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30 Minute Creamy Chicken Alfredo


I am giddy about this recipe. There is so much about it that I love. I love that it is easy to make, was loved and well received by my family, and is much more healthy than your typical Chicken Alfredo recipe.

Todd and I have been married for 2o years. During our newlywed days, I would make a Chicken Alfredo recipe that I liked to call a “heart attack on a plate.” I remember dishing it out onto our plates, and grease would just ooze out from the pile of pasta. It had a whole stick of butter and a ton of cream and cheese.  I remember feeling so full, heavy and just ‘yuck’ after eating it, and I stopped making the recipe once we had children.

I recently stumbled upon this new recipe, a better-for-you version of the typical Chicken Alfredo. It comes from a cookbook called Chia, Quinoa & Kale Oh My! by Cassie Johnston. I immediately noticed it only had 1 tablespoon of butter, that it included a tablespoon of heart-healthy olive oil, and used just a 1/2 cup of whole yogurt instead of cream.


I knew that I could get wonderful organic greek yogurt from Trader Joes, and grabbed some while I was there along with their shaved parmesan cheese. You can use grated part cheese for this recipe, but I often buy this shaved parm (see photo above) to top my lunch salads, so that is what I used.

I make my own organic rotisserie chicken most weeks, and always use the bones to make my own mineral-filled chicken bone broth. I had both shredded chicken and bone broth in jars in the freezer, ready to use for this recipe. Talk about an easy meal!

All of these healthful ingredients make for a very healthful chicken alfredo recipe. I had high hopes as I made it, and let me tell you…I was not disappointed.


It is hard to tell from these photos, as they were taken the following day when I heated the chicken alfredo up for my lunch, but this alfredo was so very creamy! We did not miss all the extra butter, cream and cheese that most alfredo recipes use, and we felt full and satisfied instead of sick and heavy after eating it.

It was very well received by my family and I was asked to put this recipe into our regular rotation. My answer? “You bet…no problem!”

The original recipe calls for kale. I kept it plain with hopes to really win my teens over with this recipe, but next time I will add the kale. The process is so simple, you simply put the leaves in the colander before draining the pasta, and they wilt and steam as they are tossed back into the pan with the hot pasta. The book mentions that kale is great in the dish because it “retains some of its “”chew”” and adds a really interesting texture to the pasta.” You can also use fresh spinach for beautiful color and a nutritional boost.

Give this great recipe a try and let me know what you think in the comments!


30 Minute Creamy Chicken Alfredo

13 oz pasta (your choice–whole wheat, gluten-free, or regular. I like this protein pasta brand)

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 cup chicken broth (I use my own bone broth)

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot

3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

1/2 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt (I use organic)

2 cups cooked chicken (can use a rotisserie chicken, I make my own)

Kale or spinach leaves, optional


Cook the pasta according to package directions. If using kale or spinach, place the leaves in a colander and drain the pasta over the leaves. Return both leaves and pasta to the cooking pot off the heat, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta-cooking water. The steam from the pasta will continue to wilt the greens. Set aside.

Meanwhile, while pasta is cooking, melt the butter and olive oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until tender and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch or arrowroot.  Add the mixture to the chicken broth, lower the heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened.  Turn off the heat, slide the pot over to a cool burner, and whisk in the 3/4 cup of shredded Parmesan until melted.  Let rest 5 minutes, then whisk in the Greek yogurt (if you do it before it’s cooled down a little, the yogurt will turn grainy). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pout the sauce into the pot of pasta and greens and toss to coat, adding in some of the reserved pasta water if the mixture is too dry. Plate and top with the chopped chicken and additional shredded Parmesan.

{443 Calories, 31 grams of Protein, 6 Servings}


{For Your Pinning Pleasure, Click Photo Above}


Meals/ RECIPES/ Sponsored

Creamy Tomato Cauliflower Alfredo Pasta With Arugula & Topped with Crunchy Breadcrumbs


I loved gathering my family around the table for this good-for-you but oh- so- creamy pasta dish.  They never guessed by looking at it that the creaminess of the tomato alfredo sauce comes from cauliflower & avocado!  When they saw pasta with creamy sauce and  crunchy breadcrumb topping, they were ready to dig in.

