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20 August 2013

Chicken Cesar Pasta Salad



The hubby is a big salad eater. He loves getting salads with fruit and other odd things in it.  Me not so much-- and I'm also not a big fan of mixing my sweet with my savory. You will probably never see that on my blog-- I think those are two things that are not supposed to mix. I know, a ton of people like mixing sweet with savory, but For the love of Dessert-- is not going to be one of them :) I do have two salads that I really enjoy: Chicken Cesar Salad and Southwestern Salads (w/ avocado and little tortilla strips, my favorite being from BJ Restaurant and Brewhouse). I guess, in the usual guy-girl dynamic, the hubby and I are switched. What I really love is pasta. So when I saw this recipe on Pinterest (duh)- I knew that making it would be in my near future :)

I hesitated a bit, only because the hubby does not like olives. I know! Weird right? What can I say about him-- he thinks one can have too much chocolate, does not like mangos or guavas (yet married a girl from an island), and now....does not like olives!?! The things you find out after marriage...it's okay....I still plan on keeping him ;) Well, yesterday, I asked him if I made a recipe with olives, would he mind-- being the weirdo sweetheart that he is-- he said yes-- so (already having bought the ingredients--I'm sneaky, what can I say?), I decided to make this. And I'm convinced that the hubby found his dislike of olives when he was younger- and let's be honest--our tastes change--if it did not, I think vegetables would go extinct and ice cream, chocolate and candy would rule the world. Though-I think I might like that world-- the world where Candy Land is real.

This recipe is definitely a go-to recipe, when looking for a simple but semi-healthy meal to whip up. Plus, it only takes one pot and the recipe yielded a ton of left overs, but again, I only feed a family of two. But my favorite thing has got to be that when eating this for left overs, you do not have to reheat it. I think this pasta taste great when eaten cold-- like many pasta salads. The combination of tomatoes with olives, Parmesan and a Cesar vinaigrette was delicious. And enough protein to hold you over. Though if you are vegetarian, you could easily just not include the chicken and I am sure it would be just as yummy! The hubby, who does not like olives-- ate two servings of this pasta. That's got to say something! And nope, he did not pick out the olives!







CHICKEN CESAR PASTA SALAD
Adapted from Fake Ginger

INGREDIENTS

1 pound of mini farfalle pasta
1 pint of mini grape tomatoes
1 regular (6oz) can of olives (pitted)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 bag (10.5oz) of Tyson's Grilled Chicken Strips
1/2 c. of grated Parmesan (+some for garnish)
1 c. of Cesar vinaigrette 
2 tsp. lemon juice
Green onion for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

In a large pot of salted boiling water--cook pasta according to package directions. Drain excess water and run cold water through pasta to prevent sticking. Keep pasta in colander. Do not return to pot. 

While pasta is cooking: slice tomatoes and olives into thirds. Set aside.

After pasta is cooked but in colander, use pot to heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot add minced garlic and saute until golden brown and fragrant. Then saute chicken, tomatoes and olives for 3-5 minutes until warm. Reduce heat to low and fold in pasta, until chicken, tomatoes, and olives are evenly distributed among pasta. Stir in Parmesan cheese, mixing until melted. Once melted, pour Cesar vinaigrette and lemon juice over pasta and toss pasta to incorporate. Garnish with a little green onion if desired.

Enjoy,
Chika 

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