Tuscan Chicken with Veggies

During one of our trips to the Appleton Penzey's store, we ran across a new spice mixture called Tuscan Sunset.

It's a great mix of basil, oregano, red bell pepper, garlic, thyme, fennel, black pepper and anise.

We only purchased a small .5 oz bottle that day, but we will getting a larger bag of it. Sadly, I used it all tonight.

At the checkout, we found a recipe for Tuscan Veggie & Chicken Pasta Salad. I decided tweak how the ingredients were put together. This is my version...

If you are making this recipe for a gluten-free guest, please read our Guide to Gluten Cross Contamination.


Tuscan Chicken with Veggies

Ingredients:

1 Package boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in thin strips.
1 package gluten-free pasta (shown here: Jovial GF Brown Rice Penne Rigate)
1 Red bell pepper, thinly julienned
1 Green pepper, thinly julienned
1 Medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (half a lemon)
1 - 2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Teaspoons Penzey's Tuscan Sunset
Salt & Pepper


Dressing:

2 Tablespoons Penzey's Tuscan Sunset
2 Tablespoons water
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar


In a bowl large enough to hold all the pasta, mix Tuscan Sunset and water, let stand 1 minute, then whisk in oil and red wine vinegar.

Prepare GF pasta per directions on package. Leave it slightly al dente because it will be returned to the pan at the end. Place cooked pasta in to bowl with dressing and gently mix until pasta is coated. Let stand.

Using medium heat and large deep pan saute' peppers and onion with small amount of olive oil for several minutes or until peppers have softened. Sprinkle in 1 tsp Tuscan Sunset. Salt and Pepper to taste. Remove from pan.

Return pan to stove, increase heat to medium-high and allow pan to heat up without smoking. Add small amount of olive oil to pan and add chicken strips. Allow chicken to turn golden brown. Reduce heat to simmer. Sprinkle in 1 tsp Tuscan Sunset. Salt & Pepper to taste. Add lemon juice.

Add in saute'ed veggies and dressed pasta. Make sure to get all the pasta dressing into the pan.

Gently stir a few times until all ingredients are fully heated - about 2 - 3 minutes. Be careful not to damage the pasta.


Notes:

The original recipe called for asparagus tips. This is a great addition, unfortunately I did not have any handy this time. Options I want to try in the future: mushrooms and/or artichoke hearts.

If you like more tanginess, add more red wine vinegar or lemon juice.


Until next time...

Al

Cold Pasta Salad

For some, summer is over - many kids are back at school already. [Man, where did time go?! ]

For those of us without kids, we are going to squeeze every last bit out of summer before it slinks into fall.

Summer time = cookouts and family gatherings
Cookouts and family gatherings = cold pasta salads!

Any cookout worth its salt has a cold pasta salad present. Years ago, a relative of Peg's brought this [non-gluten-free] pasta salad to a summer family event. Peg said that I'd really like it - it was tangy, zesty and a bit spicy. Yup - sounds like right up my alley, but I couldn't touch it.

Until today...we made this salad for our group's annual cookout! Nothing is off-limits at this cookout!

Gluten?!? We don't need no stinkin' gluten!

Jovial Foods was kind enough to send us some samples of their pasta [my sole intent was making a rightous cold pasta salad]. I think we accomplished that mission!

If you are making this recipe for a gluten-free guest, please read our Guide to Gluten Cross Contamination.


Salad Ingredients:

1 lb Jovial Gluten-Free Penne Rigate Pasta.
1 Small Onion
1 Green Pepper
1 Yellow Pepper
1 Small Zuchinni
½ lb of Mozzerella cheese (cubed)
½ lb of Hormel Pepperoni Slices (chopped)
¼ lb Hillshire Farms Hard Salami Slices – chopped.
3 Stalks Celery (sliced)
3 Fresh tomatoes (sliced or chunked)
1 can pitted black olives (sliced)


Dressing Ingredients:

1 ½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon white pepper
½ cup of canola oil
¼ cup of olive oil
½ cup Heinz White Vinegar
2 ½ teaspoon Penzey's Orgeno
½ teaspoon Penzey's Pizza Seasoning
¼ teaspoon Penzey's Garlic Powder


Mix dressing ingredients, veggies & meat chill for at least 2 hours. Do not mix in cheese.

Make gluten-free pasta several hours before eating. Allow to cool (room temp).
Mix pasta, dressing with veggies and meat, and cheese together. Chill until needed.


Product notes:

Gluten-free pastas have a tendancy to harden when cold. Jovial's Penne has a much better texture [softer] when chilled overnight.

Jovial's GF products are certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.