Originally created 08/05/98

Salad rounds up veggies for zesty flavor, little fat



Rodeo Pasta Salad is a summer bonanza of healthful ingredients in one delicious, low-fat salad. The dressing is a cup of salsa, with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and some olive oil, so the salad has plenty of spice but very little fat. Corn, drained black beans, green onions, fresh herbs and jicama give extra flavor, color and crunch.

Jicama is a root vegetable mostly grown in Mexico, with a tough brown skin and sweet, white flesh. Peel the skin away to enjoy the crunchy meat. If you can't find jicama, substitute chopped red radishes.

The recipe also calls for a box of lemon-pepper pasta. Flavored pastas are boon for consumers because they taste great plain or with sauce or dressing. If you can't find lemon-pepper pasta, use any variety of short pasta instead, such as tubes, bow ties or macaroni.

RODEO PASTA SALAD

1 box (12 ounces) lemon pepper penne pasta or other pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 cup corn kernels

1 cup jicama, peeled and diced, or 1 cup chopped radishes

3 green onions, chopped

1 15-ounce can low-sodium black beans

1 cup medium, mild or hot salsa

1/2 cup diced fresh herb, such as basil or cilantro

1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large kettle, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain thoroughly and empty into a large bowl. Add the olive oil and lime juice and toss to coat pasta completely. (This step can be done in advance and the pasta refrigerated overnight or until you are ready to finish the salad.)

To the pasta, add the corn, diced jicama or radishes, green onions, black beans, salsa, herb and salt and toss well to combine. Serve chilled or at room temperature. If the salad appears dry, toss with a little bit more salsa.

Makes 10 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories, 244; fat, 4 grams (15 percent of calories from fat); protein, 8 grams; carbohydrates, 46 grams; cholesterol, 0 milligrams; sodium, 322 milligrams.

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