Summers, it seems, are for getting together. Picnics, barbecues, pool parties, family reunions, class reunions, zoo days, park days, camping trips, scout camp, day hikes, road trips, camp outs, and the list goes on.
And of course, a get together wouldn’t be complete without food. Lots of food. You could almost bank on certain aunts, grandmas, and cousins bringing their signature dish in fear of running the risk of being disowned. My Mom had her own signature dishes. Among her many goodies (homemade rolls, pudding cake, cheese potatoes….), was this delicious and tangy pasta salad. It was colorful, flavorful, and always gone in a flash. I recently tried to recreate my Mom’s special pasta salad with a little twist of my own, and I think I came pretty darn close to the real deal. This summer salad is of course a crowd pleaser, but is perfect in a single serving for a light and tasty lunch.
1 lb raw chicken breast
3 cups cooked whole-wheat pasta
1 1/2 cups mushrooms
3 cups spinach
1/2 cup sliced olives
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
3/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp Italian dressing mix
1/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts
Cook chicken and pasta. Saute mushrooms and spinach in a frying pan. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and Italian dressing mix (you can do more or less depending on how strong you want the flavor). In a large bowl, combine all ingredients including dressing. Mix well. Chill in fridge and serve.
Makes 6 servings at around 290 calories per serving.
Enjoy and Happy Get Togethers!