I’m finding it hard to believe that my girls are growing so quickly.  I feel almost frantic to get them to the dinner table every day, just to hold on to the moments of us all being together as a family before they are all grown up and out of the house.  I’ve found myself mentioning this quite often on the blog lately, but boy, with 2 of my girls already in high school, reality has hit that they are growing up fast and that time flies.

Thankfully it does not take more than pasta & a great sauce to make my girls happy to come to our family dinner table, and Ragu has made it really easy to obtain a great sauce with just a twist of a jar.


For this recipe, I did a little bit more that twist a jar open.  I’m participating in the Ragu Ready. Set. Cook! contest, which is a contest that challenges home cooks to create new and unique recipes featuring a product from the Ragu line, plus a set list of other contest ingredients.

Ragu Ready. Set. Cook! Contest

Would you like to enter this contest? I will give more details at the end of the post, but the grand prize is $5,000, runner-up gets $1,700 & people’s’ choice gets $750.  How fun would it be to win some cash while getting creative in the kitchen & feeding your family a great pasta dish?

To align with the contest, your recipe must include 4 of the below ingredients + Ragu.  You may also use ingredients outside of the list in your recipe as well.

Here is the list of ingredients you must choose from:

  • Italian Sausage
  • Black Beans
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Eggs
  • Feta Cheese
  • Goat Cheese
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Arugula
  • Cilantro
  • Pine Nuts
  • Bacon
  • Shrimp
  • Polenta
  • Pasta
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Cauliflower
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Avocado

For my recipe, I chose pasta, cauliflower, avocado & breadcrumbs. I decided to keep it meat free as I am always looking for a hearty pasta dish for our Meatless Monday nights.




I love that you can now find pasta that has protein in it.  The pasta I used in this dish had 17 grams of protein per serving in it, all from plant sources (lentils, chickpeas, flaxseed, barley, oats & spelt).

Between the protein in the pasta and all of the veggies that create the sauce, I did not serve this pasta with anything but a few sliced tomatoes, the last from our garden.  We didn’t even need a salad as the arugula greens were right in the pasta! It was such an easy, hearty meal.

The sauce starts out with an entire head of cauliflower.  This is the key ingredient to making a creamy, vegetarian alfredo sauce.  You simply cut up the cauliflower, put it in a pan with some garlic and water, cover & let cook until very soft.  It must be soft if you want your sauce super creamy!


When I saw that avocado was an ingredient in the contest list, I knew it would add some good-for-you fats into the dish while upping the creamy factor even more! I added lemon for 2 reasons–to keep the avocado from browning & also to add some acid to the dish, which is always pleasing to the palate.

While your pasta is boiling & your cauliflower is getting nice and soft on the stove, prepare your avocado with lemon by smashing them together with a fork.


This is also a great time to prepare your crunchy breadcrumb topping.  This topping takes the recipe to a whole new level!  Putting just a couple of butter into breadcrumbs and adding just a bit of parmesan cheese makes such a great cheesy & crunchy topping to the creamy pasta.  This is so much better for you than having cream, butter and cheese in large portions in the sauce like most alfredo sauce recipes call for.


Pictured above are all the components to the recipe that I prepared while the cauliflower is cooking.

Ragu sauce adds a ton of rich flavor & aroma to the sauce.  Ragu has been an Assunta secret recipe since 1937 & is made with vine- ripened, slow- simmered tomatoes, garlic, and herbs. I love that there is no artificial color, flavor, or high-fructose corn syrup added to their sauces.  They let us smell, see & savor their long-standing tradition of fresh taste, and they even offer an organic sauce!



The cauliflower should be cooked soft enough to easy break up with just a spoon.  Look how amazingly creamy it is after blending! That is just cauliflower, garlic, water, salt & pepper.  This alone tastes amazing, but for the contest, I wanted to kick it up even further.


I added the smashed up avocado & jar of Ragu sauce, then blended some more.


Isn’t that a beautiful, rich, creamy dreamy sauce? Can you believe there is no dairy in it?


I mixed the hot pasta and sauce together in a large pan, added the arugula and stirred until it wilted.



I then put it into a baking dish and topped it with the prepared breadcrumbs.



