Cold Tortellini Pesto Pasta Salad

Pasta salads are always an idea that comes to mind when I am trying to figure out what to make for either dinner or a side dish..or even snack. They have a lot of great pre-made pesto sauces at the grocery stores that I shop at. It would also be great if you can use a homemade recipe as well! My easy homemade Pesto Recipe can be found here (My Easy Homemade Pesto). With only 5 ingredients, you can whip up a great meal in less than 20 minutes. This will last up to a week in the fridge and it is best eaten cold (in my opinion). Chopped cucumbers, spinach, and bell peppers make a great addition to this dish!

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Cold Tortellini Pesto Pasta Salad

Cold Tortellini Pesto Pasta Salad

This tasty easy cheesy cold pasta salad makes those busy nights easy!

Ingredients

1 lb spinach & cheese tortellini

7 ounces (about 1 cup) of pesto

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes; quartered

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese; cubed

1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until cooked, or al dente.
  2. Drain and let cool for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, quarter the cherry tomatoes and cube the cheese.
  3. Once pasta is cooled, add pesto, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Mix with a spoon until combined and enjoy!
http://kathrynskitchenblog.com/2016/06/cold-tortellini-pesto-pasta-salad/

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Brie & Prosciutto Pizza

I love pizza and sometimes I forget how simple and easy it is to make at home! I think the Trader Joe’s pizza dough is the best because it’s pre-made and they always make my pizza’s turn out perfect….It also saves a ton of time. Prosciutto, pesto, and and Brie cheese pair perfectly together especially on a pizza…it’s the perfect bite!

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Brie and Prosciutto Pizza

Ingredients

1 package of Trader Joe's whole wheat pizza crust

1/4 cup pesto sauce

1/4 cup brie cheese; cubed and skin removed

1/4 cup red onions; sliced and then cut in half

1/4 cup fresh spinach

1/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes

6 slices of prosciutto; torn into pieces

Instructions

  1. Follow the steps on the packaging for the pizza dough. I lightly floured the counter surface and dough ball, and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F. I floured a baking sheet and stretched the dough into a rectangular shape.
  2. With a spoon, spread the pesto sauce evenly onto the whole pizza. Top with brie cheese, onions, spinach, and crushed red chili flakes. Brush the edge of the crust with olive oil to get a golden brown crust.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Once baked and fully cooked, let cool for 5-10 minutes. Top with prosciutto and slice into square pieces. Enjoy!
http://kathrynskitchenblog.com/2015/10/brie-prosciutto-pizza/

Skinny Cold Pesto Pasta Salad

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This pasta salad is creamy, but not to worry…it’s made with nonfat yogurt so you can consider this to be on the healthier side (kinda). This is quick, easy, and this is another dish you can add whatever you want. There are NO limits! If you don’t have penne pasta I would suggest using fussili (the swirly pasta). This dish would make a great addition to any party, BBQ or even side dish…remember, summer is right around the corner so you can start planning your party dishes!

Ingredients:
1 lb of penne pasta
1 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
½ cup fresh homemade pesto
1 cup mozzarella cheese; cubbed
15 thin slices of  salami
6 fresh basil leaves
½ cup sun dried tomatoes; julienned cut
1/4 cup black olives; sliced
1 cup spinach; chopped (optional, for some extra greens)
Pinch of black pepper

Steps:
1. This recipe is extremely easy so get ready…bring a large pot of water to a boil with a sprinkle of salt. Boil pasta until cooked (read box directions for time). Once cooked, drain, and let cool.

2. Add cooled pasta in a large bowl and add yogurt and pesto. Stir with a wooden spoon until pasta is completely covered. Add in the rest of the ingredients and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes or until completely cold. You can also eat it whenever you would like but I prefer my pasta salad cold! Enjoy!

Almond Crusted Baked Eggplant Chips

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I love this recipe because it is so unique. The eggplant and almonds good really well together and who knew they would make a great combination. The almonds give this an extra crunch and I like mine extra crispy because it makes it easier for dipping! This recipe is also healthy it makes the perfect snack or dinner side if you are trying to eat clean.

Yield: 6

Ingredients:
3 medium sized chinese eggplants, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup ground almonds
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
To dip:
3/4 cup marinara sauce
1/4 cup pesto

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice until combined.

2. In another bowl, mix the almond flour, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and salt until combined.

3. Slice eggplant slices to about 1/4 inch thick and dip into the oil mixture, tapping off excess oil.
Coat in the almond flour mixture and set on a greased baking sheet.
*Spray slices with olive oil to make it extra crispy.

4. Bake for 15 minutes, flip slices, then bake for another 15 minutes. I like to serve my chips with a side of marinara and pesto sauce but its completely up to you!
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Baked Parmesan Chicken Strips

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I like chicken but I don’t love it..I just never have unless its cooked in some amazing way. I had some leftover chicken breasts in my fridge and to be honest they are my least favorite part of the chicken because it is the driest. I’ve never been the one to eat chicken strips or order them in restaurants as a kid so I decided to come up with a “grown-up” version, which is much more tastier and delicious than any other chicken strips I’ve ever had. Try dunking these crispy strips in marinara or pesto sauce, I even combined the two!

Yield: 6

Ingredients:
3 chicken breasts; sliced into 1/2 inch strips
1 cup Italian Seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 whole egg; beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut chicken breast into 1/2 inch strips. Place breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl and set aside. Place beaten egg and flour into 2 separate bowls.

2. Dip chicken strips on both sides into flour, then dip into the egg mixture, then dip in the parmesan breadcrumb mixture.
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3. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes on one side, then with tongs flip and bake on other side for another 10 minutes. Enjoy this with some marinara sauce and pesto, the combination is delicious!
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