A Slightly Disappointing Pasta Salad

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Hi and welcome!  I am sure you're probably looking at the title for today and wondering if I've lost it a little bit for taking time to write about a recipe that I found a bit disappointing.  Well, the reason is that, while I wasn't head over heels for this recipe, you may love it, so here goes.  I also will post something I did like the next time.  Not all new recipes are the holy grail of whatever dish it is.

I was first attracted to the Roasted Chicken Pasta Salad recipe during a search I made to find pasta salads that I could bring to work for lunch.  When you work far enough away from your home that it makes it difficult or impossible to go home for lunch, your options are usually one of two things; go out to eat in a restaurant near your place of work or bring your lunch.  If you know me or have read this blog, so many of the recipes I make are budget friendly.  I am on a budget, and eating out every day is NOT budget friendly.  It's also really fattening.  I'd gain 10 pounds a month if I had to eat out every day!  It is, however, difficult to make your lunch every morning- figure out what leftovers or sandwich toppings should go into lunch.  Is that just me?  It's difficult for me.  I am always getting places late- it's a trait I hate about myself- so thinking about lunch in the morning is something I like to simplify and streamline.

So, beginning to think about what I could have that is pre-made, healthy, and GOOD, I thought- ooh!  Pasta Salads!  I love pasta salads!  So, I began searching on Cooking Light's website (cookinglight.com) and Southern Living's website (southernliving.com), and found the Roasted Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta Salad.  It seemed perfect- rotisserie chicken for protein and convenience, walnuts, grapes, onion, celery.  Here's a warning for people who don't like unconventional flavors, though- the dressing includes lemon and orange juice. 

Now, The Fresh Market has a lemon pasta salad that I LOVE and thought that this one might be like that one, only with chicken and grapes. 

So, all that to say that this pasta salad is easy to throw together, and it makes a lot of food, but it's not my favorite.  I probably won't make it again because its flavors are just too much a departure from what I'd expect pasta salad to taste like.  What I do like about it is that its flavors were better two days after I made it than the day after- meaning that today when I eat my lunch it may be even better.  We'll see.  I'm holding my breath in anticipation and turning blue. 

I also like that it tastes fresh and that the dressing has no mayo.  If you left out the chicken, you could leave this dish out of a fridge for hours and not worry about violent illness later.  I'm for that.  I am not crazy about all the flavors that the dressing has going on- I mean, you have the mustard and the orange, which to me don't complement the grapes. 

So, all that long explanation to tell you that I have not found a lunch food that will be my BFF lunch, but if you like trying different things, you might like it.  I would suggest that you make a half batch, though.  Enjoy the rest of the rotisserie chicken as itself or in chicken salad, pasta, quiche, etc. 

I am not going to actually post the recipe, but here is a link:  Roasted Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta Salad

  • To increase the health quotient of the pasta salad, I substituted whole wheat rotini for the white bowites. 
  • I didn't put in celery because I didn't feel like it.  I want to like celery, but we're still in that "I only like you when you're covered in peanut butter or pimento cheese" phase. 

The prep work- it helps to have a great knife!

Mixing of the dressing- no mayo here= no spoiling IF you leave out the chicken, too. 

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