After just a few minutes under the broiler, the topping becomes a beautiful crunchy, golden brown & the parmesan cheese sizzles and smells SO good!

My family had no idea that the bread crumb mixture is the only place there is cheese in this recipe! They ate it up and asked for seconds.


So what do you think? Do you think you would make this recipe for your family? Do you want to participate in the Ragu Ready. Set. Cook! contest too?  If so, keep reading for instructions after the recipe.

Creamy Cauliflower Tomato Alfredo Pasta with Arugula & Crunchy Breadcrumb Topping

1 tsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 head of cauliflower –  cut up

1-1/2 cups of water

1 lb pasta

1 avocado

juice of half a lemon

1 jar Ragu Sauce, Traditional

1 cup arugula

1 cup breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons of butter

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

salt & pepper



Saute the minced garlic in the olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat.  Allow to cook for a few minutes, until the garlic is tender and fragrant, but not browned.  Add 1 cup of water to the saucepan, along with the cauliflower, and bring the water to a boil. (The water will not cover the cauliflower, and that’s okay.) Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot for 8-10 minutes, until the cauliflower is fork-tender and very soft. You may need to add a bit more water if it evaporates completely before cauliflower is tender.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta to al dente according to instructions on the box. Drain and set aside in the large pan it boiled and keep warm.


Smash avocado with juice of 1/2 of lemon. Set aside.

Mix breadcrumbs with melted butter & parmesan cheese.  Mix well and set aside.

When cauliflower is finished cooking, transfer all contents in the pan to the blender.  Blend until very creamy.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Season well!

Add avocado & lemon mixture. Blend again.

Add jar of Ragu sauce. Blend again.

Add sauce to the pasta & toss.  Add arugula. Heat gently and stir until arugula is wilted.

Put pasta into a 9×13 pan, top with breadcrumb mixture.

Broil for just a couple of minutes, until the breadcrumbs are toasty brown.

Serve immediately while hot.


Ragu Ready. Set. Cook! Contest Information:

Ready. Set. Cook! challenges home cooks to create new and unique recipes featuring a sponsored ingredient, plus a set list of other contest ingredients.


Recipe Contest Elements:

  • Entry phase –4 weeks from 11/2 – 11/30- (you can enter on page. Live on 11/2)
  • Rate and review phase –2 weeks
  • Judging phase –2 weeks
  • Winner announcement
  • People’s choice award


  • Grand prize $3,000
  • Runner-up $1,250
  • People’s Choice: $750

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ragu. The opinions and text are all mine.


Company Pasta


I had to name this dish Company Pasta, because the first time we ate it, it was made by our dear friend Michael from Koinonia.  He is a great cook, and was super sweet to get excited about cooking a vegetarian dish for our family.  He wrote about it here.

The first bite I took I was so hooked…it was some of the most delicious pasta I had ever tasted!  The key–like most pasta dishes– is in the sauce.  The sauce is an oil-garlic sauce seasoned with fresh herbs, lemon zest, balsamic vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes & vegetables.  It is amazing.

I have made the dish myself several times since, and have served it to company twice here at our home.

The first time I served it was to my in-laws. They have a beautiful home with a pool, so most family gatherings happen over there.  The only downside to that is they don’t get invited to our homes as much, as we are always going to their awesome home.  I decided that needed to change, and took advantage of Father’s Day to have them over for dinner and make my Father-in-Law a homemade meal.

They enjoyed the food.  I made them this Company Pasta dish, served it with bread and this Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Glaze, and made No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Slice as dessert.

We just recently had company from out-of-town, and I pulled this pasta recipe out again.  They have kids around the same ages as our girls, and I knew I couldn’t go wrong with pasta.  While this was cooking their boys came into the kitchen saying “MMMmmm something smells so good!”

The big bowl of pasta that I made was empty by the end of our meal, a sure sign that everyone enjoyed it.  This time I served the pasta with bread, a big spinach salad, and had Chocolate Berry Cupcakes for dessert.  I wrote about our amazing time with our dear friends in the Chocolate Berry Cupcake recipe post.

I get out my large cutting board, pour a glass of wine, turn on some music, and sit at the table and prepare all my ingredients.  This dish reminds me of something you would find in Italy, with most ingredients freshly picked from the garden.  The leisure lifestyle of Italy causes me to sit and enjoy the process of making this dish, taking in the textures, the aroma & the sound of the sizzle of onions and the soft simmer of the sauce.

