Creamy Macaroni Salad

Happy Memorial Day everyone! To celebrate the holiday that marks the unofficial start of summer, I wanted to make a dish that was fresh and light, and also easy to take to a picnic or backyard BBQ. I'm a big fan of pasta salad, and I usually make mine with a vinaigrette base. This go round, I wanted a slightly creamy element, partly for a change, and partly because I have some Just Mayo to use up! The dressing is creamy, but bright and tart. You can play around with the ratios adding more mustard or in my case, I wish I had a little more pickle juice for that dang tastiness.

I served my salad along side some fresh cut pineapple, Hatch chili kettle chips, and unsweet peach iced tea. It was a heavenly combination, but I'm sure the macaroni salad would go just as well with your holiday brew-skis. Cheers 🍻

Creamy Macaroni Salad
12 oz dry elbow macaroni
1 large red bell pepper (small dice)
2 ribs celery (small dice)
1/2 medium red onion (small dice)
1 bunch radish, or 6-7 small (cut into thin half moons)
1/2 can no salt added red kidney beans (drained, rinsed well)
1 handful fresh cilantro (finely chopped)

5-6 Tbsp vegan mayo
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
2-3 tsp hot sauce (of course I used chili garlic Cholula)
1-1/2 Tbsp pickle juice (I used all the juice from a Dilly Bites pickle pack)
2 lemons (juice of)
white pepper
black pepper

1. Cook macaroni according to package instructions for al dente. You want a nice bite to your noodles here. Drain into a colander and rinse with cold water thoroughly to cool down. Toss with a few tsps of EVOO (to prevent sticking) and set aside. 
2. In bowl combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk well. Taste and season well! Set aside.
3. In a large bowl add vegetables, beans and macaroni. Gently toss. Pour in the dressing and toss until well combined.
4. Add chopped cilantro and toss.
5. Eat immediately or refrigerate for 1-2 hours (recommended).