Posted on 11 September 2012 by noelskitchen
Pasta Salad is a favorite at our house. I love to make it during the summer when the weather is warmer and you just don’t feel like cooking. It’s great for BBQ’s, potlucks and a it’s a perfect leftover dish for lunches. It’s also on this week’s simple supper menu.
Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad Supreme
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons McCormick’s Salad Supreme Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 pound (I use 4 chicken breasts) boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 12 ounce box tri-color rotini pasta
- 1 1/2 cups broccoli
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup deli-sliced mild pepper rings
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Mix oil, vinegar, Seasoning, mustard and oregano until well blended.
- Place chicken in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Pour 1/2 the dressing over chicken; turn to coat well. Reserve the remaining dressing.
- Refrigerate chicken 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor. Remove chicken from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade.
- Grill chicken over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes per side or until cooked through. Slice chicken into thin slices. Let cool.
- Boil and cook pasta according to box or package instructions. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.
- Toss pasta, chicken, broccoli, tomato, pepper rings, Parmesan cheese and remaining dressing in a large salad bowl. Refrigerate for one hour or longer to let the flavors marinate.
*Pasta salads like this recipe can be made the night before or in the morning and placed in the fridge until dinner.
What’s your favorite pasta salad?
Posted on 12 July 2012 by noelskitchen
This salad has a very refreshing and light yummy taste for summer. I served this along side my Quesadillas the other night and the flavor combination of the entire plate was delicious. This salad is a great side dish addition to grilled chicken, pork or on a bed of lettuce. Add it to your summer salad list. You won’t be disappointed!
Avocado or Guacamole Salad
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 dashes Frank’s hot sauce, or to taste
- 1 large ripe tomato (for about 1 cup chunks)
- 1 stalk celery (for about 1/2 cup diced)
- 1/2 yellow or red onion, chopped (for 1/4 cup slices)
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 ripe avocados*
- Combine oil, lime juice, lime zest, minced garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, cumin and Frank’s hot sauce in a small jar that has a lid. Shake to combine and set aside.
- Cut tomato into bite-size chunks. Place chunks into a 6-cup or larger bowl. Rinse and dice celery, and add to bowl. Add chopped onion to bowl. Mince cilantro and add it to bowl.
- Just before you’re ready to serve the salad, cut avocados into bite-size chunks and fold the avocados into the salad.
- Shake dressing to recombine and pour it over avocado mixture. Stir gently to mix and coat vegetables with dressing. (Stir until green of avocados begins to mix with the dressing a bit, but do not over stir or they will become mushy.) Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste if needed, and serve at room temperature.
Posted on 23 February 2012 by noelskitchen
One of my favorite sandwiches is a BLT, which was what originally inspired this salad; but this has a little twist adding artichoke hearts, making it taste just as Yummy!
This quick salad came about when I realized I had no more tomatoes on hand in the fridge. Tomatoes never seem to last very long in our house so I should have realized we were out much sooner than later. Having a variety of ingredients on hand, allows me to cook from the pantry in the event I’ve run out of an ingredient. Substituting the artichoke hearts I had on hand in the pantry, was a great addition to the salad and made it a bit more hearty.
- 1 head Romaine lettuce
- Homemade Croutons
- 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 jar artichoke hearts in water, drained
- sliced red or green onion (optional)
- Buttermilk Dressing (recipe coming soon)
Top salad with all ingredients and toss gently.
Posted on 21 February 2012 by noelskitchen
Not only does making homemade croutons allow you to utilize the ends of the loaves of bread, it also allows you to make delicious, fresh croutons to add to your salads and soups.
Home Made Croutons Are Easy To Make
With a little bit of oil and seasoning, you can have homemade bread crumbs in 5 to 7 minutes-it’s that easy!
Croutons in our house are like potato chips. They get gobbled up before they make it to the salad or topping of a meal. If I want them toi last longer, I simply cube the leftover bread, place in a zip-loc freezer bag and toss in the freezer. When I’m ready to use them, I pull out about a cup or two and toss with oilve oil and a bit of seasoning and bake.
If you have leftover regular sandwich bread or loaves of french bread, making homemade croutons only takes a few simple steps to make. Simply cut the bread into cubes as shown below, then follow directions below and you’ll have tasty homemade croutons in no time.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Toss bread cubes with olive oil, salt, pepper and seasonings (see above) on a baking sheet.
Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until golden. Cool.
Toss a few croutons on some Quick Minestrone Soup from my post earlier that I shared over the weekend for a great combination.
Homemade croutons, stored in a plastic container or a plastic bag, last up to two weeks unrefrigerated.
Posted on 16 February 2012 by noelskitchen
Spinach Salad marinates in fresh strawberry balsamic vinegar before being topped with strawberry slices, grilled chicken, lemon zest and gorgonzola cheese, resulting in a flavorful and fresh salad.
On Valentine’s Day, I wanted to try something a little different approach to our family meal. I wanted something fresh tasting and healthy. Spinach doesn’t make it to our table a whole lot for reasons unknown really. I love a good spinach salad but always afraid the kids with give me that Ewww!!!! comment.
One way that I’ve found that works and the kids seem to really enjoy having fresh spinach is to marinate it in the dressing for awhile before I serve it. In this way, the spinach gets a little bit of extra flavor at the last minute before serving, resulting in a very fresh and still crisp salad.
The addition of oranges, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds lends texture and complexity at the same time as sweet, tart, and nutty goodness.
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken and Gorgonzola
1 Tablespoon balsmic vinegar
6 strawberries hulled and sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon tarragon
1/4 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds (optional)
8-10 ounce bag fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled
crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Create the dressing by adding balsamic vinegar, strawberries, salt, pepper, tarron, sugar and lemon zest to food processor or blender. Blend until well pureed.
While blending, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the dressing.
Place in a mason jar with lid and refrigerate until ready to use.
Prepare the salad: spinach, red onion, sliced strawberries. Drizzle some dressing over the top. Mix lightly. Add grilled chicken and Gorgonzola cheese. (I have an easy way to “grill” the chicken for those of you who don’t have an indoor or outdoor grill that I’ll write up in another post. It’s so easy!)