Crunchy Asian Salad

This Crunchy Asian Salad gets its amazing crunch from crisp veggies, slivered almonds and ramen noodles. Tossed with a lightly sweet dressing, it makes for a fun and bright lunch.

This Crunchy Asian Salad gets its amazing crunch from crisp veggies, slivered almonds and ramen noodles. Tossed with a lightly sweet dressing, it makes for a fun and bright lunch.

Salads for lunch – yay or nay?

I really enjoy a salad for lunch, but have two problems with it. First, it’s got to be rich in protein and have a little carbs thrown in there, otherwise I’m hungry a couple hours later. Secondly, I like my salads fresh. Like – make it and then eat it fresh. Even if I assemble the salad in the morning before heading to work… by the time lunch rolls around, it just doesn’t look and feel as fresh to me. Does that make me crazy?

This Crunchy Asian Salad gets its amazing crunch from crisp veggies, slivered almonds and ramen noodles. Tossed with a lightly sweet dressing, it makes for a fun and bright lunch.

This recipe is a little different. Because it’s made with cabbage and not lettuce, I found that it not only held its structure better (making me feel like it was fresher) but it was also more filling. Not a fan of cabbage? Then go ahead and use iceberg lettuce. Like the salad but want to serve it as a side dish? Skip the chicken. (Or skip the chicken anyway – it’s still delicious and filling, even without it.) While I love the salad as is, the ingredients and portions can be easily adjusted to suit your taste and the contents of your fridge.

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This Crunchy Asian Salad gets its amazing crunch from crisp veggies, slivered almonds and ramen noodles. Tossed with a lightly sweet dressing, it makes for a fun and bright lunch.

Crunchy Asian Salad

This Crunchy Asian Salad gets its amazing crunch from crisp veggies, slivered almonds and ramen noodles. Tossed with a lightly sweet dressing, it makes for a fun and bright lunch.

Course Lunch, Salad
Cuisine Asian-Inspired
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Liz

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 6 c. thinly sliced or shredded cabbage from 1 small head of green cabbage
  • 1/3. c. thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/2 c. shredded carrots
  • 2 c. shredded or diced rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 c. slivered almonds toasted
  • 2 Tbs. sesame seeds toasted
  • 1 3-oz. package chicken-flavored ramen seasoning packet set aside for the dressing

For the Dressing:

  • 1/3 c. vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbs. white vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. sugar.
  • 1 package chicken-flavored ramen seasoning from listed package above

Instructions

Prep:

  1. Toast the almonds and sesame seeds, if not already done, while cutting/shredding the veggies and chicken.

Make the Salad:

  1. Chop ramen noodles into small pieces. Set aside.
  2. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in an airtight container (i.e. a mason jar). Cover and shake well.
  3. In a large bowl, toss cabbage, chicken, scallions, carrots, toasted almonds, toasted sesame seeds, and chopped ramen noodles. Pour dressing (shake again if the dressing has started to settle) on top of salad and toss to coat.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to a couple of hours) before serving.

Recipe Notes

Don't like cabbage? Use iceberg lettuce.
Make this a side dish by omitting the chicken. This will serve 8 as a side dish
Although this salad is best within the first 4 hours of making, I have enjoyed it 24+ hours later. It looses some of the crunch - particularly in the almonds - but still has wonderful flavor.

This Crunchy Asian Salad gets its amazing crunch from crisp veggies, slivered almonds and ramen noodles. Tossed with a lightly sweet dressing, it makes for a fun and bright lunch.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken Sandwiches #BrunchWeek

Sun dried tomato pesto gives a standard chicken sandwich a HUGE flavor boost.

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken Sandwiches - Sun dried tomato pesto gives a standard chicken sandwich a HUGE flavor boost.

