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Feel-Good Recipes

Pesto Pasta (or Rice) Salad

Pesto Pasta (or Rice) Salad

By Dietitian and Nutritionist Alison Bencke

This makes a quick, delicious summer lunch that’s great for lunchboxes and is sure to become a staple of your Crohn’s diet. If you’d like to avoid pasta, feel free to use 1 cup of cooked rice instead.

  • Serves 4
  • 2 cups dry pasta spirals or suitable shapes (if using rice, use 1 cup dry rice)
  • 24 small cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
  • 20 black olives (pitted)
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 8 ounces lean lunch-meat slices; or skinless cooked chicken, cubed; or tuna chunks
  • 2 cups mixed green leaves
  • 1 cup walnut pesto* or a commercial pesto

Cook pasta or rice at least an hour in advance, and cool in refrigerator. Make pesto just before assembling salad, and mix with pasta (or rice). Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl just before serving.

  • *Walnut pesto:
  • 1/4 cup shelled walnuts
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Use a food processor or blender to mix the walnuts with packed basil leaves, garlic, parmesan cheese, and canola oil. Add hot water if too thick.

  • Nutrition per serving:
  • Calories 363
  • Protein 20 g
  • Fat 9 g
  • Saturated fat 4 g
  • Fiber 10 g
  • Calcium 233 mg

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Note: these tips should not replace advice from your physician. Always check with your physician before making any changes to your eating habits.