Ok friends: I’m back with a recipe! And I think it’s worth telling the story behind it:
I have always promised to share recipes that I actually make for my family. Recipes that at least most of my family members love (Levi is still working on his relationship with vegetables. Prayers appreciated.) But I confess I’ve gotten away from posting recipes lately.
But, recently my son Josiah told me a certain story that 100% inspired me to get back to posting recipes.
Quick background: Josiah is 23. He graduated from college a year ago, has a real job, and shares a house in Carpenteria, Ca. with. friend. He did not cook much growing up, and spent his 4 years of college mostly eating at the college cafeteria.
But now that he is living alone, he is trying to cook more of his own meals. He also hosts a young men’s Bible study every week and they take turns cooking for that.
Recently, when he was invited to a dinner party, he asked what he could bring. They suggested he bring a salad. Then, when he brought them this quinoa salad they all loved it and asked where he got the recipe.
This is what he said:
“Well, anytime I want to make something, I go on my phone, and I type in the search bar: ‘Monica Swanson recipe for ______ (salad, etc.)’. And then I make whatever I find!”
I was, of course, thrilled to hear this! But, I still had to ask…
“You really search for MY recipes?”
“Yes!” he said. “Always. Because I know they’ll be good!”
I realized then that there are a whole lot of things I make on the regular, and have made since his childhood, that I never considered putting onto the blog as a recipe….More salads, as well as simple (even cheater) ways to throw together soup, spaghetti, or a casserole, etc. Josiah said he would love it if I would put those things on my website so he could find them.
And for that reason alone, I want to add more recipes here! 🙂
Now I’m thinking I need to create a new category or at least mark certain recipes as “for my boys” because I honestly don’t imagine I’d be sharing them otherwise. I mean, they are pretty simple and I’m guessing a lot of you know how to do these things without following a recipe.
Anyways, today I will share a pasta salad recipe I love to make in the summertime. It’s one I often bring to church potlucks, or to a family after a baby is born, etc. Part of the reason it is so good for all of those things is because it is served cold, and the flavors really get better over time. So if I bring it to a family and they already have dinner, they can save the salad until the next day. Or have it for lunch. Or both (I usually make it huge!)
Also: It’s pretty! 🙂
Recently I brought this to Andrea Hanneman (“Earthy Andy”) after her baby girl was born. (which is slightly intimidating considering how beautiful all of her recipes are!) Her family loved it!
This is also great for picnics, beach days, and etc. My boys’ friends always comment on how much they love it!
It takes some chopping, but I like to do some of that in advance and then toss it all together when I am ready! As with most of my recipes, you can switch up ingredients, depending on what you’ve got on hand. (see note at the end)
ALSO: I have another version of this (a fruitier, sweeter version) that I will try to post about soon!
Summer Chicken Veggie Pasta Salad
- 3 cups cooked chicken breast (approx. 3 small chicken breasts)cut up into bite size pieces, chill
- 6 cups cooked pasta any bite-size shape is best, allow to cool.
- 2 cups chopped raw veggies sweet pepper, red onion ,tomato, carrot, etc.
- 1 cup cheddar or hot pepper jack cheese or a combination: chopped into small cubes
- 1 can garbanzo beans drained
- 1/2 cup creamy itallian vinaigrette homemade or bottle (add more to taste)
- 3 cups leafy greens kale, spinach, or other leafy greens, torn into bite-size pieces.
Combine cooked pasta with leafy greens, cut-up chicken breast, and salad dressing. Toss well
You can toss all other ingredients with this, or layer it for a pretty presentation .
Adjust all ingredients and dressing to taste.
Note: This is good topped with avocado and parmesan cheese.
Adjust amounts of each ingredient and dressing to your preference!
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Gluten free pasta works fine!
Hope you enjoy and I always love it when you comment, share, pin, etc!
And, boys, if you’re reading this?…I LOVE YOU!