Perfectly grilled chicken tossed with tricolor spirali makes a quick and healthy weeknight dinner.

Grilled Chicken pasta salad

I have professed my love for pasta salads on the blog before. I do love pasta salads, and love playing with variations. This one is a simple, easy weeknight pasta salad with grilled chicken.

The problem with grilling/cooking boneless chicken breasts is that it can easily become dry if you don’t pay attention. Since chicken breasts are uneven some parts cook faster than the middle, and as a result while you wait for the middle to cook, the other part of the chicken becomes dry and chewy. Pounding the chicken helps in solving this problem. The chicken is cooked evenly and it cooks faster. Thin breasts also mean more moist breasts. (That doesn’t sound right, does it?!) But it is true. Since cooking time is less, the result are juicy, moist chicken breasts.

Mix the perfectly grilled chicken breasts with some pasta, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, onion and drizzle a light Italian dressing and delicious light dinner is ready.  I have used tricolor spirali here, but you could sub with penne or regular spiral pasta as well.

Grilled Chicken pasta salad

My photography work has been keeping me very busy the past few weeks. Recipes are piling up, with no time to post them on the blog. I am very happy that I am busy and honestly wouldn’t want it any other way. I am getting to meet people from so many different fields, and while not all projects pay as much as I would like them to, I am pretty happy with the kind of work I am getting and the people I get to work with.

While its good to be busy, I would love to go on a vacation. A vacation with no mobiles, laptops- basically no touch with the outside world and no technology.

I have never traveled to a new place completely alone, and its something that I keep going back and forth in mind whether I can do it or not. Have you traveled alone? What has your experience been? Where did you go, and would you do it again? Would love to know your thoughts. And in the meantime, if you do get to try this salad out, please let me know how it goes. You can tag me on facebook, instagram or leave a comment here.

 

Grilled Chicken pasta salad

Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad
 
Perfectly grilled chicken tossed with tricolor spirali makes a quick and healthy weeknight dinner.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner, salad
Serves: 2
Ingredients
For the salad:
  • • 150 gms Tricolor Spirali
  • • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • • handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
For the marination:
  • • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • • 2 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • • salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing:
  • • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • • 2 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Pound the chicken breasts between two pieces of parchment paper till they are an even ½ inch thick.
  2. In a bowl mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, dried Italian herbs, salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts and massage marinade into meat until evenly coated. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
  3. Heat grilling pan, and lightly grease. Place chicken breasts on the pan and grill per side for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Once fully cooked, remove chicken from pan, and slice it into bite sized pieces.
  5. While chicken is cooking, boil some water with salt in a pot. Cook the tricolor spirali, according to packet instructions till al dente. Drain the pasta, and toss in some olive oil.
  6. Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl. Toss in the pasta, grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and red onions. Check for seasoning.

 

Grilled Chicken pasta salad

 

 

This chocolate amaranth pudding is a great gluten free dessert to make and tastes amazing with a hint of chili and cinnamon. 

Chocolate amaranth Pudding

Today is going to be a long post. I am not only going to talk about this chocolate amaranth pudding (which is delicious by the way) but also something that I have thought about writing for a while. Tips for Weight Loss.

So the weight loss tag in the title is only for SEO purposes. What I really want to say is Tips for a healthier you.

If you have been reading my blog since the beginning (if you have, you know I love you- and am so grateful to you for sticking it out even when I have been inconsistent with my posts). If you have been reading my blog since the beginning, you know weight woes have always been there in my life. When I started this blog I was at my thinnest best. But then the first year of married life, I gained a significant amount of weight. The second year onwards I worked towards losing it and documented my journey as well. I did a month of gluten free sugar free diet,  a week of raw food, followed by training for a triathlon. That was the time I was my fittest. I have done a juice cleanse diet too. For the most part post that intitial weight gain, my weight has been constant and my diet has been healthy and while I never had a skinny body, I had a healthy, fit one.

In 2015, after I moved to Dallas and within a span of a year I gained 20 kgs. I increased sizes, and was the heaviest I have ever weighed. When I moved back to India, friends and family both were shocked with the amount that I had managed to put on in a span of a year. I wasn’t going through a great time emotionally and all that emotional eating took a toll on my body.

In the 6 months I have been back, I have managed to shed 10 of those kgs that I gained. If pounds is your language, thats 22 pounds for you. In the past in the same time frame I have lost more, but this time I didn’t want any drastic change and the transformation has been slower but consistency is what I was aiming for. Plus, I have been busier work wise too, so fitting a realistic weight goal was what I decided on. It took me a year to gain 20 kgs, I have given myself a year and a half at least to lose it. Actually it took less than a year to gain it, but you get the drift.

Today, I thought I will share tips that worked for me. But before that I want to address an even bigger issue that troubles me when people gain weight. I want to share TIPS with people who have friends and family that have gained weight. I want to tell them the appropriate way to talk to people who have weight issues.

Don’t let the first thing you say to a person you meet after a while be that they have gained weight.

People don’t realize how sensitive a topic weight gain is and while I know you are so very shocked what happened to your best friend’s body, or your aunt, or uncle’s body, that person already knows that they have gained a significant amount, and probably that is why were dreading and putting off meeting you. Don’t make their weight gain the first thing you say to them.

Greet them with a hello, a hug or a kiss even maybe. Ask them how they are. How their work is, how their family is. If they have kids, ask about their well being. There are a ton of topics to talk about besides their obvious weight gain. Talk about the weather, if you find nothing else. Make them feel comfortable before you make them feel conscious. Wait for them to bring their weight issue up on their own. If they don’t, let this meeting be just about stories other than weight. In case they do bring their weight up, be empathetic, and encouraging. Tell them something nice about them which is not weight related- could be that their skin is glowing (fat does that to you sometimes), could be that they are still carrying their weight stylishly and maybe then and only then offer them some advice on a weight loss technique that has worked on you or your so and so cousin from Timbuktoo.

Actually, that is the only tip I have since that’s the one that bothers me the most. The other more obvious tip would be to not constantly make fun of their weight. There are other ways to encourage your loved ones to lose weight. Making jokes about their fat stomach, or heavy bottom is NOT one of them. Also, be supportive.

For the ones who are trying to lose weight, or that extra flab, here are my two cents.

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Old fashioned peach pie made using no eggs and with a very quick and easy yet flavorful peach filling. Serve the peach pie with some whipped cream or ice cream to make this the perfect summer dessert.

Old fashioned Peach pie

I love pies. I love pies even though I always struggle with the pie crust. I love pies because there is nothing more comforting than a warm piece of pie, with a side of whipped cream or ice cream on the side.

My all time favorite pie has to be apple pie, only because its such a classic. Its also probably the first pie I ever ate, and the first pie I ever baked. But this peach pie recipe I am sharing today is equally good.

I have fairly good luck with this pie crust in winters. In summers though, its a different story. In this weather, pie crust can be such a pain to work with. And if what you decide is a lattice top to go for, an all butter pie crust is inviting trouble. I would suggest adding a little shortening to the peach pie crust to make it easier to work with, especially if you choose to go with an intricate design on the top. If you want something simpler, then go ahead with this all butter pie crust I am sharing.

While fresh peaches are no longer available here, you can easily use canned peaches, which is what I did. The recipe is fairly easy once you have your lattice rolled out, and the results are lip smacking good!

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