Today is my last 2018 #BrunchWeek post, the end of my 3rd #BrunchWeek. And one of these years, I’ll finish all of my posts before the week officially starts. 🙂

April was busier than expected and nothing went according to plan. I’m so busy that I hate when I have to do things more than once. But several times during the month, I had to run the same errand twice, make phone calls multiple times… I even had a couple of recipes not go as planned, which was super annoying. But luckily, today’s recipe was one that worked out perfectly the first time. Because I really didn’t have time to make it again.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

I couldn’t let #BrunchWeek pass without a hearty, savory dish for you. Last year, it was breakfast burritos (so good!) but this year, I went more on the lunch side of brunch. Simple but bursting with flavor. Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken Sandwiches.

There are several things I like about this recipe – apart from the flavor. The pesto is full of bright flavors but it also takes just a few minutes to whip up, freezes well (freeze in an ice cube tray for single-serving portions, or in a mason jar for a larger portion), and can serve dual purpose as a sauce for pasta. The sandwich itself is great for using up leftover chicken or salad and it can be as easy or as complicated as you want. I went the semi-homemade route with store-bought rotisserie chicken and rolls this time around, but you could totally make all of the components from scratch and serve them fresh if you wanted to.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken Sandwiches - Sun dried tomato pesto gives a standard chicken sandwich a HUGE flavor boost.

Finally, don’t forget to scroll down to enter our #BrunchWeek giveaway – you could win 1 of 7 prizes – as well as see what my blogging friends have created for you today.

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Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken Sandwiches - Sun dried tomato pesto gives a standard chicken sandwich a HUGE flavor boost.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

Sun dried tomato pesto gives a standard chicken sandwich a HUGE flavor boost.

Course Lunch
Cuisine American
Author Liz

Ingredients

Ingredients for the Pesto:

  • 1-10 oz. jar Cento sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Ingredients for the Sandwich:

  • Roll or bread I used ciabatta rolls
  • Lettuce or spinach
  • Cooked chicken breast - from a rotisserie chicken or deli counter

Instructions

Make the Pesto:

  1. Separate sun dried tomatoes from the oil, but reserve the oil.
  2. Place sun dried tomatoes, garlic and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until mostly chopped. Scrape down sides of bowl and add 3 Tbs. reserved oil, and pulse again.

Assemble the Sandwich:

  1. Spread sun dried tomato pesto on top and bottom of roll. I used about a tablespoon for each. Add lettuce/spinach and chicken. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Notes:

  • This recipe makes about 3/4 c. sun dried tomato pesto.
  • Pesto also makes a wonderful sauce for pasta. I’d just recommend adding a bit more oil if using it to coat pasta.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken Sandwiches - Sun dried tomato pesto gives a standard chicken sandwich a HUGE flavor boost.

Take a look at what the #BrunchWeek Bloggers are creating today!

BrunchWeek Beverages:
Voodoo Bloody Mary from Girl Carnivore

BrunchWeek Appetizers:
Antipasto Platter from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Brunch Gazpacho Shooters with Cheesy Everything Toast Dippers from The Crumby Kitchen
How to Create an Antipasto Platter from Love and Confections
Kale Salad with Apples, Carrots, Cheese and Capers from Shockingly Delicious
Spring Cobb Salad from The Barbee Housewife

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:
Asparagus, Mushroom and Cheese Egg Cups from The Bitter Side of Sweet
Asparagus, Sausage, and Onion Quiche from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Breakfast Stuffed Avocados from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Cheesy Ham and Asparagus Frittata from Cooking with Carlee
Ham & Cheese Hashbrown Frittata from It Bakes Me Happy

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains, and Pastries:
Banana Blueberry Cinnamon Mini Muffins from Sweet Beginnings
Cheddar Sun-Dried Tomato Biscuits from Tara’s Multicultural Table
Coconut Doughnuts from Mildly Meandering
Grand Marnier French Toast from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Sausage, Egg & Cheese Kolaches from The Spiffy Cookie
Shortcut Blueberry Cheesecake Cinnamon Rolls from Big Bear’s Wife

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:
Salmon Quiche from My Catholic Kitchen
Keto Steak and Eggs over Asparagus from Kudos Kitchen by Renee
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken Sandwiches from Books n’ Cooks (above!)

