A Chicken in Every Crockpot!

Karen's Kitchen Adventures

Tortellini Pasta Salad October 30, 2010

Filed under: pasta,side dishes — frappqueen @ 7:27 am
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Well folks, I’m down to the wire: this baby is coming to stay sometime in the next 2 1/2 weeks! (Unless she is late of course), and I just started Maternity leave today! (Okay, I know it is Saturday so I guess it really starts on Monday, but still!) I have horrible sciatica and can barely walk at the morning, so that means I can finally sit down and update this blog with lots more backlogged recipes, hooray!

Today I give you a lovely summer salad, even though its um, almost November. Really though, I just love pasta salad. I can eat it all year round, and I love that you make it for dinner, pack some for lunch the next day, and it tastes even better then as the flavors had time to mix about and be even more awesome! You can’t go wrong with pasta salad. Ever!

I forget where this came from, and I do feel badly about that. I know it came form some blog or something, but at the time I had just cut and pasted the recipe to word and printed it out for some reason so I can’t attribute it to anyone. If it is yours, please let me know!

Tortellini Pasta Salad

1 lb of your favorite tortellini (I used fresh four cheese)

1 c. grape tomatoes, halved

5 carrots, sliced thin (Or be lazy like me and buy a bag of the matchbook diced ones and use like a cup!)

1/4 c of your favorite olives (I like mine cute into bite sized rings)

8 oz fresh mozzarella balls (Or do diced regular mozzarella or shredded if you can’t have the fresh, thats what I did)

1 c. olive oil

1/2 tsp whole fresh thyme (can always sub. dried)

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 lemons, zested

1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp. dijon mustard

2 tbsp champagne or white wine vinegar  (I had white wine so used that)

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

grated parmesan for the top

Method:

Cook pasta according to directions, drain..

Meanwhile, add tomatoes, carrots, cheese and olives to a large bowl and combine with the pasta when it is ready.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan and add the thyme, garlic and lemon zest. Cook over low heat for 1 minute. Off the heat add the lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour the hot vinaigrette over the pasta and enjoy!!


 

Pita Bread Salad October 13, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables — frappqueen @ 5:58 pm
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This one comes from Rachel Ray’s website. I added grilled chicken to it to make it more of a meal and it was really really good! Great in the summer, but great any time you don’t feel like doing a  ton of cooking either!

Pita Bread Salad

4 pitas, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 small cucumbers, peeled and chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 small head romaine lettuce, torn into pieces

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350°. Transfer the pitas to a baking sheet; bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. *I drizzled some olive oil on the pitas and added some salt and pepper for extra oomph.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper, scallions, parsley, mint and pitas. Add the lettuce and toss. *I added grilled chicken to it, just simply cooked and cut into bite size pieces.

Enjoy!

 

Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Feta Vinaigrette August 31, 2010

Filed under: side dishes — frappqueen @ 7:43 am
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This one is reallyl good, and it is made with orzo, which is kind of like tiny pasta in the shape of rice. It is super delicious! Mike and I liked it because it was really easy to make and had a nice greek kind of pasta salad feel. It’s excellent on a hot summer day, or as a side to maybe a nice marinated chicken or lamb dish.

I ate half of it before I realized I hadn’t photographed it yet, whoops!

Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Feta Vinaigrette*

1 c. uncooked orzo (rice shaped pasta)

2 c. bagged prewashed baby spinach, chopped

1/2 c. chopped, drained oil packed sun dried tomatoes, halved

3 tbsp chopped red onion (I used half an onion)

3 tbsp chopped pitted kalamata olives (I think I cheated and used a can of olive rings)

1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1 6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, undrained

1/4 c. feta cheese, crumbled and divided

Method:

Cook the orzo according to the package directions, drain. Rinse with cold water. Combine with the spinach and next five ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl.

Drain artichokes, but RESERVE the marinade. Coarsely chop the artichokes and add them, as well as the marinade and 1/2 c. of the feta cheese to the orzo mixture, tossing gently to coat. Top with remaining feta cheese.

*from Cooking Light

Note: If you HATE artichokes, you might get a similar result if you just mix a bit of greek salad dressing into the orzo mixture. Artichokes are good though, and their marinade is awesome! Give em a try!

 

Shells with grilled chicken and mozzarella August 9, 2010

Filed under: pasta,poultry — frappqueen @ 8:47 am
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Here is an easy and good one for a hot summer day, such as today! I got this recipe from the Martha Stewart website, in a desperate search for something new to eat that didn’t involve the oven! This one is great, and even better the second day when everything cools and the flavors meld. Eat it slightly warmed though, even on the second day. Try it!

