Summer Kickoff Salad

What would a summer cookout be without fresh salad?  It’s probably fitting, then, that the unofficial start of summer begins during May, which is National Salad Month!  Here’s a great pasta salad to start the season right.  It’s packed with protein, fresh veggies and delicious herbs.  It’s also a perfect dish to make ahead the day before, and while you’re preparing the dressing, make an extra batch to drizzle on sandwiches or over vegetables later in the week.

Herbed Pasta Salad

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

–Dressing

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon brown mustard

1 tablespoon honey

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon dried chives

½ teaspoon dried tarragon

½ teaspoon dried dill

¼ teaspoon dried celery flakes

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

–Salad

3 cups cooked penne pasta, rinsed and drained

1 ½ cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized strips

1 cup chopped broccoli

1 cup sliced button mushrooms

¼ cup diced onion

¼ cup raisins

2 cups spinach leaves

2 cups torn romaine lettuce

Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and stir well.  Combine pasta through raisins in a large bowl.  Add dressing, tossing well.  Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to 4 hours so that flavors blend.  To serve, combine greens, and top with pasta salad.

Per Serving: 135 Cal (8% from Fat, 14% from Protein, 78% from Carb); 5 g Protein; 1 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 0 g Mono Fat; 28 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 9 g Sugar; 52 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 64 mg Sodium; 18 mg Cholesterol

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