This was a top secret family recipe for years, but I'm going to share it with the world now. It was mainly a secret, because I liked making people try and guess the secret ingredient. (Spoiler alert! it's mustard).
This is my daughter's favorite food. She would eat it for every meal if I let her. When the other kids in preschool draw pictures of their favorite food, (usually ice cream and pizza) she always draws macaroni salad. (she painstakingly draws each piece of macaroni, and red dots for paprika.) It ususally gets at least a million thumbs up. (that's the emma scale) sometimes, if i'm having an off day, it only gets a 100 thumbs up. :)
You will need:
Pasta (we like elbows)
Vinegar (cider is best, but we're out, so i'm using rice vinegar today)
That's it! If you want to get fancy, you can add chopped up celery. It adds a nice crunch.
We use the protein pasta, because it has a lot of protein and fiber. We like the taste, and it's more nutritious than regular pasta. It also fills you up better.
Step 1: Make the Pasta
Boil a pot of water.
Put the macaroni in, and cook it following the instructions on the box. You want it to be throughly cooked.
When cooked, drain it, and rinse with cold water.
After that I like to put the collander in the bowl, and fill it with cold water. That way there aren't any hot spots left.
Drain the pasta throughly. I like to pat it dry with a paper towel.
Now put the pasta in the bowl.
Step 2: Add the Ingredients.
First you add a blob of mayonaise. It's probably about 1/4c to 1/3c. I've tried measuring it out, but it never comes out as good. It's best just to taste test.
Stir in the mayonaise, then add the vinegar. About a Tablespoon full. Sprinkle the vinegar all around, so that you don't get any vinegary spots. Stir it in.
Now squirt on the mustard. I usually squirt it in a sprial pattern, again to evenly distribute. Stir it in.
Finally, add the paprika. Sprinkle it on the top, and stir it in.
Now it's time to taste test.
Does it need more vinegar or more mustard? If it's too vinegary or to mustardy, just add some more mayo. You can also add a dash of salt.
Step 3: Now Eat and Enjoy.
If you make it ahead of time, you might need to add some more ingredients after it sits in the fridge. The pasta tends to absorb the mayo, so usually it needs a bit more. Sprinkle some paprika on top to make it pretty, and it will be a huge hit at the next pot luck. (That is if your kid doesn't eat it all before hand.)