Too often we are in a hurry to get dinner made.  Start early and slow down.  If you are making for company, get them involved in the process.

When I make it, I get out my large cutting board, pour a glass of wine, turn on some music, and sit at the table and prepare all my ingredients. This sauce comes together in a hurry once all the ingredients are prepped, so sit and enjoy time together while chopping, chatting, and sipping on wine.

Try this pasta.  It will make your taste buds very happy.

Company Pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon, zested then cut in half & juiced

1 medium onion, diced

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 red pepper, diced

6 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced

1 cup vegetable broth (or 1/2 cup vegetable broth 1/2 cup white wine)

1 small to medium yellow squash, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 tsp. dried herbs (any grill seasoning. I use 21 salute seasoning from Trader Joes–or just some dried oregano & basil)

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped  (I use Trader Joe’s brand, it is in a jar and packed in oil)

1 lb pasta, any shape you like

salt & pepper to taste

fresh basil (optional)

parmesan cheese (optional)

Prepare ingredients:

Chop onion, zest lemon, cut lemon & juice, peel & slice garlic, slice squash, cut pepper, chop sun-dried tomatoes. Gather the rest of the ingredients–oil, sugar, spices, herbs, pasta, balsamic vinegar, wine & parmesan.

Make Sauce:

Heat oil over medium heat.  Add lemon juice. Add the onion..if it doesn’t sizzle turn the heat up just a bit.  Let onion soften and turn a translucent.  Give it some time and stir occasionally.  Add sugar & let onion caramelize a bit.  It is ready once the edges are brown and the onion is soft and sweet.

Deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar.  Add red pepper and garlic.  Cook about 5 minutes until red pepper is soft. Don’t let garlic burn.

Add the vegetable broth and wine (if using).  Add squash & herb seasoning. Let cook until squash is tender, but not mushy..about another 5-7 minutes…stirring occasionally.


Meanwhile, put the pasta on to boil.  Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water.  Boil according to package directions. Drain and keep warm…may toss with a bit of olive oil to keep from sticking together.

Back To The Sauce:

Once the squash has cooked, add the sun-dried tomato, lemon zest and fresh basil if using.  Stir.  This is the last step of the sauce, other than seasoning with salt and pepper.

**Seasoning is key!  Salt the sauce, taste, then salt some more if needed.  You will find it needs quite a bit of salt, as all those veggies need seasoning.  Go slow, don’t add too much.  But…if your taste buds are not amazed by the flavor of the sauce then it needs more salt.  Salt brings this dish together & brings out all the layers of flavor.

Let the basil wilt a bit, just a minute, then pour sauce onto the pasta and toss.  Top with parmesan cheese if desired.


GF, Vegan & Raw/ Meals/ RECIPES

Orzo Pasta With Caramelized Fall Vegetables & Ginger

This pasta was so very comforting and hit the spot!  The orzo pasta is chewy, and the caramelized vegetables add layers of flavor to the pasta.

The garlic, ginger and sage add wonderful flavor, just enough; not overpowering.  I love a pasta that is so flavorful that it does not need any type of sauce, and this is exactly that!

This Orzo Pasta dish is very simple to put together.  After boiling the orzo pasta, you only need to use one skillet for this dish.

Have everything chopped up and ready to go before you start to cook, ready to go in and caramelize in steps.  This is important.

It is not complicated, but you need to follow the instructions below.  You put the sweet potatoes in first, cook until they start to brown a bit, then push them to the side and throw in the onions.

Once the onions start to caramelize, you push those over and add garlic.  Do the same with ginger and mushrooms.

Use one large skillet over fairly high heat, add the ingredients in order according to instructions, pushing them to the side of the pan as they cook. Easy!

My favorite part was deglazing the pan with a mixture of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.  I am a huge balsamic vinegar fan, so I loved that this recipe utilizes this ingredient.

You serve this hot, but I liked it cold the next day eaten as a pasta salad, too.

It is hearty and filling, and it is vegan if you leave the Parmesan cheese off.

My girls loved it and were bummed the next day when I ate the leftovers for lunch and there was not any left for them. They wanted it as an afternoon snack!

