Terrific Travel Food: Chicken Tortellini Salad

I am writing this as I am watching the sun come up over the Chesapeake Bay.   It’s going to be a glorious day here at the “Rivah”.   Hard to believe that only a few days ago Mother Nature unleashed her fury near here as part of that terrible system that devastated North Carolina and other parts of the country.

My host lost a tree either to the tip of a tornado or lightning.  Somehow the tree ended up wedged tightly between 6 trees and nowhere near in line with its stump.  I find it very hard to comprehend the strength it takes to wreck such havoc.

As we were going to be arriving late afternoon yesterday, I wanted to have dinner ready to go for our hosts. That turned out to be a good idea, too, as we spent a lot of time after I arrived surveying the damage. Yesterday morning, I made one of my very favorite warm weather meals, Chicken Tortellini Salad, to bring along.

I doubled it, so my boys would have dinner ready at home last night.  My friends love it, and K always asks for it specifically whenever I am hosting lunch or need to bring a meal.

Chicken Tortellini Salad

• 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed, cut into 2″ pieces (I prefer haricots vert)
• 9 oz. pkg. refrigerated cheese tortellini
• 2 cups cooked chopped chicken
• 1/2 cup minced red onion
• 1 cup grape tomatoes
• 1 cup balsamic vinaigrette (I use Kraft’s Zesty Italian packet made up with balsamic vinegar)
• 1 cup Havarti cheese cubes
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Bring water to a boil in a heavy stockpot. Add tortellini and cook for recommended time to al dente, adding beans for approximately the last 5 minutes of pasta cooking time. Drain well. Combine in a large bowl with remaining ingredients and toss gently to coat.
6 servings

adapted from http://busycooks.about.com/od/maindishchickensalads/r/chickentorsalad.htm

Now how easy is that? It does take some chopping time, but some of it can be done in advance. I have finally discovered how much better life can be in the kitchen with a truly sharp knife: chopping is faster and accidents happen less frequently. My prep time for this recipe is faster than ever. Hope you can tell why I am such an Avad Fan of this recipe.

Bon appetit!


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