When it's hot outside, I don't like to use the oven and heat up my house. I live in Washington, and since it only gets uncomfortably hot about 1 month (total) out of the year, air conditioning isn't standard. So no sense in making the house less comfortable by using the oven, right?
So I turn to stove-top dishes for my meals! And one of my favorite things to make in the summer is pasta salad. Of all sorts of varieties.
I happened upon this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad via Pinterest. It sounded yummy, easy, and I had all the ingredients. And then it got even better. Because I had recently received a can of THRIVE Seasoned Chicken Strips! I knew I wanted to try them out -- and what better chance than this pasta salad!?!
I was very pleased with the results. And not just for the fact that it tasted great. Here's why I'm loving the THRIVE Seasoned Chicken Strips:
1. I didn't have to mess with raw chicken and worry about the
salmonella germies all over my hands and counter (because I am a bit OCD
when it comes to cleaning my chicken and getting rid of all the fat!).
2. I didn't have to spend time cleaning the chicken (see note in #1...). This saved me about 5 minutes.
3. I didn't have to do my extra-special counter clean-up (which I do anytime I have raw meat out on the counter unpackaged).
4. I didn't have to wait for the chicken to thaw to cook or to cool
for shredding or cutting -- this saved me at least 15 minutes (would
have saved me more time, but I still had to cook macaroni, so I did
still have some of the cook time). (Of course, the thawing takes a long
time, but since I would have been boiling the chicken, I probably could
have put it in the pot frozen...)
5. No canned-chicken taste from using canned chicken.
So here's the recipe, with my substitution of THRIVE Seasoned Chicken Strips:
BUFFALO CHICKEN PASTA SALAD
1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked, drained, and cooled
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup THRIVE Seasoned Chicken Slices, rehydrated (requires 1/3 cup warm water)
1/4 to 1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup ranch dressing
2 tablespoons Frank's hot sauce (can use more to your taste)