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Tuscan Pasta Salad

Serves 4.

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    Tuscan Pasta Salad

    Probiotic-rich yogurt and heart-healthy olive oil replace calorie-laden mayonnaise in this waistline-friendly pasta salad. It’s the perfect summertime accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish.

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    Olive pitting 101

    To pit an olive, simply place the olive on a flat surface and firmly press down on it with the side of a large chef’s knife. Press the olive and pull out the pit.

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    Tuscan Pasta Salad

    Ingredients

    Dressing
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) plain yogurt
    • 2 roasted garlic cloves, peeled and minced
    • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) dried basil
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) marjoram
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) oregano
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) thyme
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) red pepper flakes (not chili flakes)
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) red wine vinegar
    Salad
    • 12 oz (340 g) whole grain or gluten-free pasta spirals
    • 1 sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
    • 1 cup (250 mL) steamed green beans, cooled and cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) sliced pitted black olives
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) minced fresh parsley
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) halved cherry tomatoes
    • Grated ricotta salata for garnish (optional)

    Nutrition

    Per serving:

    • calories354
    • protein10g
    • fat17g
      • saturated fat3g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates45g
      • sugars6g
      • fibre6g
    • sodium324mg

    Directions

    01

    To make dressing, place yogurt, garlic, and spices in medium-sized bowl. Gradually whisk in oil and vinegar until well combined. Alternatively, blend all ingredients in blender for a few seconds until thoroughly mixed. Set aside while you assemble the salad.

    02

    Boil pasta according to package directions or until al dente. Drain and run under cool water to stop the cooking process. Place cooked pasta in large bowl and add remaining salad ingredients. Pour dressing over top and mix thoroughly. Garnish with a few fresh basil leaves and grated ricotta salata.

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    Waffled Chicken Quesadillas with Chipotle Pepper Sauce

    These whimsical weeknight quesadillas offer a great excuse to break out the long-forgotten waffle iron. The smoky, tangy pepper sauce is the perfect sidekick for this dish, but it’s also wonderful when tossed with pasta, stuffed into sandwiches, and slathered on burgers. TIP : When assembling quesadillas, keep fillings centred 1/2 in (1.25 cm) from the edge of the tortilla so they don’t spill over. TIP : Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple to add deep smoky heat to sauces, dips, marinades, and soups. No waffle iron? Then make these quesadillas using this skillet method. Place 1 tortilla in skillet, preferably cast iron, and cook over medium heat until dark spots appear and bottom is crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until crispy and darkened on the other side. Remove tortilla from skillet and replace with another tortilla. Cook until darkened and crispy on one side, flip, and top with stuffing ingredients. Place crispy tortilla on top, press down gently, cover pan, and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.