a small jar and shake well. Pour over salad. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until you're ready to eat.
- 123 calories
- 4 g protein
- 3 g fat
- 0 mg cholesterol
- 23 g carbohydrates
- 3 g fiber
- 120 mg sodium