Pasta, potato and egg salads are usually full of calories and fat, especially those that use ingredients such as mayonnaise, sour cream and cheese. You can lighten up traditional recipes by replacing the starch with whole-wheat pasta, or healthy, alternative grains such as couscous or bulgur. To give your new dish some substance, steam and dice vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini and squash, and add them in generous amounts to create a 3-to-1 veggie-to-pasta (or grain) ratio. Avoid using mayonnaise -- which spoils quickly in heat -- as well as heavy, calorie-filled dressings, and flavor your side dish with light vinaigrettes instead. If potato salad is a must, look for a recipe that ditches regular potatoes and uses sweet potatoes instead for a boost of vitamin A.