Shells with Grilled Chicken and Mozzarella

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets
8 ounces medium pasta shells
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (I used regular mozzarella, cuz I’m pregnant and not supposed to eat fresh, boo!)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons butter

Method:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta. Meanwhile, heat grill pan on stove. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from grill, and cut into thin strips, halving if long.
Cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot. Add chicken, tomatoes, mozzarella, parsley, Parmesan, and butter. Toss to combine. Add reserved pasta water a little at a time to create a sauce that coats shells (you may not need all the water). Serve with more Parmesan.

 

Chicken Tortellini Salad July 17, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,pasta — frappqueen @ 6:07 am
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Well I’ve finally run out of photos from pre “losing the battery charger for the good camera” and am now up to the terrible point and shoot that makes all food look yellow or green! So you must forgive me for the terrible photo and let me assure you this dish is SOOOO good! Especially for a really friggin’ hot summer, such as the one we are currently in the midst of!

I found this recipe after doing a google search for “summer pasta salads”. Mike and I love a good pasta salad, and since this is the hottest summer in all time, I am making quite a lot of them! I particularly like this one as it has a lot of meat to it…as in substance not like, 8 kinds of animal product, so it is very satisfying even in a small portion.

It is from a really fabulous food blog called “The Frantic Home Cook” , who got it from another site called “Rookie Cookie” and you should totally go look at all the yummy stuff they make!

Anyway, here is the recipe!

Chicken Tortellini Salad with Pesto Vinagrette

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded and picked free of bones and skin (about 4 cups of chicken)
1 9 oz package Buitoni fresh cheese tortellini
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 8 oz package white mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
A few handfuls fresh baby spinach
Kosher salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup  prepared pesto
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
¼ – ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Method:

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Let cool.

In a large bowl combine, chicken, red onion, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach. Season with salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl, combine pesto and white wine vinegar. Whisk in olive oil, until a thin consistency is achieved.

Add the tortellini to the chicken mixture. Stir well to combine. Add pesto vinaigrette. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Then please cross your fingers that somewhere in this house is the charger for my fancy nikon camera so I can stop using my ashton kutcher camera and making food unappetizing!!



 

Panzanella and Sausage Salad July 10, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,meat — frappqueen @ 6:43 am
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Here is a great one from my Rachel Ray magazine! I LOVE all forms of Panzanella salad, which is basically italian bread salad. It usually has toasted hunks of bread, a yummy dressing, tomatoes, peppers and other summertime veggies. This one adds sausage to it, making it a really hardy meal but still great to make on a sweltering summer day!

Panzanella and Sausage Salad

Four 3/4-inch-thick slices italian bread
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
5 fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
4 italian sausage links(about 1 pound)

*I added one yellow pepper, chopped up, as I LOVE peppers in my panzanella salad!

Method:

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium. Brush the bread slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion and garlic; season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Let stand for 15 minutes. Add the vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Meanwhile, arrange the bread on the grill and toast on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip and top with half of the cheese; cover and grill for 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into cubes and add to the tomato mixture. Stir in the basil.

Pierce the sausages with a fork, arrange on the grill, cover and cook, turning once, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Thickly slice the sausages and add to the bread salad. Divide among 4 plates and top with the remaining cheese.

 

Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts with Zippy Chunky Salad July 2, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,poultry — frappqueen @ 12:32 pm
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Wow! Long time no post!! I’ve been a lazy lazy sack of lazy, but am going to make it my summertime mission to update more frequently. I certainly have a ton of recipes to share, so I’ll do my best to keep up! I still can’t find the charger to my good camera though, so eventually you will be seeing ugly photos of food until I finally discover where the charger has been hiding!

Anyway, this recipe is SO good and SO easy! I made it with the dill fries I recently posted and it was super yummy and light. The salad dressing is really good too, so go ahead and make it, it will take you like 5 minutes!

Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts with Zippy Chunky Salad

(from Rachel Ray’s 365: No Repeats)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 tbs olive oil

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tbs dried oregano

4 garlic cloves, chopped

salt and pepper

1 seedless cucumber, cut into half moon shapes

1 red pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

10 radishes, thinly sliced (I couldn’t find ’em so I didn’t use ’em!)

2 romaine lettuce hearts, chopped

1/2 c. plain yogurt

1 tbs red wine vinegar

1/2 c. fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

Method:

In a shallow dish, combine the chicken with the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, 3/4 of the garlic, salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly and marinate about 5 minutes.

In a salad bowl, combine the cucumbers, pepper, onions, radishes, and romaine lettuce. To make the zippy dressing in a bowl combine the yogurt, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, parsley, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together.

Preheat a grill or grill pan while you are making the salad. When it’s ready, transfer the marinated chicken to the grill and cook for 6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Remove from heat and let rest for 3 minutes.

If you are serving with the garlic fries, make them now! If not, you are ready to eat your delicious chicken and salad! Yum! Just typing this out has made me decide to cook it again next week! Thanks a lot, food blog!