Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

This is a good light dressing to use on salads.  Next time I’ll probably make a simple syrup instead of the liquid sweetener, since I’m pretty sure that’s all chemicals.

2 tbsp raspberry vinegar
2 tbsp seedless raspberry jam
3-6 drops liquid sweetener
1/3 cup light olive oil

Combine vinegar and jam in blender or small bowl.  Add sweetener and mix well.  Add oil in thin stream, blending well.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken

This makes a delicous entree, but if you omit the chicken you have a great side dish, too!

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken
Adapted from Cooking Light

Vegetables:
1 1/2 cups julienne-cut yellow squash
1 1/4 cups julienne-cut carrot
1 cup julienne-cut zucchini
1 cup julienne-cut red bell pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Chicken:

4 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon minced basil
1 teaspoon minced oregano
Cooking spray

Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
 1 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Remaining ingredients:

8 cups cooked ziti (about 6 cups uncooked short tube-shaped pasta)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
16 cherry tomatoes, halved

Preheat oven to 450°.
To prepare vegetables, combine squash and next 5 ingredients (squash through oil) in a roasting pan; toss gently to coat. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes.
To prepare chicken, sprinkle chicken with basil and oregano.
Prepare grill.
Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; cook chicken 4 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Cool; cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips.
To prepare vinaigrette, combine vinegar and next 6 ingredients (vinegar through garlic); stir with a whisk.
Combine the roasted vegetables, chicken, vinaigrette, pasta, fresh basil, and tomatoes in a large bowl; toss gently to coat.

BBQ Chicken Salad

Last night I hosted Girls Night at my house. I knew everyone loved CPK’s BBQ Chicken Salad, so I recreated it. It was surprisingly easy! Everyone loved it, but I expected a larger crowd, so I have plenty of leftovers now!!! Oh, but the best part might have been that I was able to serve it on a bed of garden fresh lettuce! Hubby has done such a great job so far with growing our organic lettuce!

CPK BBQ Chicken Salad
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Jenny’s BBQ Sauce (recipe below)
12 large fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
1 lb jicama, cubed
2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese
1 cup canned black bean, rinsed, drained
1 cup canned sweet white corn kernels, drained
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 pint fresh ripe cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 assorted bell peppers, cubed

Boil or pressure cook chicken until no longer pink. Remove from water and shred while still hot. Cover pulled chicken with BBQ sauce and store in refrigerator. Can be served hot or cold, according to preference.

We had a “build your own” salad bar, so that everyone could chose their toppings.

Jenny’s BBQ Sauce
This sauce is the perfect “anytime” sauce.

3/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
1/4-1/2 tsp chipotle powder, to preference
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until desired thickness. Stir often.

CPK Copycat Garden Herb Dressing
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
8 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon minced dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh basil

Whisk all ingredients until well combined. Store in refrigerator.