Thursday, May 31, 2012

Must Try Pasta Salad

I have never been a huge fan of pasta salad, but Breanna, my sister-in-law, makes pasta salad I really like.  Our friend Danielle also makes a pasta salad from the box that is really good.  I took inspiration from both of them to create a filling pasta salad that I could take to lunch.  I have been needing new lunch ideas that can stay cold.  For my pasta salad I put lots of veggies, chicken, pasta and cheese.  The key to this pasta salad is grilled vegetables
 We started with vegetable kebobs that we bought from Kroger, our grocery store.  I sprayed them with cooking spray and then sprinkled Tony's Creole seasoning
 Then Cliff grilled them.
 Cliff also grilled chicken.  Cliff made BBQ chicken for Memorial Day, so I had him throw on an extra chicken breast with salt, pepper and olive oil for my pasta salad
 Cliff is really good at grilling!
 These were so good, and easy.  It would be fun to make your own, but it is a really easy to buy them made.
 This was our Memorial Day meal
After we ate I got to work in the kitchen.  I am going to call it pasta salad from the grill and you have to try it.  First start to boil your noodles, I chose tri-color rotini.
 While the pasta is cooking, cut up your veggies (from one vegetable kebob), and chicken (I cooked my chicken in a little white wine because it was a little undercooked, and I think it added a lot of flavor).  Set that aside and check your noodles.
 When they are done, drain your noodles and add chicken-veggie mixture, olive oil, italian dressing seasoning, balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper
 You can taste it at this point to see if you need more seasoning
 Last, add cubed up mozzarella and baby tomatoes.  Give it all a good stir and let it sit overnight.  This pasta salad was amazing and easy.
Pasta Salad From the Grill
1 large chicken breast, grilled (optional: if you leave it a little pink you can dice it and finish cooking it in a little white wine)
1 vegetable kebob, grilled
1 1/2 cups pasta
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1 packet Italian Dressing Seasoning packet
S & P & Red pepper flakes
6 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed
2/3 cup baby tomatoes (doesn't have to be exact)

Cook pasta according to package.  Cut up your grilled chicken and veggies.  Drain pasta and add chicken-veggie mixture.  Add olive oil, balsamic and seasonings.  Stir to combine and add more seasoning to taste.  Add tomatoes and mozzarella, stir and let sit overnight.  This makes about 4 servings as a meal, and more if you are only having it on the side.  I took it for lunches two days this week and it is a great way to get veggie, protein, dairy and grains into one meal.  Enjoy!

 In other news, I had to share this yummy dessert idea with you.  While we were in Austin, Joyce had a massive container of chocolate chip cookies.  Obviously we had ice cream around and we made these awesome ice cream sandwiches.  Just scoop ice cream of your choice onto a cookie of your choice and top it with another cookie.  Wrap in saran wrap and re-freeze for at least of couple of hours so it can harden back up and stay together while you devour it.
This was not staged, but isn't it awesome.  His aunt was reading Shape (and dodged the picture), and Cliff is stuffing his face with ice cream.  He told me not to take the picture, can you tell?
I have had another busy week.  Looks like that is the new norm for a while.  I will be blogging when I get time and coming up with new recipes each week.  Hope everyone has enjoyed the short week and is ready for the weekend. 

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