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Red Pepper and Tomato Pasta Salad

Red Pepper and Tomato Pasta SaladEnjoy the vivid color and fresh flavor of tomatoes and red bell peppers in this fresh salad. These healthy superstars also contain carotenoids, which may help reduce your risk of heart disease, certain cancers and macular degeneration, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Ingredients

  • 4 c. cooked rotini, preferably high-fiber variety
  • 2 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 pitted ripe black olives, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, roasted, cored, seeded, cut into thin strips
  • 2 c. lettuce in bite-size pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ c. thinly sliced shallots
  • ½ tsp. crushed dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ c. tomato juice
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • ½ c. shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Combine rotini, tomatoes, olives, bell pepper and lettuce in large bowl. Toss gently but well.
  • Heat oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and oregano and cook for 3 minutes or until shallots are tender.
  • Remove from heat; cool slightly.
  • Stir in red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add tomato juice and vinegar. Stir well. Pour over salad and toss gently but well.
  • Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 (2-cup) servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 295 calories; 7.5 g total fat; 11.5 g protein; 50.5 g carbohydrates; 8 mg cholesterol; 365.5 mg sodium; and 8 g dietary fiber (using high-fiber rotini).