Summer Pasta Salad


We are enjoying an unusually cool morning. All my windows are open and a gentle, cool breeze is wafting in as I sit at my desk, I hear the birds calling out to each other, and the squirrels chasing each other through the trees. After two weeks of stifling heat and humidity, we are loving this. As I write this, the sun breaks the clouds and there are little rays of sunshine filtering in through the blinds. What a lovely morning!

Last weekend, we had Aaron's family in town and invited our friends, the Kachers, to come over for dinner. We always enjoy our time with them and the little girls are so much fun :) Bonnie brought over a fresh garden salad and a yummy dessert (scroll down for the pic). I decided to try a Summer Pasta Salad. I was thrilled with how simple this was and yet how well it came together. I made a huge bowl of this salad and it was all gone!


Here's how you do it.
Before we get to the recipe though, here are a few pics from our dinner with friends and family. 

Bonnie's awesome Spongecake topped with fruits, a delicious caramel sauce we threw together in a jiffy (it had condensed sweetened milk. i was sold), and some whipped cream that was fighting the humidity with all its strength.  Man, this was so yummy! 


Bonnie's awesome babies (okay, Ben's too). This is Piper, who likes being kissed on her neck as it makes her laugh. I happily oblige to do just that when she is around and she wants more.


This is Paije, who cannot look right at the camera if you count to three. It took me several attempts until I pressed the button when I counted one, and lucked out with this shot. :) She is a wriggly, squirmy, bundle of energy who has yummy, squishy, kissable cheeks, and who always wants me to read to her. In fact, if I am over at her house during her bedtime, we end up reading together for almost an hour! I love these two babies so much and love that Ben and Bonnie share them with us so freely!


Okay, thanks for indulging me in my affections for these little ones. Here is your recipe :) Enjoy!



INGREDIENTS

1 box of pasta, cooked according to package directions to al dente (You can always adjust quantity based on how many people you are feeding).

4-5 chicken pieces (I used a combination of chicken thighs and breasts as I did not have enough of chicken breasts, but I like thighs better).

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 zucchinis, cut into long strips

Garlic powder
Dried parsley
Onion powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Olive oil

Your choice of dressing (I used a lemon dressing that I made earlier.)

DIRECTIONS

Brace yourself. This it tough. Not. 

Season the chicken pieces with garlic powder, parsley, onion powder, salt and pepper, and place it on a grill or grill pan that is coated with olive oil.  

While that is cooking, cut up your tomatoes (I did not have any fresh ones, so I drained my can tomatoes and they turned out fine, although I would have preferred fresh ones.) Set aside. 

Then slice your zucchini and set aside. Sprinkle a bit of salt on the zucchini. 

Once the chicken is cooked on both sides (seasoned on both sides as well), remove and set on a plate. Then lay the zucchini on the grill and let it cook for a few minutes until you see the grill marks on the zucchini. Flip them over and do the same thing. 

Place your cooked pasta in a large bowl, add the tomatoes, slice the grilled zucchini into bite-sized pieces, slice your chicken into bite-sized pieces, and toss them all the together. Drizzle a bit of olive oil so the pasta doesn't stick, and serve. Lemon dressing on the side so people can add it according to the desire. 

This was a light and summer-y salad and you won't have to break a sweat making it! 


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