Quick dinner

In an effort to prove that I really can make a healthy meal, even with an almost 17 month-old underfoot, I am going to share one of my favorite "go to dinners". I have always called it the Greek Pasta Salad and it has definitely evolved over time. First, my parents discovered it in a Cooking Light magazine, but over the years I have modified it to become one of our favorite meals, especially during the summer. (It is particularly wonderful because it only takes about 15 minutes to make--ah yes, we struck gold!)

I was a little nervous about introducing it to Addie because the flavors are a bit strong, and let's face it, feta cheese is not for everyone. Well apparently it is for everyone in my family because this girl loved it! She started trying to go at it with a fork, which she usually does very patiently. However, she quickly decided that this method was not fast enough and with an "uh-oh", tossed the fork overboard and dove in with her fingers. Success!

Greek Pasta Salad:
1 box whole wheat pasta (penne or rotini work very well)
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
1 TBS minced garlic
2 tomatoes, diced
15 - 20 kalamata olives, diced
1 - 2 TBS capers
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
4 - 8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
salt & pepper to taste

Bring water to a boil for the pasta. In the meantime, prepare chicken in a skillet on med-high heat until cooked through (a few minutes on each side). Combine other ingredients in a small bowl. When the pasta is done, drain and return to the pot (do not rinse the pasta--the remaining heat will soften the cheese and help incorporate your ingredients). Add the small bowl of combined ingredients and chicken and toss. Dinner is served!

Note: Play with the amount on the ingredients to see what combinations you prefer. I usually put in almost an entire 8 oz. block of feta and I use a heaping tablespoon of garlic, sometimes two. You can also add a handful or two of fresh spinach, but I usually leave this out unless I know we are going to eat it all immediately (the spinach gets kind of slimy in the fridge overnight). This is also a great vegetarian dish if you would like to leave out the chicken. Enjoy!

1 comment:

The Alrikabi's said...

I like to make this with a fat-free italian dressing and without meat. Super fast and scrumdidily-yumcious.