4/20/2012 – Featured Recipes 20 Apr 12

FETA AND SPINACH PASTA SALAD
- from cooks.com

  • 1 lb. spiral or small shell pasta
  • 1/2 lb. feta, crumbled
  • 2 (10 oz.) pkgs. frozen spinach
  • 1 can black olives, drained
  • 2 med. tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped mint
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped oregano

Cook pasta according to package directions. Wash the spinach, and steam it in just the water that clings to it for a few minutes in a tightly covered saucepan. Remove from heat after the spinach wilts. Toss the spinach with the pasta; top with tomatoes and olives. Combine remaining ingredients (except feta) for salad dressing and pour over the salad. Top with the crumbled feta cheese and serve. This makes 4 servings.

CHICKEN AND CASHEW PASTA SALAD

  • 2 cups enriched or whole wheat rotini (short spirals) pasta
  • 1 cup pea pods, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 10 oz. cans premium chunk breast of chicken in water, drained and flaked
  • 1 15 oz. can water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 2/3 cup light mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted cashews

Prepare the pasta according to package directions, adding the pea pods during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and cool the pasta and pea pods.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta and pea pods with chicken, water chestnuts, bell pepper, red onion and carrots. Combine the mayonnaise, brown sugar, vinegar and salt, and toss with the salad.

Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Just before serving, fold in cashews. This serves 6.

CHERRY CHICKEN SALAD

  • 1 (16 oz.) box penne rigate pasta
  • 1 lb. grilled chicken breast, diced
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. dried cherries
  • ¾ cup chopped sweet yellow onion
  • ¾ cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. honey Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup baker’s sugar – I’ll talk about this in a little bit
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cracked black pepper
  • ½ tsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 cup toasted whole almonds, divided

Prepare pasta according to pkg. directions; rinse with cold water and drain. In a large bowl, combine pasta, chicken, cherries, onion and celery.

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, salt, pepper and poppy seeds until thoroughly combined. Stir dressing into salad ingredients along with ¾ cup almonds; top with remaining almonds.