Saturday, August 18, 2012

Summer crunch!

   Summer dinners are all about salads, fresh vegetables and colors, but it doesn't mean that you have to always use lettuce and tomatoes. Here is a perfect salad that you can make not only for dinners, but also for lunches, parties and cookouts. Looks great, stores well and tastes even better. All vegetables are fresh and crunchy, chicken is sweet and tangy and tortellini adds some starch to make you feel more satisfied. I know it must be really good, because for the first time I saw my husband finishing all the peppers without pushing them aside (he is not a fan of bell peppers)! Try it and see for yourself. Here is the recipe which serves  6-8, depending on if it's the main dish or a side:

Chicken marinade:
*  1 chicken breast
*  1/4 cup soy sauce
*  1/2 cup red wine
*  1/4 cup olive oil
*  2 tbsp brown sugar
*  1 tbsp curry powder
*  1 tbsp garlic powder
*  1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

*  1 small bag cheese tortellini
*  1 red bell pepper
*  1 orange bell pepper
*  5 celery stalks
*  1/2 cucumber
*  1 cup walnuts
*  strawberry dressing

1.  Mix all the ingredients of the marinade, add finely cubed chicken and marinate in the fridge for few hours (over night preferred)
2. Transfer chicken together with the marinade into the skillet and cook for 8-10 minutes until chicken is cooked. Set aside to cool down.
3. Cook tortellini according to the package directions. Drain, wash with cold water and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, combine finely chopped peppers, celery stalks and cucumbers. Add cooled chicken, tortellini, walnuts and strawberry dressing (you can use any sweet/fruit dressing you have).
5. Mix everything together and serve!

   Very crunchy, very healthy, very satisfying... the perfect summer dinner. You can play with the marinade or dressing to give it your own spin or just to change flavors once in a while. My marinades usually consist of whatever I have in a fridge or whatever I can reach from it, but it's always good no matter what. Not your ordinary dinner salad, is it?


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