Pasta salad with vegetables and chickpeas is for those who want to avoid the “freshman fifteen.” (NICOLE BANSEN / THE STATESMAN)

Eating healthy in college can be pretty difficult to do. When you go to order food somewhere on campus, you are surrounded by temptations of ice cream, burgers and pizza. You either have to have great self-control, or a friend with great self-control to stop you from ordering the first thing that looks appealing. There is a reason why students gain the infamous “freshman fifteen.” If only there was a healthy and filling snack that college students could eat in between meals to keep the cravings away. But wait, there is! For all the pasta lovers, I’ve decided to make a healthy macaroni salad.


– A pack of rotini
– Two tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil
– Italian dressing
– Chopped red peppers
– Chopped tomatoes
– One can of chickpeas
– Sea Salt
– Garlic pepper
– Lemon juice

Fill a medium-to-large pot halfway with water and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, empty your package of rotini (the corkscrew-shaped pasta) into the pot and let it cook for 12 minutes or until it is tender. Stir occasionally. I choose to use either whole-wheat pasta or a combination of pasta that has been made with dried spinach or tomato (meaning the pasta is red, white and green). Whole wheat pastas will not only  fill you up more, but is a much smarter choice than just regular white pasta.


While the rotini cooks, get a colander and empty the contents of the can of chickpeas into it. Be sure to rinse them thoroughly with cold water to wash off the liquid they are stored in the can with. Once they are all clean, place them in a bowl off to the side.

Now, for the dressing, grab another bowl and mix in two tablespoons of olive oil, a couple squirts of lemon juice, two tablespoons of Italian dressing, some sea salt and some garlic pepper. While normally, you could just use the Italian dressing, a healthier alternative would be to add other ingredients to it to make it less thick.

Next, grab your chopped red peppers and tomatoes and throw them into a medium frying pan coated with olive oil. Let them sauté for about 15 minutes or until they are soft. By now, your rotini should be cooked. Drain it in the colander and then rinse the pasta off with cold water. Be sure to shake the rotini around to completely drain the water.

When that is done, get a large bowl and mix together the rotini, the chickpeas, the vegetables and the dressing. Toss it around to make sure everything is mixed in. This serves four people.



Nicole is a senior majoring in journalism at Stony Brook University. She joined The Statesman fall semester of her freshman year and expects to continue writing for them until she graduates later this year. She couldn’t be happier being the A&E editor and looks forward to expanding her writers' involvement with the paper. Her favorite experience in the arts section was covering the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. While Nicole does enjoy the arts, she has a passion for international affairs. Currently, she can speak three different languages and doesn’t plan on stopping there. One day, she hopes to work for Al Jazeera or the BBC.


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