Jun 13, 2011

BLT Macaroni Salad



Dads like bacon so I thought a bacon, lettuce and tomato summer pasta salad would be a perfect side dish for your Father's Day picnic. The L in this BLT salad should really be an S but I didn't like the sound of a BST.

I am really trying to like whole wheat pasta and used it today to give it another chance, but next time I am sticking with what I like for the same amount of points, either Ronzoni Smart Taste or Dreamfields as a lower carb option. You decide which pasta you prefer, you know your family and what they would eat, the points are the same. If you are on a gluten-free diet, the brown rice pasta is pretty good! To avoid having to add too much mayonnaise I think it's best to make this right before serving as macaroni salads with mayo tend to get dry out if they sit too long therefore requiring more.

As I mentioned on my BLT lettuce wrap recipe, center cut bacon has less fat than regular bacon if you like the taste of real pork bacon, you can use turkey or chicken bacon instead if you don't eat pork.


BLT Macaroni Salad
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 7 Serving Size: 1 cup Old Points: 3 pt • Points Plus: 4 pts
Calories: 149.1 • Fat: 4.3 g • Carb: 26.7 g • Fiber: 4.2 g • Protein: 5.3 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 146.6 mg (without salt)


Ingredients:
  • 8 oz uncooked elbows, low carb or whole grain (brown rice pasta for gf)
  • 4 slices 25% reduced fat center cut bacon
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, beefsteak or vine ripe, diced small
  • 4 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise (I used Hellman's)
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 2 cups baby spinach

Directions:

In a large skillet cook bacon on medium-low heat until crispy on both sides.


In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package directions.

Chop tomatoes and combine it along with any accumulated juice with mayonnaise and pepper in a medium bowl. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to cool. Combine pasta with tomatoes and spinach mixing well. Toss in bacon right before serving.

97 comments :

  1. Looks delicious! Any thoughts on something that might make a good mayo substitute in this recipe?

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    1. Greek yogurt works too :)

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    2. Greek yogurt and avocado mixed together is great too

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    3. I would throw in a little chopped up celery and maybe a tiny bit of sweet onion too.

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  2. Low fat sour cream perhaps? I would add some chives and a touch of vinegar as well.

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  3. Looks delicious. My husband loves pasta dishes so it sounds like a good one to make!!! :)

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  4. I love BLT flavors, this may be on my summer potluck go to list! Would Greek yogurt work in place for the mayo maybe?

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  5. mmmm... looks good! Well, everything looks good with bacon! :)

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  6. OMG I can't wait to make this. I make your regular macaroni salad every weekend and pretty much eat it every day for lunch. This will be a nice change. Yummy!!!

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  7. We make something similar...To keep with the BLT name...we add Leeks for the L part. :)

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  8. Leeks would be great in here, I usually add chives but had some yard work done and they destroyed my chives.

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  9. This sounds like it would be really good. Thanks!

    I've found the trick for whole wheat pasta is to cook it a little longer than you would the regular kind. But the other options work well too. :-)

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  10. Thanks for sharing, this looks great and would be an awesome light lunch with the ease of advance preparation.

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  11. Miss April, yes it was actually my lunch today : )

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  12. I love the idea with bacon!

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  13. Sounds good! I don't like whole wheat pasta, but have you tried Barilla Plus. That's the favorite in our house and it has a good amount of protein, so I don't feel as guilty about eating pasta.

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  14. I make something similar, but instead of spinach I use broccoli slaw, and for the dressing I add 1 T each of dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar. Very yummy!!

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  15. I see you cooked 6 slices of bacon...did you only use 4 in the recipe? I can't wait to give it a try!

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  16. My husband is going to LOVE this! I can't wait to make it!

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  17. I didn't like barilla plus so I'll stick with smart taste fir now but since the points are the same use whatever you like.

    Amgonzales- I was waiting for someone to ask! I cooked extra for my daughters lunch, going to surprise her on her last day of school with a blt for lunch tommorow.

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  18. just made this for dinner but added grilled chicken breast seasoned with a little salt/pepper/garlic....super yummy and made a ton

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  19. I'm going to make this for dinner tonight! I'm going to try and use greek yogurt in place of the mayo and add a little garlic and onion powder to the mix! Thanks for the recipe!

