Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chicken Pasta Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

I have a weakness for pasta salad.  This is one that my husband, mom, grandma and kids all loved.  Guess what, its super healthy too.

Serves 4
1/2 cup fat free sugar free vanilla yogurt
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp grated lemon zest 
1/2 tsp poppy seeds
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

6 Oz dry whole grain penne pasta
12 oz cooked skinless chicken breast, cubed
3 oz spinach cut in bite size pieces
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, halved & slivered
1/4 cup almonds, dry roasted
1 to 2 tbs milk, optional

In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Set aside.
Prepare the pasta according to package directions, omitting the salt.  Drain.  Rinse under cool water until cool.  Drain well.

In a large bowl, stir together pasta, chicken, spinach, bell pepper, and onion.  Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing to coat.  Serve sprinkled with almonds and refrigerate up to 4 hours, sprinkling with almonds just before serving.  Add milk if salad is dry after refrigeration to add moisture.

Nutrients per serving:

Calories: 364, Total fat 7.5g, Saturated fat 1g, trans fat 0g.  Polyunsaturated fat 2g, monounsaturated fat 3g, cholesterol 73 mg, sodium 238 mg.  Carbs 40g, Fiber 6 g, sugars 6g, protein, 35 g.

Tips and Tricks:
I substituted regular (not sugar free) low fat yogurt because I try to keep chemical sweeteners out of my home.  I didn't have lemon zest, so I used lemon juice in place of the zest and vinegar.  There was no spinach in the store, so I bought arugula and wilted it slightly, it gave a delicious, nutty flavor to the salad.

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