Tuscan House Italian Pasta Salad

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  • 12 oz. tri-color veggie pasta
  • 1 can (15 oz.) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (2.25 oz.) black olives, drained
  • 1 cup chopped assorted peppers (I used 2 small sweet and 1 Anaheim)
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 diced Roma tomato
  • 1-1/2 cups KRAFT Tuscan House Italian Dressing
  • 1 cup KRAFT Shredded Italian* Five Cheese Blend
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 oz. pepperoni (about 35 pieces)

Make It

  • COOK pasta according to package directions. Rinse to cool completely; drain.
  • MIX in kidney beans, olives, cucumber and tomato.
  • ADD dressing and pepper; stir in.
  • SPRINKLE in cheese; blend. Add pepperoni. Refrigerate until serving.
  • Note: After refrigeration, salad may need to be tossed with additional dressing.
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Tuscan House Italian Pasta Salad

Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad

strawberry caprese

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dry pasta (I used farfalle)
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella, diced
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed torn fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic glaze (I used DeLallo, but see instructions below for a homemade alternative)

Directions:

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking.

Toss the pasta with the strawberries, mozzarella and basil. Pour half of the pasta into a serving bowl, and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Then pour the remaining half of the pasta on top, and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Sprinkle with extra basil if desired. Also, if the pasta seems to dry, you can toss it with a tablespoon of olive oil.

*To make balsamic glaze homemade, whisk together 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes or until reduced by half. Give it a taste. If you think it needs sweetening, stir in a few teaspoons of sugar or honey.

Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad

Chicken Caprese

chicken caprese

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to uniform thickness
  • 1/2 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
  • 1 cup lightly-packed fresh basil, torn

Directions:

To Make The Chicken:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (You will know that it is ready when the oil is shimmering, or it sizzles when you place a drop of water in the oil.) Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is fully cooked and the juices run clear. Remove chicken and set aside.

To Make The Balsamic Reduction:

Heat balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until reduced by half. Remove and set aside.

To Assemble The Dish:

Plate the chicken, then top with sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Serve warm.

Chicken Caprese

Asian Fusion Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos

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  • Wash, pat dry and trim excess fat from:4 lb pork loin roast
  • Place roast in a slow cooker and add:
  • 1 onion , sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 tsp ginger, fresh , grated
  • 3 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 1 cup water
  • Cover and cook on high heat for 6 hours.
  • When roast is done, remove from the slow-cooker and shred the meat using two forks. Return the meat to the juice in the pot.
  • To make the sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk together:
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 TBS cider vinegar
  • 2 TBS brown sugar, light
  • 2 TBS white wine
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp ginger, fresh , grated
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Bring sauce to a slow boil and continue cooking until thickened, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove sauce from heat, transfer to a small serving bowl and garnish with:
  • 1 green onion , sliced thinly
  • Transfer pulled pork to a serving dish, serve with sauce and:
  • 20 tortillas
  • 2 cup cabbage, green , shredded
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, fresh , coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions , coarsely chopped
  • 2 avocados , sliced
Asian Fusion Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos

Chop Suey

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TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 15 min.
MAKES: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (fat removed)
  • 12 oz. fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 12 oz. can water chestnuts (drained)
  • 1/2 cabbage, sliced
  • 3 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 T. low salt soy sauce
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 2 T. chicken bullion
  • 1 c. water
  • Mushrooms (optional)
  • Brown rice

Directions

  1. Remove fat from chicken and cut into cubes. Spray cook spray in wok or large fry pan. Stir fry chicken on medium high heat until no longer pink. Sprinkle with pepper (pork likes pepper!). Sprinkle with garlic powder. Add bean sprouts, water chestnuts, celery and onion. Add mushrooms if desired. Spray with cook spray. Continue to stir fry until desired tenderness. Add chicken boullion and water (chicken stock works well, too). Add soy sauce. Simmer for two minutes. Yield: serves 6
Chop Suey

Bizarre Foods Monday Breakfast Edition: Pansy Syrup

I know it’s the 365 DINNER project, but this week I’m mixing it up a bit. If you are going to make this syrup ****IMPORTANT**** Remove as much green stem and leaf as you can before steeping. Mine came out a little herbal tasting because of the greens. You also want to strain your pansy water BEFORE boiling with the sugar. I left mine in and it muddied the syrup and contributed to the herbal flavor.

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What a beautiful color though! The color of the pansies you put in will effect the color of the finished syrup. I had a mix of purples and yellow and got an indigo blue. You’ll need about 2 cups of pansies.  Put them in a bowl.

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Boil 2 cups of water and pour into the bowl of pansies while hot. Let steep 2-24 hours. Strain off flowers and put pansy water into a pan with 1/2 cup sugar. You can add 1/4 cup fruit of your choice if desired here. Cook for 4 minutes until reduced to a light syrup. You can store this in the fridge for up to a month. I served mine with crepes, but it’d be lovely on pancakes, ice cream, as a garnish, whatever you want!

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As with any food foraging; don’t pick from roadways, get permission to pick and make sure it hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides, dog and/or human pee and other contaminants.

Bizarre Foods Monday Breakfast Edition: Pansy Syrup