Barbecue season is nearly here, although, you wouldn’t know it with the cloud enveloped sky and cool rain beating down outside. I am far too excited for barbecuing season for a girl who doesn’t even have a grill. Our last grill decided to spring a gas leak. I’d prefer my house not blow up, thank-you-very-much, so we had to dispose of it. I am still waiting for my husband to surprise me with a Big Green Egg (do I not hint enough, honey?).
I sometimes daydream about all the amazing foods I would cook, if I just had a grill. The truth is, I don’t even eat half of what is usually cooked on the grill, being a vegetarian and all. So for me, barbecue season isn’t about the meat at all, it’s about the sides!
When I was younger, my mom would often make macaroni salad in the summertime; for picnics, barbecues, or just because. I couldn’t imagine not carrying on the tradition. The ingredients were simple, and the prep time minimal. The only trick to making great macaroni salad is planning ahead to allow time for chilling so all the flavors can meld together.
I’ve changed up my mom’s macaroni salad recipe just a bit to add more color and to lighten it up some, but even with my changes, I think Mom would approve.
**When using onions for raw preparations, like in this macaroni salad, place minced onion in some ice water for 5-10 minutes to tame the raw flavor a bit. Be sure to drain the onions well before adding them into the dressing.
**If the macaroni appears to absorb too much of the dressing and loses it’s creaminess, add in a splash (up to 1/4c) milk and stir to combine.
- 2 c elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions, about 6 minutes
- 1 6oz container of non-fat Greek yogurt, plain
- ½ c mayo
- 2 stalks celery, diced small
- 2 medium sized baby bell peppers, I used orange and red (or half a large bell pepper), diced small
- 1 - 2 tbsp red onion, minced
- 1 tbsp sweet relish
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Allow cooked macaroni to cool in the fridge while the other ingredients are prepped.
- In a medium bow, combine Greek yogurt and mayo, set aside.
- Dice celery and bell peppers, mince onion. Add to mayo mixture.
- Add sweet relish, salt, and pepper, stir to combine.
- Once the macaroni has cooled, add the dressing mixture. Coat to combine.
- Cover, and allow to chill for at least 30 minutes longer to allow the flavors to meld.