Picnic Pasta Salad

If you live by as many lakes as we Minnesotans do, then the weekend waves behoove a proper picnic. This salad took 20mins total, thanks to the amount of stuff I can always find in my freezer.

Here's what I mixed:

- Macaroni pasta
- Some red onion, but lots more yellow onion
- Capers, black olives, green olives
- Corn, boiled garbanzo (that just had to be thawed)
- Salt, black pepper, basil, tabasco
- Fat-free ranch and fat-free Italian zesty
- Dried apricots
- Mini red and yellow peppers
- Cucumber
- Mediterranean peppercorn cheese crumbles
- Dash of olive oil
- Parmesan

While the macaroni boiled, I got all my ingredients thawed, rinsed, chopped and drained.
Give everything a good shake and its ready! Put in whatever you have at hand and whatever your heart desires - Avocados, fresh herb, peeled tangerines.. all wonderful ingredients with plenty color.

Health benefits:
Apricots: good source of vitamin A which promotes eyesight, and high beta-carotene content is great for the heart.
Capers: these tiny things are the flower buds of small bush and have unexpectedly high antioxidant content, which shows promise for fighting cancers and heart disease.
Olives: have huge amounts of monosatured fats (MSF) and vitamin E. MSF when combined with antioxidant properties of vitamin E provide excellent protection to body cells. In the absence of which free radicals can damage cells, causing numerous ailments. For example, oxidated cholesterol deposited in arteries can lead to heart attack and stroke, or damaged cells in the colon can mutate and become cancerous. Vitamin E also provides anti-inflammatory properties, reducing arthritis severity.
Garbanzo: are rich in fiber, lowering cholesterol and keeping blood sugar in check; it increases the body's iron stores keeping you more energetic; has high moleybdenum content that helps the body detoxify suphite - a common ingredient in preservatives;
Cucumber: is rich in fiber, has a lot of water and some vitamin C along with caffeic acid, both of which sooth ski irritations. It also has variety of minerals - silica, potassium and manganese. Silica promotes good heath for connective tissue - muscles, tendons, ligament, cartiledge, bone.


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