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  20. Thanks so much for saving dinner! I had all of these ingredients on hand and was able to whip this up quickly. I added some chopped scallions and a bit of fresh basil. Delish!

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  21. melanie - I bet it was great with chicken!

    heather - curious how that turned out.

    Anonymous - chopped scallions, yum!

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    1. I made this tonight replacing the mayo with fat free greek yogurt, added chives and garlic - and I also used a vegetarian bacon replacement. It turned out great, I did also add red pepper flakes in the end for a kick.

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  22. Gina...
    You always gravitate toward Ronzoni Smart Taste and Dreamfields. Have you also tried Barilla Plus? That's my favorite tasting and a 2 oz serving has the same number of points as the Smart Taste. Can't wait to try this one for sure! Keep them coming!

    Susan

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  23. Can't wait to try this recipe--mac salad kicked up a nothch! I've tried ALL of the whole wheat pastas out there (NYC area) and I found Pasta Riscossa (available in Italian food shops) to be the BEST--tastes and cooks just like regular pasta. Second best to me is Rienzi, available in supermarkets.

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  24. I've tried Barilla Plus, no one in my house likes it so yes, I always wind up back to Ronzoni Smart Taste and Dreamfields. Oh well, points are the same for all so use what you prefer!

    fran- where do you find that? I'll have to look in my nearest Salumeria, have one 2 blocks away :)

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  25. This looks so good!! I love your site :)

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  26. This looks AMAZING! My hubs loves bacon and I was browsing around for recipes to make this weekend. This is definetly going to make the short list. I love your recipes Gina!!

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  27. This sounds delicious! Is there a way to print the recipe with just the finished product photo but not the process photos? It's always nice to see what it should look like going to the table!! :-)

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  28. I had used Canadian bacon because it's what I had on hand and added extra spinach. It was yummy. I think I'll be making this f and or Father's Day but I'll probably add scallions like someone suggested.

    Thanks Gina for all of your creativity and hardwork!

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  29. I'm not sure if you can print one photo? Maybe if you set it to print with photo on but only tell it to print page 1.

    Use the ripest tomatoes you can find for the best taste!

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  30. Yum Gina! this looks wonderful! I bet you could sub some chopped romaine for the spinach if you wanted to stay true with the whole B L T thing! I need to make this soooooon!

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  31. Sure, why not! As long as it doesn't sit and wilt it would work.

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  32. Gina- thanks so much for all these great recipes!!! I'm eating SO MUCH healthier now!! So many of these are great to make in advance and freeze for easy meals later. My favorite right now is a version of your carne bistec. I add yellow, orange and red pepper slices with the onions. soooo good!! freezes well, too.

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  33. So I recently discovered your blog and I'm mildly obsessed and my mildly I mean fanatically. Love this recipe so much, I served it up with turkey burgers and sliced watermelon.

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  34. Gina, help! I went to the store to buy the macaroni but forgot the spinach. I have swiss chard growing in my garden...do you think that will work ok?

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  35. I made this tonite...terrific and so easy to do! This is a great addition to the "summer" menus. Gina...you are fabulous!

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  36. I made this tonight. Sort of. I didn't have macaroni so used the tri-color spiral pasta. I added scallions and used grape tomatoes cut in half. I added a little vinegar and garlic powder too. I always have baby spinach and center cut bacon too. Thanks for the inpiration. I really liked it.

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  37. I'm happy you all liked it!

    gael, that sounds yummy!

    Meredith, aww :) Thanks Judy!

    Kristie - any pasta shape works here.

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  38. This looks great and very easy to make! I noticed you said to add the mayo right before serving, so I was wondering how it holds up when you pack it in lunches? Do you find that you need to change any part of the recipe/prep when you take the salad to-go?

    Can't wait to try it!

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  39. Gina----I live in Staten Island and I get the whole wheat Pasta Riscossa in Top Tomato and other smaller salumerias. I have never seen it in supermarkets.

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  40. Thanks Fran, I have a few in my neighborhood so I'll look for it.

