Balsamic Chicken and Brown Rice Pasta Salad.
When you’re gluten free, you just miss pasta salad sometimes. I’ve been doing the gluten-free thang off and on for a year or so, due to some health issues I’m sorting through. It’s not that bad, really. I think most people-gone-gluten-free would agree that the idea of it is much more terrifying than the actual thing. When you’re in mid-bite of a chocolate doughnut and your doctor says to you, “you have to stop eating gluten,” you look at him like he just demanded you give up your first-born child. “Excuse me, you want me to do WHAT now?”
At least that was my reaction.
However, once you get into the groove of avoiding gluten, you realize it’s not that bad. You also realize that no, your life is not actually over, because this is the 21st century and there are about 1.5 million gluten-free products that actually taste dang good.
Like these brown rice pasta noodles from Trader Joe’s. They are so yummy, and 100% gluten free. Yay for Trader Joe’s! Actually, one thousand “YAYs” for TJ’s because I am their #1 fan. Why do I not wear a cheerleading outfit when I shop there? I am cheering them on in my heart, always.
Anyhoo. This salad. So full of yummy flavors, textures and colors. Of course, if you’re not on the gluten-free band wagon (eat a doughnut for me!) you can always make this with normal pasta, but honestly, I’d give the brown rice pasta a try anyways, just for kicks and giggles.
Yay for yummy gluten-free dinners that are also simple and healthy. (And make great leftovers 😉 )
- 4 oz. uncooked Brown Rice Pasta* (Trader Joe's!)
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
- 3 cups spinach
- 1 cup arugula
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- Not optional toppings: blue cheese crumbles, pepita seeds, balsamic glaze (but really, don't skip these!)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare dressing by adding all ingredients in a jar and shaking until mixed. Set aside.
- Cook pasta and drain. Add pasta and chicken to a large bowl and pour dressing over it until everything is coated. Set aside to "marinate" for 5-10 minutes.
- Add spinach, arugula, and sun-dried tomatoes to the bowl and toss everything together.
- Pour more dressing on, if desired. Top with blue cheese crumbles, pepita seeds and balsamic glaze.
*If not gluten free, you can use your fave pasta noodles in replacement of the brown rice pasta.