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A cold pasta salad using rotini pasta that has grapes, celery, crisp apples, smokey Gouda cheese and toasted almonds. All topped with a creamy poppy seed mayonnaise dressing for a perfect dish

Best Chicken Pasta Salad

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A cold pasta salad using rotini pasta that has grapes, celery, crisp apples, smokey Gouda cheese and toasted almonds. All topped with a creamy poppy seed mayonnaise dressing for a perfect dish

Carrie’s Chicken Pasta Salad

My husband and I love a really good pasta salad, so I tweaked and experimented and created the Best Chicken Pasta Salad, which I named after me:) 

With it’s creamy perfectly balanced flavored dressing, crisp  tart apples, smoky Gouda cheese, velvety avocado, crunchy almonds; combined with the other scrumptious ingredients, we think you will agree too that this is the Best Chicken Pasta Salad!

This will generously serve 4-6 adults with a loaf of crusty bread.

It’s a great recipe for a picnic, just be sure to keep it cold because of the mayonnaise and the chicken.

Carrie’s Chicken Pasta Salad

Salad Ingredients:

2-3 green apples, cored and cut into small bite-sized pieces; my handsome hubby prefers I peel the skin off, so that’s a personal preference too (the tart balances the other flavors and compliments the smokey cheese)

3-4 cups of cooked chicken,  A rotisserie chicken is fabulous here and what I generally use.

3/4 – 1 cup celery, chopped into small pieces

8-12 oz. Gouda cheese, cut into small pieces (the package of sliced is the usually the most cost effective, just dice it up)

2-3 avocados, diced

2 cups seedless red grapes, cut in halves (they look pretty, but can use green grapes if they are sweeter and in season)

1 cup sliced almonds, toasted* and cooled

16 oz / 1 lb. package of Rotini style pasta (corkscrew type to hold all the good dressing in and sturdy enough for the other ingredients – use a GOOD brand or it falls apart when you add in the other ingredients.  I prefer Barilla pasta)

 

Dressing Ingredients:

16-18 oz. light mayonnaise (2 – 2 ¼ cups), only real mayo here, please don’t use Miracle Whip.  You can use regular if you’d prefer over light

1/2 cup light sour cream (you can use regular instead of light)

1 ½ Tbl. poppy seeds

2 Tbl. honey

5 Tbl. lemon juice (bottled or fresh)

3 Tbl. seasoned rice vinegar

1/2 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning

1/2 – 1 tsp. roasted garlic seasoning, optional, but balances the sweet nicely – I use McCormick Grill Mates Roasted Garlic & Herb

1/2 tsp. Emerill’s original seasoning




Directions:

First toast the nuts as shown below*

Cook pasta as directed on package.

When the pasta is al dente (not mushy or too soft), rinse and drain to remove the starch so it isn’t sticky and clumpy later after it sits.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Pour the dressing ingredients over the salad ingredients and combine gently.

Gently toss in the pasta and fold till all mixed through.

 It is best to serve this salad chilled for at least an hour. It sits well over night too.

Carrie's Chicken Pasta Salad *To toast nuts, pour them into a non-stick pan and cook over medium to high heat, stirring constantly until the nuts are a slightly browned.

It only takes a few minutes but it brings out a delicious deep flavor.
Picture1

 

My Carrie’s BEST Chicken Pasta Salad would be perfect to take to a neighbor, friend or family member in need.  If you’d like to know more, I have this post:  What You Need To Know About Taking In A Meal They Will Want To Eat

And even more information at    How Can I Help When Someone Is Sick And Show I Care?

A cold pasta salad using rotini pasta that has grapes, celery, crisp apples, smokey Gouda cheese and toasted almonds. All topped with a creamy poppy seed mayonnaise dressing for a perfect dish

Carrie’s Chicken Pasta Salad

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015, 2018

Copyright and recipe by Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

 

 




Healthy Lentil Soup

BEST Ever Lentil Soup

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Healthy Lentil Soup

Simple Healthy Lentil Soup

This soup is wonderful!   It is very economical, healthy, gluten free and easily made vegetarian.  

Serve with my Whole Wheat Muffins for a tummy pleasing meal.




BEST Ever Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

8 cups water, more if needed

2/3 cup lentils

1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked

1 tsp garlic powder 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped

3 vegetable bouillon cubes (Knorr, or equivalent)

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

1 Tbl. soy sauce

1/2 tsp. Emerill’s or seasoned salt

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, optional

1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar

1 lb. carrots, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 medium onion, diced

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce Splash with Texas champagne (hot sauce)

1 Tbl. dried parsley


Directions:

Do not peel carrots it retains more vitamins.

Slice them about 1/2 inch thick.  

Slice the celery about 3/4 inch thick.

Chop the onions.

In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Lentlil Soup 1Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes or more until the lentils, vegetables and rice are tender.

Add more liquid if needed. Lentlil Soup 2Serve. 

 Carrie Groneman’s recipe. Copyright Carrie Groneman, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




Celery Buffalo Style

Celery Buffalo Style

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Celery Buffalo Style

Celery Buffalo Style

I am not usually a ‘hot wing girl’, too much work for a little bit of meat. And I don’t care for hot-hot sauce nor blue cheese, but this recipe worked like magic and I loved it!  A wonderful alternative over high-calorie appetizers or snacks and it takes care of those cravings with the burst of flavors.





 

Celery Buffalo Style

Ingredients:

8 oz. neufchatel cheese*

5 oz. low fat blue cheese, crumbled

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste

1 – 2 Tbl. Franks Hot Sauce

1 – 2 celery stalks, separated into ribs; cleaned, trimmed and each cut into 3 or 4 sections




Celery Buffalo Style 1

Directions:

In a small bowl, using a mixer mix the cream cheese, blue cheese, garlic, salt and hot sauce mix well to combine until smooth.

To serve, stuff celery with the cream cheese mixture and serve with extra sauce for guests who want a bit more spice.

*Neufchatel cheese has less fat than cream cheese and I think it has a better taste and consistency than fat free cream cheese

Adapted slightly from Weight Watchers, Copyright Carrie Groneman, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




Satisfying Minestrone Soup

Satisfying Minestrone Soup

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Satisfying Minestrone Soup

Satisfying Minestrone Soup

Fall is making its mark with shorter days and cooler nights. This is a great recipe which can  easily be made gluten free or vegetarian, with a few simple changes.   Bursting with flavor and  economical it all adds up to a dinnertime hit.




HOMEMADE MINESTRONE SOUP

Ingredients:

2 tsp olive oil

1 chopped onions

5-6 stalks celery, chopped

2 Tbl. garlic, minced

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

6 cups water

2 Knorr chicken or vegetable bouillon or 3-4 tsp. bouillon

3 cups vegetable cocktail (V-8 juice)

1 lb. chopped carrots

1/2 of 1 small cabbage, chopped

1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 ½ cups frozen corn OR 1 can corn, drained

1 tbsp. dried parsley

2 bay leaf

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp. sugar

1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. Montreal steak seasoning

1 cup small pasta, uncooked


Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, celery, and garlic. Cook and stir for 8 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften a bit.Satisfying Minestrone Soup1

Add all remaining ingredients except the pasta and bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.

Add in the pasta and simmer, covered for approximately 30 minutes, or until the vegetables and pasta a tender but not mushy or too soft.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator. When warming up, more broth, water or vegetable juice may be needed.

Carrie’s recipe, Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.