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  41. If your mayo based pasta salads dry out you can add a splash of skim milk to the salad, it will moisten it up and keep it creamy at the same time

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  42. I'm not a fan of low fat mayo so i take regular mayo and cut in in half with greek yogurt. works like a charm. you still get the good flavor of regular mayo and you've cut the fat. it also makes for a great sandwich spread...1/2 mayo, 1/2 greek yogurt, with a squirt of spicy brown mustard. i use that mixture for my sandwiches and my pasta and potato salads. works nicely in tuna too!

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  43. Carrie, yes I do that a lot, never tried it with pasta though! Thanks for sharing.

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  44. Sounds good to me! I have no issues with using FF mayo, so maybe i could lower the point value?I also sometimes replace with FF sour cream, and a packet of Splenda.Adds just a touch of yum! I think I would try with Canadian bacon as well as what someone else had said. It certainly does take time to get used to whole wheat pasta though! I am ALMOST there with it.thanks! Suzan

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  45. Just added this to my Father's Day menu! Thank you so much!!

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  46. This was fantastic. I made a double batch for me and my husband tonight (we have a super busy week, and wanted something we could eat for a couple days). I splurged and ate two bowls. I used a can of diced tomatoes (no fresh), added about a tablespoon each of garlic and onion powders and a squirt or two of Dijon mustard to the dressing. Really hit the spot!

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  47. Will this work for a main meal at dinner time? Sounds delish.

    Thanks
    Bev

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  48. This is delicious and easy too! I added some diced sun-dried tomatoes with the fresh tomatoes, just because I had them on hand!

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  49. I made this yesterday. Loved it! I think the above suggestion of adding chicken breast to make it a meal is a great idea.

    I love Miracle Whip Light, which has half the calories of mayo, so the next time I may use that and double the amount. I love it saucy! :-)

    Great idea. Thanks so much, Gina!

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  50. Glad you all liked it, for a main dish it's a good idea adding grilled chicken.

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  51. I made this salad for our company picnic. I was a little disappointed with it, as it was pretty bland and adding salt and pepper didn't quite do the job. But, I took it to the picnic tonight anyway. Needless to say, I brought 3/4 of the bowl home with me. This recipe, while I really WANTED it to be as good as it sounded, it wasn't. Sorry guys, I can't recommend this one and I'll throw the recipe away. :-(

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  52. i made this today and it is delish!! thanks for posting-your recipes are great!! I love the spinach in here!

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  53. My family and I get together once a week for a dinner night and I needed a side dish that was light in calories, since some of us are on calorie restricted diets. This was PERFECT! I used Miracle Whip Light and turkey bacon and roma tomatoes. Everyone loved it, even those who are not concerned about eating lighter fare. Thanks so much and keep up the great work!!

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  54. Yum! This sounds wonderful. If only I had found this recipe earlier, I am going to a 4th of July party tonight and I've already bought the ingredients for a different dish to take. I will have to try this soon though. Thanks for the recipe!

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  55. I just made this for tonight and it tastes delicious already! I threw in onions and lemon juice as well. Thanks!!

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  56. I made this for the 4th of July and it was a hit. I added some cubed avocado to the top and it was great. Thanks for the recipe.

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  57. I bet it was great with the avocado!!

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  58. I'm a newbie to weight watchers and I was so excited to see something BLT. It looks fantastic and I can't wait til my pasta boils so I can mix it all together!

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  59. Had this for dinner tonight. Added chives from the garden, an extra slice of bacon & some avocado on top. So I could have the leftovers tomorrow, I just had the spinach on the bottom with the macaroni salad on top. Very light, refreshing dinner!

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  60. This was delicious! I omitted the tomato and added chicken and half of a lime's juice. My dog was BEGGING for more! It made enough for a weeks worth of lunch! Thanks again Gina for the fabulous recipe! Tomorrow night we are having Kalua Pig!

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  61. Monica what pasta salad do you make every week?

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  62. We had this salad last night and loved it. Very delicious. My spinach seemed a little soggy and wilted. Maybe my pasta wasn't cooled off enough . . . Anyway, we still loved it. I'm thinking of maybe serving on a bed of romaine, instead of mixing in spinach, next time to change it up.

