Sorry I’ve been so lax on the recipes over the last few months–busy, busy, busy! And, to complicate matters, I never know who or how many I’ll have for dinner these days. Teenagers don’t always eat at home. Sometimes it’s just me and my husband, throwing together an omelette. Other times, it’s the old days of feeding 8 on short notice!
Consequently, I find myself with odd amount of leftovers from which to concoct a meal. And tonight’s concoction was very tasty, indeed. But let me warn you right now–I winged it–do not expect exact measurements!
Leftover list as found in the fridge (feel free to improvise with what you have on hand):
- 4 BBQd chicken thighs, skinned, boned and cut into large dice
- 4 or 5 diced radishes
- about 1 bell pepper, diced (I had yellow & red strips from night before)
- 2 ears of cooked corn-on-the-cob, kernels cut off
From the pantry:
- 1 can of black olives, drained
- 1 can of canellini beans, rinsed
- about 1 cup of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 lb. of bite-sized pasta
- 1/3 to 1/2 c mayonnaise (I like the Best w/olive oil)
- generous squirt of chipotle mustard
- generous squirt of BBQ sauce
- about 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
- about 3 tbs olive oil
Here’s the hard part: While you wait for water to boil to cook pasta, start slicing and dicing everything and toss into large salad bowl. For the dressing, mix ingredients in separate bowl and season to taste. I’ve used BBQ sauce because it was already on the chicken. If I’d been starting with roasted chicken, I may have mixed up a vinaigrette, instead. After the pasta is cooked al dente, rinse with cool water to bring to room temperature. Toss chopped ingredients with pasta and sauce. You’ve got an easy, one-dish meal with protein, carbs and veggies.
We ate it simply from large pasta bowls, with an inexpensive Viognier. If I’d been less lazy, I think warm corn tortillas would have been the perfect accompaniment!
Other possible ingredients:
- toasted pine nuts or walnuts
- green beans or sugar snap peas
- sliced zucchini
- fresh spinach
- jalepeno peppers
Also, I’ve done much the same with other protein leftovers that aren’t enough by themselves. Grilled salmon is awesome. By and large, highly flavored meats/fish are delicious foils against a pasta base and veggies.