I wondered if the green kale would throw them but it is chopped so finely that it looks like an herb and they didn’t even notice it.

It makes a lot and would make a great main dish for vegetarians or a great side dish for meat eaters!


Orzo Caramelized with Fall Vegetables & Ginger
serves 4 as a main dish and 6 as a side dish


1/2 pound orzo pasta
Grapeseed, peanut, or vegetable oil
1 large sweet potato (about 3/4 pound)
2 medium onions (about 1 pound), finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3-inch piece fresh ginger — peeled and grated, about 1 tablespoon
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps diced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 big leaves chard or kale, stalks removed and leaves finely chopped — about 2 cups
Freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan, optional

Heat a large pot of water to boiling and salt it generously. Cook the orzo until barely al dente — about 6 to 7 minutes. Drain and toss with a generous drizzle of oil so that the grains of orzo are lightly coated with oil. Set aside.

Peel the sweet potato and dice it finely into cubes about 1/4 to 1/2 inch to a side. Heat a large sauté or frying pan (the largest you have — you want plenty of room and hot surface) over high heat. Drizzle in a little grapeseed or vegetable oil (not olive oil — you want an oil with a high smoke point) and heat until very hot. Add the sweet potatoes and arrange them in one layer. Cook them over high heat until they are beginning to caramelize and turn brown — about 4 minutes. Flip them over and cook for another 3 minutes or so.

Turn the heat down to medium and push the sweet potatoes up in a pile against one side of the pan. Add the diced onions to the center of the pan and sprinkle them lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are beginning to turn brown. Add the minced garlic and grated ginger and stir them into the onions. Push the onions off to the side of the pan, next to the sweet potatoes, where they will continue to caramelize.

Add the diced shiitake mushrooms to the hot center of the pan and cook them for 4 minutes without turning them. Then flip and stir them and cook for another 4 minutes.

At this point everything should be getting well-cooked; the onions should be quite dark brown and the garlic should be golden and soft. The potatoes should be softening.


Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons of oil. Pour this into the pan with the vegetables and mix everything together, scraping the bottom as you go. Cook all the elements together for about 3 minutes on medium heat. Then turn the heat up to high, as high as it will go.
Add the orzo gradually, shaking in a cup at a time, and stirring and scraping constantly. Cook the orzo over high heat with the rest of the vegetables for about 5 minutes, letting the orzo get browned on the bottom of the pan, then scraping it up. You are developing a little more color and flavor on the pasta, and helping all the flavors combine.

Finally, toss the chopped greens into the mix and cook for 1 more minute or until the greens are barely wilted. Turn off the heat and taste. Add salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot, with shavings of Parmesan if desired.



Pasta with Tomatoes and Chard

Last night was one of those evenings that I simply did not want to make dinner!  I was so tempted to order a pizza, but then took a little stroll out to my garden.  We have had little rain, and I have been very lazy in watering, so my garden is pretty sad looking right now, but I was able to harvest some beautiful cherry tomatoes and gorgeous swiss chard.

I decided to buckle down and throw some dinner together, so I put a pan of pasta on to boil, added some olive oil & garlic to a sauté pan, washed and roughly chopped the chard, and cut the tomatoes in half.  Pasta with Tomatoes and Chard was born.

It was awesome & so simple.  The swiss chard became almost buttery tasting, and the tomatoes added a sweetness and helped form a light sauce.  It was the perfect simple summer supper!

Pasta with Tomatoes & Chard

1/2 lb. pasta
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil*
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large leaves swiss chard, ribs cut out & roughly chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
salt & pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese, shaved (optional)

Boil pasta according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan on medium heat.  Add olive oil & garlic.  Let garlic soften, then add basil & swiss chard.  Cook for 5-10 minutes, until chard shrinks and softens & turns a dark green color.  Add tomatoes.  Cook 2 minutes more.  Season well with salt and pepper.

Serve tomatoes & chard on top of pasta.  Top with parmesan cheese if desired.

(*if you have fresh basil, add it with tomatoes at the end.)