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  63. Yum! This has quickly become a regular menu item in my household. My husband and I add some mushrooms in with the other veggies. We use the piccolini mini rotini noodles for this recipe which bumps up the fiber count (plus they are so cute because they are tiny).

    Sometimes we mix our mayo with some light ranch dressing or some chipotle peppers to give it a different twist.

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  64. This was SUPER tasty! I added grilled chicken to mine and my husband had three servings! :) haha.

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  65. Made this for dinner tonight with steak tips. SO amazing!!

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  66. I've made four of your recipes this week for me and my sisters who started doing a calorie counting diet a month ago. We all loved every single one. Thank you so much for such an awesome array of recipes (with calorie content!). I had to adapt one or another thing because of ingredient availability (we're in Brazil), but they all came up great anyway. Specially this one, and I usually hate mayo!

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  67. Made this for a potluck! I used extra lean turkey bacon so that I could use more. I also used half arugula and half spinach aaaaaaand I added some scallions :)

    Delicious!

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  68. My mom taught me that one can mix mayonnaise with water, up to 50/50. This helps to keep your salads from getting "dry" as the pasta soaks up the dressing.

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  69. I think I will make this for my dinner for this week only add the lettuce on the day of so it doesn't wilt. So excited! Has anyone tried to using chopped bacon instead of cooking their own? Not the Bacon Bits type but actual chopped packaged bacon.

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  70. ContinualKnowledge5/28/12, 7:04 PM

    I made this last week and it was sooo good that I'm making it again this week. It's so versatile and since I'm not a big fan of cooking it provides me with light lunches and even dinners without a big fuss.

    I've passed your website on to so many people. Thanks a lot!!!

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  71. This looks delicious! Can't wait to try it!

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  72. You all talk about the whole wheat pasta......Try Hogdson Mills pasta it's great - no after taste or dryness. Brown box with the grinding mill on the front at your local stores.

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  73. I joined WW after my 2nd baby was born and although I no longer track and go to the meetings (lost it all!), I still frequent this site all the time. I recently made this for a large group of people and they all LOVED it. My husband told me I must make this numerous times during the summer.

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  74. Just made this for the kids today for lunch. It was a BIG hit for my two teen boys. Thanks for the great recipes!

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  75. If you cool the pasta first in ice water before adding the mayo to the pasta it doesn't absorb the mayo like it does when it's hot.

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  76. Lets see. the ingredients call for 4 slices of bacon. The picture shows 6 slices of bacon. and the last line in the recipe says to toss in the bacon. When do you chop it up, or is it really whole bacon tossed in.?????

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    1. Lets see. she explained why there was 6 slices of bacon in an earlier post and do you always need everything in life explained to you? Be a little gracious, she works very hard for us!

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  77. Thanks for this Gina - just made up a big batch for my lunches, and it's delicious! Yay! I recommend this for a quick, easy lunch option. And for only 4 points, it's a winner!

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  78. My mom and I make this except we add cocktail sauce and lemon juice into the mayo. This is one of my favorite pasta salads.

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  79. Thank you for this delish Labor Day recipe idea! I've included your post in my 15 Delicious Labor Day BBQ Party Recipes round-up.

    Have a great week!

    http://stacymolter.com/2013/08/15-delicious-labor-day-bbq-party-recipes/

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  80. I just made this today for my girl's lunches this week. It is almost the end of the school year and we are all sick of sandwiches! They love it! I hope there is enough left for lunches because they keep picking at it! Thanks for sharing. My whole family loves all your recipes!

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  81. Would this work well as a potato salad?

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  82. Very good! Thank you!

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  83. I like to add salsa instead of mayo--sometimes add a bit of pizza sauce with the salsa!

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  84. This was super yummy when I had it at a friend's house! We will be making this minus the spinach and making it warm :)

    I hope it tastes just as delicious!

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  85. Made this for dinner tonight. DELICIOUS!! Now to try not to eat the whole bowl!

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  86. I so love this recipe. I did make one minor change. Tell me if my thinking is wrong. 3 slices of Oscar Mayer center cut bacon is 2 points. This recipe is 7 servings. 2 Points divided by 7 servings would actually add no extra points.So yes, I used 7 slices of bacon instead of 4 for no extra points per serving? Am I delusional?

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