Super Green Pasta Salad to Talk About

Super Green Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

Have a story about your favorite pasta salad? Talk to me in the comment section below. In my experience, pasta salads truly are the side dish to a barbecue or special event. Sans meat, it’s a classic vegetarian dish. Meanwhile, we attempt to serve vegans — who don’t eat dairy — a mayonnaise-based pasta version. It’s often an “oops… we spent hours rubbing down ribs with spices and marinating chicken — let’s quickly make a vegetable” dish. As an afterthought dish, pasta salads often taste like no love.

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Parade’s Community Table: Kick Winter’s Brutal Weather with a Robust Italian-Inspired Salad

Italian-Inspired Salad Plate
As I write this, there’s snow falling outside the window. The wind chill is colder than the air’s temperature (it cuts through the warmest coat). I run from one heated indoor destination to another. The subway commute between home and work changed from a quick route of waiting outside to a longer time inside a warm station. It’s basically a brutal winter. Read more

Habari Gani? Peanut-Tomato Chicken Stew

Peanut-Tomato Chicken Stew

These past couple of years, a few food blogger friends and I, contributed recipes to KwanzaaCulinarians.com. This would’ve been our third year, but I needed to rest. I regret that we failed our fans in this decision, but this is a better solution for me. In addition to taking a relaxing vacation from my 9 to 5 job, I’m enjoying this time of year more than requesting 31 food bloggers and chefs to take time from their busy schedules to write Kwanzaa-inspired stories and recipes. Read more

Parade Magazine: Roast Butternut Squash and Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Roast Butternut Squash and Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Growing up, tacos were filled with ground beef or shredded chicken, and they were topped with chopped tomatoes, iceberg lettuce and shredded mild cheddar cheese. Mom deep fried corn tortilla shells and asked everyone whether they want soft or hard taco shells. Back then, tacos were simple, and I still love my childhood version today for nostalgic reasons.

Today, an online search for tacos yields more than lettuce and tomatoes. Tacos are topped with pickled vegetables and authentic Mexican cheeses. They’re filled with meat slowly simmered in mole sauce, quinoa and spicy roast vegetables. And, some people buy tortilla presses to make their own corn tortillas. Personally, my taco shells aren’t deep-fried, instead a little oil is added to a hot skillet as a tortilla shell is flipped over several times for a few minutes.

In this autumnal taco, butternut squash is roasted with warm spices and toss with shredded chicken. The meat and squash filling is placed over a corn tortilla and before its folded in half to enclose it, pineapple salsa is spooned on top for a fresh and sweet taste. Of course, no taco is complete without cheese. In this version, only a mild flavored cheese is needed, such as Cotija (think of it as a Mexican version of the Italian Ricotta Salata cheese).

There’s memories surrounded by tacos. Since, Dad was ‘The Cook’ in our house, we were excited when Mom decided to make one of her few dishes, which were tacos. For the record, even though I strive to eat healthy most of the time, I always prefer her deep-fried taco shells.  Read more

Quinoa with Roast Vegetables, Kalamata Olives, Black Beans and Feta Cheese

Quinoa with Roast Vegetables, Feta Cheese, and Chicken

Oh, holy grain, its quinoa! As one commenter on MyLifeRunsOnFood’s FaceBook page mentioned, it’s the fuel of marathoners. In America’s advancement of fast food that is supposed to save the world (it’s destroying it, but that’s another discussion), we’re missing out on interesting and natural ingredients that are also quick to make. People are increasingly curious about alternative choices outside America’s monotonous food system of taste. Quinoa first appears as tightly wound, packed grains (they’re actually seeds). After they cook, they become translucent and spirally. As mentioned before about seeds and grains, quinoa has a slight corn and nutty taste, for it mostly supports flavorful ingredients. Read more