Monday, April 5, 2010

Spinach Salad & Teriyaki Bowties

I am caught up!!! I made this last night. Ok in truth I decided to jump ahead and skip some recipes that I wont likely make again. There was no reason to talk about ho-hum meals when a beauty like this can be discussed.
I did alter it from the original to try to keep the calories down. I dont think it lacked flavor at all and I dont think you would even know I made any changes.....unless I didnt just tell you.
Now that the weather is getting warmer and produce is fresher and cheaper you will see many more salads in the rotation.
I think I might have made this recipe before and I dont know if I liked it. So odd because it sounds so familiar but yet I cant remember. anyway......

Spinach Salad & Teriyaki Bowties
adapted from The Sister's Cafe
3 cups dried Bowtie pasta, cooked and cooled
1 large Bag of fresh baby Spinach (it is 7 ozs in wt.)
1 can No Sugar Added Mandarin Oranges drained
1 Red Pepper, chopped
1 bunch Green Onions, chopped
1 cup Honey Roasted Peanuts or Cashews (optional but adds calories so I omitted)
1/2 cup fresh Parsley (optional)(omitted)
1/4 cup Sesame Seeds, toasted (optional)(omitted)
2 cups torn cooked Chicken (optional)**(used unseasoned Rotisserie chicken)

1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
2/3 cup White Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
2/3 C. Teriyaki Sauce or Soy Vay
3 Tbs. Sugar

Cook bowtie pasta according to directions, drain and cool while whisking the dressing together in a large bowl. **I used my hand blender to emulsify it and it worked great and it was much more blended***

Marinate cooked bowtie pasta in the dressing for 1 hour or longer in the fridge.***I didnt do this and it worked great, I didnt want it to soak up the dressing or get too soggy since I knew I would have leftovers***

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl and pour the teriyaki sauce and pasta over the salad, toss together and serve.

If it's just a few of you, make individual salad servings; keeping the salad and bowtie sauce separate for the rest of the week (no one likes a soggy salad).

This salad is a winner. I altered some of the ingredients listed and if you click on the link you can see the original version and maybe give it a whirl. It makes a ton of salad so you could easily make this for a large crowd as a side dish without the chicken. I do think you could add some crunchy noodle and that wouldnt drive the calories up too much and give a nice crunch. The dressing was also very delicious and I am glad that I cut the oil in half and omitted some of the sugar because it didnt need it. I am also glad I chose not to soak the pasta because, it would in truth just be soaking up more fat and calories and I think it was just as flavorful without using all that dressing. I have about 1/2 the salad leftover and 1/2 the dressing so it makes enough for 5 generous dinner sized servings just with the quantities I have listed. Click on the original link to make an even larger salad.

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