Chicken Pasta Salad

This is an old recipe of mine, I started making it 10 years ago when my husband and I first got together. It’s super easy, if you cook your chicken in advance you can have all the prep done before the pasta is cooked. It’s a fair amount of chopping but it’s worth it. And the bonus is that it doesn’t need to be refrigerated so it’s a great picnic or pot luck food.

1 pound short pasta with lots of nooks and crannies, curly (fusilli), bell shaped (campanelle), or radiators (radiatore) work best
1 can diced tomatoes
1 medium can sliced black olives, drained
1 8oz container crumbled feta cheese
1 14oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, save the marinade
1 avocado, ripe but firm, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced, or 2 green onions, finely sliced
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
2 pounds chicken breast or thighs, boneless and skinless, cooked, cooled and diced
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic, diced finely
2 tablespoons fresh basil, diced finely
black pepper to taste

Cook the chicken first. In a pan on low heat add chicken, 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and about 1/4 cup water. Once cooked let cool and save the juice from cooking.

While the pasta is cooking combine everything else except the artichoke marinade. Once the past is drained run cold water over it until it is cool. Combine with the rest of the mixture and taste for seasoning. If the past is dry, needs more sauce, you can add a little of the artichoke marinade.

It’s best cold and it’s even better if it’s sit in the fridge for a couple hours before serving. Again, it doesn’t need to be cold so you don’t have to stress if you can’t keep it in the fridge.

Thai Shrimp Salad

Thai Shrimp Salad

A nutty dressing gives this easy Asian dish its irresistible flavor.

2 carrots, peeled
8 cups sliced napa cabbage
4 large radishes, cut into matchsticks
1/4 seedless English cucumber, sliced
1/4 cup cream of coconut
2 Tbs. creamy peanut butter
2 Tbs. lime juice
1 Tbs. water
1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp.
Tabasco sauce
3/4 lb. cooked medium-size shrimp
1 cup chow mein noodles
2 green onions, sliced
1. Using vegetable peeler, cut carrots into ribbons. Place carrot ribbons and cabbage in colander. Pour 4 cups boiling water over vegetables; rinse with cold water. Transfer to salad spinner, and spin to remove as much water as possible. In large bowl, toss together cabbage, carrots, radishes, and cucumber.
2. In jar with tight-fitting lid, combine cream of coconut, peanut butter, lime juice, water, anchovy paste, salt, and Tabasco sauce. Shake well to combine.
3. Add shrimp, noodles, and green onions to salad. Drizzle with dressing.

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Antipasto Salad

Antipasto Salad

You can serve this zesty Italian pasta salad hot or cold.

8 oz. penne, or any tube-shaped pasta
1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 lb. provolone or mozzarella cheese, diced
1/4 lb. thickly cut salami, diced
1 can (6 oz.) pitted black olives
1/3 cup flat parsley leaves
1/3 cup diced roasted red peppers
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and transfer to serving bowl. In small jar with tight-fitting lid, combine olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic. Shake well. Pour over hot pasta, and toss to combine.
2. Add remaining ingredients, and stir to mix well. If serving cold, cover and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

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Caribbean Grilled Chicken Salad

Caribbean Grilled Chicken Salad

With ingredients like juicy mango cubes, chicken strips, and raw, crunchy vegetables, this salad will put you in paradise.

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. bonelss, skinless chicken breast halves
1 ripe mango, peeled and cubed
1 can (16 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1/2 medium jicama, peeled and cut into thin sticks
1/2 head green leaf letuce washed, dried, and sliced
1. Whisk together lime juice, honey, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Drizzle in oil, whisking until thickened. Place 1/4-cup dressing in a shallow dish. Add chicken and marinade, covered, in refrigerator for 1 hour.
2. Heat grill to medium and oil rack. Grill chicken for 6 minutes per side, until cooked through, or broil for 5 minutes per side. Cool slightly, then, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices.
3. On platter, arrange mango, beans, bell pepper, jicama, lettuce, and chicken. Drizzle with remaining dressing.

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Candied-Beet-and-Orange Salad

Candied-Beet-and-Orange Salad

You can’t beat this salad. Remember, buy beets that are firm and plump with no wrinkles.

4 medium or 8 small beets (about 1 lb.), trimmed
2 tsp. plus 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 Tbs. orange-juice concentrate
1 Tbs. apple-cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 navel orange, peeled and cut into segments
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/3 cup toasted pecan halves
Chives (optional)
1. Heat oven to 425°F. In small baking pan, combine beets, 2 tsp. olive oil, and 1 Tbs. water. Cover with foil and bake until beets are tender, about 1 hour. Peel beets when cool enough to handle, and then cut into wedges.
2. To make dressing: In small jar with tight-fitting lid, combine remaining oil, orange-juice concentrate, vinegar, salt, and pepper; shake well.
3. In large bowl, toss together beets, orange segments, apple slices, dressing, and pecans. Sprinkle with chives, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

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3 Roast Brussel Sprouts

I love these little cabbages. They don’t have the harshness that large cabbages have and each one, at least the little ones, are a single bite. Also, they have the ability to absorb a lot of flavor which is really nice. So here are 3 recipes that I’m posting for you, something different to try. And even if you don’t like brussel sprouts, try one of them. You might be surprised.

Orange Sprouts

1 pound brussel sprouts, ends trimmed and cleaned and halved
1 tablespoon butter
pinch of salt and pepper
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons orange juice

Heat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients and place in an oven safe dish with a lid (or you can cover with foil). Cook covered for 20 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before uncovering, stirring and serving.

Creamy Mustard Sprouts

1 pound brussel sprouts, ends trimmed and cleaned
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons mustard
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon water
salt to taste

Heat oven to 350. In an oven safe dish combine brussel sprouts and butter. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, carefully, and mix the mustard, water and sour cream together and pour over the sprouts. Put it back in the oven, uncovered, for 20 more minutes. Remove from oven and stir everything together and serve.

Sweet and Tangy Sprouts

1 pound brussel sprouts, ends trimmed, cleaned and halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced and mushed into a paste
pinch of salt

Heat oven to 350. In an oven safe dish mix brussels, 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, mix with the vinegar, honey, olive oil, garlic and salt. Put back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Stir after removing from oven and serve.

Tuna Pasta Salad

This one is really good. And easy to make. And a nice alternative to your standard mac salads.

1 pound curly pasta, cooked and drained
2 cans tuna, drained
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 small can water chestnuts, drained and diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 cup mayo
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon celery salt*
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Super easy: combine everything and refrigerate. It’s best if it is in the fridge for a couple hours before serving, that way the flavors will combine. You can leave out the water chestnuts if you want but they are a nice crunch.

*If you don’t have celery salt, and I don’t, just take your mortar and pestle and grind up some celery seeds with a pinch of salt. That way you can control the salt content and still get the taste.