I am so excited to share this because I’m thinking this may be my new favorite summer salad! It was so fabulous that even my brother approved it! Once again, the dressing consists of heart-healthy olive oil, which contains the good mono- and poly- unsaturated fats (as opposed to the not-so-good saturated fats and the very bad trans fats). One of the reasons people of the Mediterranean are considered so healthy is because of their use of plant-based fats, like olive oil, as opposed to animal-based fats, like butter. Anywho, enough jibber-jabber. Get in the kitchen and start cookin’!
- 12 oz farfalle (bow-tie) vegetable pasta
- 16 oz shredded cooked chicken*
- 6 oz. fresh baby spinach
- 10 oz. grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp each dried basil and oregano
- 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup reduced-fat feta
- Cook pasta according to package directions, and then cool.
- Stir chicken and veggies into the pasta.
- Whisk together the remaining ingredients (except for the feta) to make the dressing.
- Combine the pasta and chicken with the dressing, and refrigerate to allow the flavors to marinate until ready to eat! And don’t forget the feta!
*To cook and shred the chicken, here is my easy, foolproof method:
- Place chicken in a skillet.
- Fill with water until the chicken is barely covered.
- Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and other seasonings as desired. (In this case I added oregano, basil, and turmeric).
- Bring the chicken to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, cover, and allow to continue cooking for at least 30 more minutes.
- Drain the water, shred the chicken with two forks, and Voila!
- Serving Size: 3 cups salad + 2 tbsp. feta
- Calories: 445
- Fat: 17g
- –Trans: 0g
- Sodium: 595mg
- Potassium: 15mg
- Carbohydrates: 47g
- Sugar: 6g
- Fiber: 6g
- Protein: 26g
- Vitamin A: 28%
- Vitamin C: 5%
- Calcium: 8%
- Iron: 20%
* This recipe was inspired by The Wanderlust Kitchen, at http://thewanderlustkitchen.com/mediterranean-orzo-pasta-salad/.