Monday, July 27, 2009

Post Maternity Pasta Salad! (maternity part optional)

When my sister Jackie had a baby a couple of months ago a friend brought her a big bowl of this pasta salad. Jackie said it was the perfect post-maternity meal and she ate it for days until it was gone. I love it because it has everything, the chicken, the spinach leaves, and the pasta, it's a meal unto itself. It is so refreshing and not too heavy, and has a great consistency too, all the right textures. And perfect for summer. Here are the ingredients, but you can definitely add or subtract according to your tastes.

Pasta Salad
16 ounces bowtie pasta, cooked al dente
1 1/2 (10 ounce) bag fresh spinach (tear to bite size pieces)
1 (6 ounce) bag craisins
3 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained
2 (8 ounce) cans sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
6 ounces honey roasted peanuts
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into small pieces (I like a little more chicken, I used about 3 cups)
Dressing: (makes more than you will probably need)
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup bottled teriyaki sauce
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Blend dressing ingredients together in blender or food processor, or I just did a really fast whisk. Mix dressing and cooked pasta in medium bowl and marinate for two hours (that really makes a difference, stir once or twice during that marinating time). Combine rest of salad ingredients in large salad bowl, add pasta and dressing and toss. (I wouldn't recommend adding the spinach until you're ready to eat).

1 comment:

megan said...

Well, I guess I'll have to try this one since I already have the maternity part down.