Asian Food, Recipe

Asian Pasta Salad, The Recipe That Time Forgot

This recipe is one I grew up with, as I was eating leftovers yesterday I told my husband it tastes like home. The funny thing about this is that although I distinctly remember eating it, other than my mother, who made it, NO ONE REMEMBERS EATING THIS! I have been talking about it a lot, and my sister, brother and father have no idea what I am talking about. I do not think of this recipe as forgettable, because it has stuck with me for years, I had not eaten this since I was around age 10, so quite a while ago. One thing I love about this recipe is that because I always grew up eating it with whole wheat pasta, I do not even mind.

Asian Pasta Salad - 1.jpg

To start you will need to cook 2 chicken breasts, I sprinkled them with salt and pepper and baked them in the oven at 350 degrees  until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, for me this took quite a while, but my oven is chronically cold so I imagine in a properly heated oven it would take much less time. When your chicken is cooked, chop it into about 1 inch cubes. When my husband ate this he thought we were eating tofu because my cubes were chopped in a nice looking way, and was pleasantly surprised to find we were eating chicken instead.

While the chicken is cooking bring water to a boil and cook 16 ounces of whole wheat pasta, preferably penne or ziti, according to package directions, be careful not to overcook your pasta because you do not want it to fall apart as you mix it together.

In the meantime, peel the end of a stalk of broccoli and chop the stem and the florets. Then bring a sauté pan with an inch of water to a boil, add the broccoli and cook for 5-7 minutes until bright green and the stems are tender. Then drain and rinse the broccoli in cold water to preserve the color.

While all your other ingredients are cooking you can chop and seed 3 red bell peppers, peel and chop 5 carrots,  chop 3 stalks of celery and chop 4 scallions. The bell peppers, carrots and celery should be in bite size pieces.

In a small bowl mix together 3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil, 3 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil, 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar and 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons of white sugar.

In a large bowl mix together the vegetables, reserving some scallions for garnishing, pasta, chicken, 2/3 of a cup of raw cashews, reserving a few for a garnish, and the dressing. Be sure to mix thoroughly, you want all your ingredients to be coated.  Top with your remaining scallions, cashews and a tablespoon of sesame seeds and enjoy. This meal makes delicious lunches and keeps quite well in the fridge.

Asian Pasta Salad - 1 (1)

Asian Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 5-8 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

-Salt

-Freshly ground pepper

-16 oz. whole wheat pasta, preferably penne or ziti

-1 small head broccoli, peeled and chopped into florets

-3 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped into 1 inch pieces

-1 1/2 cup of chopped carrots, about 5 peeled and chopped

-3 celery stalks, chopped into bite sized pieces

-4 scallions, chopped, a few reserved for garnish

-2/3 cup of cashews, a few reserved for garnish

-3 tablespoons grapeseed oil

-3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

-1/4 and 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce

-1/4 and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

-1/4 and 2 tablespoons sugar

-1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place in an oven safe dish and bake until the internal temperature reaches 165. When cool enough to touch, chop into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Heat water to a boil, and cook whole wheat pasta according to package directions, careful not to overcook.
  3. Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat with an inch of water, until boiling. Add chopped broccoli and cook for about 5 minutes or until broccoli florets are bright green and stems are easily pierced with a fork.
  4. Meanwhile in a small bowl mix together the grapeseed oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar.
  5. Add vegetables, pasta, cashews and dressing to a bowl.
  6. Top with reserved scallions, cashews and sesame seeds to garnish.

This salad keeps quite well for lunches throughout the week.

 

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