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Chicken Pasta Salad
Prep Time: 00:20
Cook Time: 00:10
12 - 16 1 oz package noodles - i prefer either spinach noodles or gluten - free brown rice noodles
1 red bell pepper
1 orange or green bell pepper
1 Small red onion
1 can sliced black olives
1 package vegan chicken - i love gardein brand crispy chicken or beyond meat chicken strips
For salad dressing:
2 tbs dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tbs pepper
1 tbs dried basil
1 tbs dried oregano
1 tbs dried garlic
1 tsp ground red chili powder
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 - 2/3 cups olive oil
1Bring a pot of water to boil cook the pasta according to package instructions. Be sure not to overcook, especially if using a gluten free kind as this can cause the pasta to turn into sticky mush
2While the pasta is cooking, dice your bell peppers and red onion. Slice your black olives if they are not pre-sliced.
3When pasta is done, drain with a collander and rinse gently with COLD water - use your fingertips to move the pasta around and get the cold water on all sides of each piece. This helps halt the cooking process so the hot water that is still on the noodles does not continue cooking it slightly and make the noodles mushy.
4Place colander in the fridge with a towel underneath to allow it to both cool and drain.
5At this point, if you are using chicken that needs to be baked in the oven, do so now according to package instructions.
6For the dressing:
7Place the mustard and all the spices in a bowl. Feel free to adjust spices to taste (the red chili powder does not add much spiciness but brings out the flavor of the other spices). Then pour the balsamic vinegar on top.
8Using a whisk, mix together the mustard and vinegar. Slowly (and I mean SLOWLY) drizzle in the olive oil while whisking vigourously. The idea is to emulsify the oil and vinegar together. If you start to see a layer of oil sitting on top of the vinegar, stop pouring oil and whisk for about 30 seconds until it is blended again.
9Taste dressing with a noodle or piece of lettuce and adjust accordingly - if it is too vinegar-y then whisk in more oil or vice versa.
10Pull pasta out of fridge and mix in diced bell peppers, onions, and olives.
11In a bowl, spoon some pasta mixture in the bottom. Place chopped chicken on top with a few slices of avocado and drizzle homemade vinaigrette over top.
12Optional: see my recipe for homemade vegan parmesan cheese and sprinkle on top!
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