Oven Roasted Veggies On Pasta

This is a guest post from Kendra at Our Homemade Happiness

This recipe is one, healthy; two, super easy; and three, delicious enough to serve to guests. A rare trifecta! It’s awesome because you can throw in whatever veggies you have on hand. Definitely use tomatoes. The tomato juices have so much flavor when they are roasted in the oven with a little olive oil and salt. It’s like a homemade chunky marinara sauce. Some other veggies that taste great in this dish are onions, zucchini, bell peppers, squash, mushrooms, carrots, eggplant, kale, spinach, . . . and the list goes on and on. 


4 medium tomatoes + veggies of choice, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
whole wheat pasta or quinoa pasta
fresh basil, chopped

Cook pasta and drain. Cut up tomatoes and whatever veggies you have on hand. Place chopped veggies on baking sheet. Throw on some pressed garlic. Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. I mix it all together with my hands to keep dirty dishes to a minimum. (Or you can mix in a bowl and transfer to pan if you prefer.) Cook for 20 minutes in the oven at 425°F. Serve on a bed of pasta. Add some chopped fresh basil. Serves 4.

Underneath that hoard of veggies is a silicone baking mat I got for Christmas from my sister-in-law. It makes clean up a breeze because nothing sticks to it. I went a little overboard and used more veggies than normal for this batch (pictured above) because it was for the blog. Had to be blog worthy, ya know? I used 4 large tomatoes, 1 onion, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 zucchini, 1 banana squash, 8 oz. mushrooms, 1 orange bell pepper, and 2 leaves of kale (don’t use the tough stalk in the middle). I could barely fit all the veggies on the pan! Leftovers lasted a couple of days, but I’m not complaining!

Hi, I’m Kendra! I have a passion for all things homemade, especially cleaners, skincare, and healthy eating. Going back to simpler times and natural ingredients, all while sticking to a budget. 

Meals/ RECIPES/ Sides

Veri Teriyaki Bowtie Spinach Salad

I am very excited about this spinach salad recipe.  I found it at one of my favorite blogs “The Dear Diary Stories.”  Marta is the author, and she said she eats a version of it almost every week.  If you want to see beautiful photos of this recipe, click on over to her site.

So let’s start with the dressing-oh yum.  I think the key ingredient is Soy Vay Veri Veri Teri Yaki Marinade. Why did I not know about this product?

I found it at Walmart and was happy to see that it did not have high fructose corn syrup in it.  My girls loved it, to my relief, because they are very picky about their salad dressings!

I made this recipe last night for the first time.  We had about an hour before we had to leave for my daughter’s soccer game, so I needed something for dinner that was fast and healthy.

I threw some chicken on the grill (seasoned with grill seasoning), put some noodles on to boil, and chopped a red pepper. The dressing went together in a snap-I used a mason jar of course. 🙂

This dish is well rounded, it contains a protein, carb, vegetables, and fruit- all in the one dish.  It took maybe 20 minutes to make–I love feeding my family easy, healthy “fast” food:)

Veri Teriyaki Bowtie Spinach Salad 

16 oz. bowtie pasta, cooked and rinsed with cold water to cool
1 bag of baby spinach
1-2 cans of mandarin oranges
1 cup craisins
1 red pepper, chopped
1 bunch green onions (didn’t use)
1 cup peanuts or cashews (didn’t use)
1/2 cup fresh parsley (optional-didn’t use)

1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted (optional-didn’t use)

  2 cups cooked chicken (optional)

1 cup oil ( I used canola, wondering if olive oil would taste mild enough for this)
2/3 cup white wine vinegar (didn’t have any, used rice vinegar-was great!)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2/3 cup Soy Vay Teriyaki sauce (or any brand-I recommend Soy Vay!)
5 Tbs sugar (I used rapadura)

Cook pasta according to directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water, let sit while whisking the dressing together.  (I put it all in a jar and gave it a good shake)  Pour dressing over pasta and let refrigerate for an hour ( I skipped this, didn’t have time).  Combine salad ingredients in a bowl, add pasta/dressing and combine.

***I put all the ingredients in separate small bowls and let my family build their own salads.  It worked well, no soggy leftover salad.

****The next day,  I tossed all the leftovers, (minus the spinach and mandarin oranges) together in a bowl, added cut up clementines, and it made the most amazing, fresh-tasting pasta salad!! Mmmm.