Per Allison’s request, here is the recipe for the tortellini broccoli salad I made last night (and a short background):
I originally intended to follow this recipe, but didn’t want to include bacon. While trying to use the rest of the recipe, I found I didn’t like the texture and smell of the dressing as described in the recipe. I decided to depart from the recipe completely, and go with what I thought sounded good as a “tortellini broccoli salad.” The following recipe is what I came up with. It still adheres to the basics of tortellini, crisp vegetables, and seasoned meat tossed in dressing. However, I’m hoping it tastes a bit lighter than the other recipe (since it at least omits mayonnaise and includes a variety of vegetables).
20 oz. (1 lb, 4 oz.) of cheese tortellini
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup peas
1 small chicken breast
2 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp cooking oil (I used canola)
seasoning for the chicken, to taste (I used Cavender’s)
vinaigrette, to taste and texture (I used maybe 3 Tbsp Kraft Basil Parmesan Vinaigrette)
1. Cook chicken over medium heat in a skillet or pan with the cooking oil, minced garlic, and seasoning of choice.
2. Bring a separate pot of water to a boil and cook the tortellini per directions/until tender. Drain, and rinse with cold water.
3. If any of your vegetables were frozen, make sure they are fully thawed. Put them in your serving bowl , and mix in the cooked tortellini.
4. When the chicken is fully cooked, chop or shred into small pieces. Mix the chicken and any garlic left in the pan in with the rest of the dish. Lightly drizzle the vinaigrette over your salad, then mix to coat the pasta.
5. Cover and chill thoroughly. (I put mine in the refrigerator overnight.)
Note: I used frozen broccoli and peas, as well as frozen tortellini. Using frozen ingredients worked fine, and tasted great. However, I am fairly certain it would taste just as good (with slightly crunchier vegetables) if you used fresh ingredients.
Let me know if you have any questions or need clarification.