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:
Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Breakfast Salad from Caroline’s Cooking
Green Apple Smoothie from The PinterTest Kitchen
Asparagus-Leek Velouté from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Roasted Asparagus & Carrots from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Sweet Potato Hash with Pancetta, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach from The Redhead Baker

BrunchWeek Desserts:
Hazelnut Pudding Cake from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
Pull Apart Cinnamon Coffeecake with Chocolate Glaze from Family Around the Table
Pumpkin Snack Cake from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Raspberry Lime Parfaits from Eat Move Make

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, LorAnn Oils and Flavors, Cento Fine Foods, Michigan Asparagus, Cal-Organic and Eggland’s Best for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The #BrunchWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Seven (7) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The#BrunchWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #Brunchweek posts or entry.

Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad

 Salty, spicy Italian antipasto fixings are paired with fresh veggies and whole wheat pasta to create an Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad, a delicious side that’s also hearty enough to enjoy for lunch.

 Salty, spicy Italian antipasto fixings are paired with fresh veggies and whole wheat pasta to create an Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad, a delicious side that's also hearty enough to enjoy for lunch.

One of my favorite things about spring and summer BBQs, picnics, and potlucks is getting to try out a variety of new dishes. I can sample a bit of everything, and have seconds of the things I love. One of the dishes I always enjoy is the Italian Antipasto Pasta Salads that tend to show up at those events. I love them every time, but until this month, had never made one myself.

Today is National Picnic Day, and it was the perfect excuse for me to make my own version of this potluck favorite. My version below has a good proportion of veggies, meat, and cheese to make this salad filling enough to be a meal in and of itself. But the nice part about this salad is that it’s easily customizable. Don’t like something in here? Swap it out, or skip it all together. Play with the proportions to add more of your favorite ingredients. Here are a few ideas for tweaking this recipe to your taste (or to what’s in your fridge/pantry):

  • Swap the rotini for tortellini
  • Skip the cheese or replace the mozzarella with provolone
  • Add marinated artichoke hearts (yum!)
  • Toss in some fresh spinach
  • Swap the pepperoncini for whatever olives you have on hand

 Salty, spicy Italian antipasto fixings are paired with fresh veggies and whole wheat pasta to create an Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad, a delicious side that's also hearty enough to enjoy for lunch.

Don’t forget to check out scroll down and check out the rest of the recipes our Festive Foodie bloggers have for you, for your upcoming picnics.

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Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad

Salty, spicy Italian antipasto fixings are paired with fresh veggies and whole wheat pasta to create an Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad, a delicious side that’s also hearty enough to enjoy for lunch.

Course Lunch, Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. whole wheat rotini pasta cooked according to package and cooled
  • 1/2 c. red onion small dice
  • 3/4 c. halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 3/4 c. bell pepper any color, small dice
  • 3/4 c. pepperoncini small dice
  • 3/4 c. mozzarella pearls or fresh mozzarella, cut into small pieces
  • 9 slices pepperoni small dice
  • 9 slices genoa salami small dice
  • Italian dressing and/or extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine pasta, red onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, pepperoncini, mozzarella, pepperoni and salami. Toss to combine.
  2. Drizzle with Italian dressing and/or olive oil to your liking. (See notes below).
  3. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes:

  • I used half Italian dressing (I like Good Seasoning’s Italian Dressing and Newman’s Own) and half extra-virgin olive oil, as the antipasto gives the salad quite a bit of flavor. I add just enough dressing and oil to coat.
 Salty, spicy Italian antipasto fixings are paired with fresh veggies and whole wheat pasta to create an Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad, a delicious side that's also hearty enough to enjoy for lunch..

Big thanks to Ellen at Family Around the Table for hosting this event! Don’t forget to check out more spring/summer picnic (or BBQ or potluck) inspiration from the Festive Foodie bloggers: