How wrong I was.
Brandon: "Hey hun, we have a ton of vegetables in the fridge that we need to use up before vacation. Do you think you could make another pasta salad?"
Me: "Oh yeah! Sure!" Chop, chop, chop, chop.
Brandon: "Babe, I didn't necessarily mean tonight."
Me: "Oh, it's no problem!" Chop, chop, chop, chop.
And so the cooking obsession continues. But the beauty of it is, with the right combination of herbs, spices, etc., cooking can be kind of a spontaneous thing! Last night, I experimented with sauces and, with Brandon's help, grilled up some Heat 'n Honey Grilled Chicken, accompanied by what I'm now calling a "Dill-Dijon Pasta Salad." Made a great, fresh dinner and some yummy leftovers for Brand-o to take to work. I'm finding pasta salad (which really should be called veggies WITH pasta, since it's a two-to-one ratio in this recipe) is a great way to use up leftover raw veggies.
One more day before vacayyyyy. Hope everyone is doing well! Summer can't be too far off.........right? Ah, who cares -- enjoy the day!
Heat 'n Honey Grilled Chicken
Makes eight servings, 1/2 chicken breast per serving.
2/3 cup hoisin
1/2 cup Sriracha sauce (or other chili sauce)--this was enough to leave my tongue tingly. Use less if you aren't into heat, more if you want to challenge your taste buds!
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons orange zest
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Place chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag. Pour enough marinade in to coat chicken. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight for best results. Reserve remaining marinade. Brush over chicken while grilling.
Dill-Dijon Pasta Salad
Makes 12 servings (great for parties!).
1 cup light canola oil mayo
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/2 a red onion, diced (any kind of onion will do)
Juice of one lemon
2 cups feta cheese, crumbled (or any other cheese you like--I used reduced fat sharp cheddar because it was on hand)
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped (I like a lot of dill)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 box whole grain pasta (rotini, penne or shells work best--avoid linguine and spaghetti)
Veggies, around one cup each (I typically use broccoli, cucumber, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes and peas--but whatever you have fresh and on hand will work)
- Cook pasta according to directions. Strain under cold water. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread pasta across it. Place in refrigerator to cool and dry.
- Mix all dressing ingredients together. Refrigerate in an airtight container for at least one hour to allow flavors to blend.
- Chop veggies into bite-sized pieces.
- Combine dressing, veggies and cooled pasta and refrigerate two hours before serving.