Sunday, April 6, 2008

My first recipe: a Spring Pasta Salad

With the coming of spring, or should I say, avec le commencement du printemps hehe, everyone wants to eat something fresh, light, and healthy. So I'm thinking, what's fresher than a bowl of salad? My mom used to make me this chicken salad all the time in high school... very easy and simple to make. I decided to take her recipe and mold it into one of my own creations. Why not after all, since I am taking a foods class as well? =)

This recipe is rather basic and extremely easy to make, but if you're a poor college student like me, then it's perfect for you. It's cheap, quick, and quite delicious!

2 cups of pasta (I used Rotini)
2 large celery stalks diced
2 large carrots diced
1chicken breast (cooked)
3 cups balsamic vinaigrette
2 cups romaine lettuce
a handful of honey roasted peanuts

1. If you haven't cooked the chicken breast, simply fill up a pot of water and submerge chicken breast into it. Cook until the chicken is done (the color of breast turns almost white, and your fork should slide out easily when you poke it into the breast). This takes around 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of chicken breast.

2. Meanwhile, fill another pot with water and flavor with salt. Add in one box of pasta and cook until al dente (around 11 to 12 minutes).

3. Dice up your vegetables (carrots and celeries).

4. Once the pasta is al dente, strain through running water and place into a large container. Add in about 1 cup of vinaigrette and mix well

5. Once the chicken is done, remove from heat source and run under cold water. Once cooled, shred pieces of chicken and toss into the container with the pasta. Add in your diced vegetables as well.

6. Stir in another cup of the vinaigrette and mix well. Cover container and place into the refrigerator for at least an hour.

7. Put romaine lettuce into a bowl and add in desired amount of pasta salad on top. Pour in 1 cup of vinaigrette and mix. Toss in some honey roasted peanuts and serve!

What's great about this recipe is that it doesn't require a lot of time and money, and the best part is that it's delicious! The honey roasted peanuts add a little crunch to the salad along with the diced celery and carrots as well as a sweet taste that leaves you pining for more. It's a healthy and tasty dish that can be served as an appetizer or a meal. Enjoy! =)

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