Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Melon & Chicken Herb Pasta Salad


Melon & Chicken Herb Pasta Salad

What is better summer eatin' than a pasta salad?  I woke up this morning to make a fab pasta salad for a friend and I to snack on while we were downtown at the Fidelity Moonlight Movie in Falls Park. I love this event. Every Wednesday night in May and September here in Greenville, SC they transform the park downtown into an outdoor movie theater. It is a BYOP (bring your own picnic) and BYOB event and it is tons of fun. A few friends introduced me to this event last year and this year my goal was to go as often as possible. Unfortunately, due to the gloomy, cold weather we have been having here in SC we never made it to the movie but we did eat some awesome salad!   I was so excited with the results that I had to share them with you. I plan to go next week though so if you are there, let me know and we can share some good eats.

Lemon Balm in my backyard
When I got my issue of  Eating Well Magazine this week, I was so happy to see a whole section on healthy pasta salads. I grew up eating pasta salad at every summer cook out or picnic and while they were tasty, they were laden with pepperoni and tons of cheese. The concept in this magazine is: 1. Pick a Pasta, 2. Load Up with Veggies, 3. Add Lean Protein, 4. Boost Flavor and 5. Dress It. It is really so simple and can be as healthy as you want. In this recipe, I chose to use quinoa pasta which was a personal choice since I am trying to limit my wheat intake but you can choose any pasta that you might love. I chose fresh herbs that I have on my back porch and chicken that I had grilled the night before. This recipe really was so easy and quick. I look forward to using this concept to make many pasta salads this summer. Tune back in for my latest creations!

Melon & Chicken Herb Pasta

3 cups quinoa pasta or regular pasta, uncooked
2 cups cubed cantaloupe
2 cups arugula or chopped spinach
2 cups cubed or shredded grilled chicken
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
3-4 Tbsp chopped herbs of choice (I used lemon balm)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

6 oz. crumbled feta

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and but do not rinse. Spread pasta on a baking sheet to cool.

Combine all cantaloupe, chicken, cilantro, cranberries, and arugula in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl combine vinegar, water and olive oil. Stir to combine. Add salt, pepper and herbs and mix well. Add pasta to the veggie/ chicken mix; mixing to combine. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.

Sprinkle the top of the salad with feta cheese. Plate and Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Eating Well Magazine

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...