Make This Asian-Inspired Pasta Salad
A Pasta Salad Recipe with an Asian Twist
This page contains a recipe for an Asian-inspired pasta salad. The recipe is easy to make, aesthetically pleasing to look at, nutritious, and makes a great salad entrée for hot days of summer.
When the hot weather hits, I love having delicious, healthy, cold salads in the fridge ready to serve. If the salad contains protein and starch, plus veggies and fruit, then I have a whole meal ready to go. Summer meals were never easier.
Recently, I found such a recipe at AllRecipes. It was great just as written, but being me, I tinkered and made changes.
I call my revised recipe Asian-Inspired Pasta Salad. Its bright and colorful, not to mention yummy and healthy.
You can simplify it if you wish, by using ground ginger rather than grating fresh ginger root. You can also simplify your work by using deli chicken or rotisserie chicken from the supermarket.
To cut calories, use mandarin orange segments in natural juice rather than syrup, and use unsweetened orange juice.
This will serve 6 people, approximately. Plus, its great as leftovers the next day. Just add some fresh spinach and you're good to go.
This handles all your garlic- needs to perfection.
Ingredients for Dressing and Salad
- 1 teaspoon of grated ginger root OR 1 1/2 tsp of ground ginger
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 3 tsp of light syrup drained from a can of mandarin orange sections
- 1 ounce of dried, French onion soup mix (or equivalent in home made mix)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened orange juice
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- Salad Ingredients:
- 8 ounces of multi-colored bow-tie pasta
- 1 chicken breast, skin removed
- Thai seasoning (optional)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup red or white onion, chopped
- 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 carrot, grated
- several handfull of baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup slivered, toasted almonds
- 1 can mandarin orange segments in light syrup, drained
- 1/2 English cucumber, scored and chopped
- Mix all dressing ingredients together until well mixed. Chill until needed
- Cook bow-tie pasta in boiling water. Drain using a colander and chill.
- Sprinkle uncooked chicken with Thai seasoning, if you are using it.
- Cook chicken in oven or skillet until done. Remove meat from the bone and chill.
- Prepare all vegetables and the orange sections.
- Mix all salad ingredients together, except for the baby spinach leaves
- Drizzle the dressing over salad. Mix well and chill.
- Serve on a bed of spinach leaves.
Vegetarian or Vegan
To make this recipe vegetarian, simply omit the chicken. To include protein in the dish, you can substitute tofu, quinoa, beans or lentils.
To make the salad recipe gluten free, use quinoa or rice instead of pasta.
Working with Ginger Root
Fresh ginger root is so much nicer in recipes than using the ground ginger that you buy in the spice section.
The downside of grating your own ginger lies in the fact that a chunk of ginger root often dries up and becomes unusable before you can finish using it. This assumes that you use fresh ginger occasionally and not daily.
The secret to getting the most value out of your ginger root is this. When you bring a piece home from the store, scrape the skin off it in your usual fashion, wrap it well and freeze it.
When you need grated fresh ginger, pull it out of the freezer and grate in the usual way. Your hands will get cold. I usually use a tea towel or piece of paper towel to hold the frozen root and protect my hands.
Return the unused ginger root to the freezer where it will be ready to go for next time.
No more throwing ginger root in the garbage!
Poll: Favorite Salad Entrees
What type of entree salads do you prefer?
© 2014 June Campbell