Mexican Pasta Salad

Mexican Pasta Salad

“The space between the tears we cry is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more.”
As most of you beautiful people know, this week has been one of celebration as well as grief. As I am preparing for a wonderful night with good friends and jam band music, this specific Dave Matthews Band quotation comes to mind. Despite the fact that I have seen sadness in it’s rawest form this week, I have also made room for laughter at the sight of my cousin’s daughter shrieking with pure joy and the union of my step sister and her lovely other half, Joe.
I was not a Dave Matthews Band fan in high school. I listened to a lot of musicals and Christian pop music. Although I still do listen to musicals and am currently fangirling over how perfect the “Fun Home” soundtrack is, I have expanded my listening choices over the years. My friends have had a huge influence on my new favorite bands.

In 2010, when I started working at Starbucks, I befriended two beautiful young souls: Becca and Jess. Jess became a close friend because she also had a passion for reading and creating recipes; she was just starting college with a degree in English Literature. Despite meeting Becca a little bit later, I soon learned about her wholehearted determination, unwavering bravery, and beautiful voice. This lady can SING.
Jess, Becca, and I soon shared everything including the comfiest shorts ever and our favorite bands. Jess’s was Dave Matthews.
When the summer of 2011 rolled around, we would all be traveling to an outdoor concert hall in the middle of the state for our first Dave Matthews Band concert as best friends.
Since then, we have attended one DMB concert every summer. Remember the story about Josh and Stan selling their tickets and drinking/eating all of our tailgate food? That was in 2012. That was also the year that Becca fell asleep during the encore because she had had too much fun in the hours before and during the show. We still bring that up: “How do you fall asleep during the encore?” She was curled up on our blanket sound asleep.
Last year, Becca was living in Florida and was not able to celebrate with us; however, this year, she’s back and I couldn’t be happier.
Jess asked me to bring pasta salad to our tailgate before the concert and so I wanted to share this recipe with you today. If you like DMB, you should totally pretend like you are attending the concert with me and play “What Would You Say” while you’re devouring this dish.

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Ingredients

    Lime Seasoned Chicken
  • 4 thinly sliced chicken breasts (cubed)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon Mrs. Dash fiesta lime seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Cilantro Lime Dressing
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup honey wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 1 jalapeño (seeded)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Pasta Salad
  • 2 boxes vegetable farfalle (cooked al dente)
  • 2.25 ounce can sliced olives (drained)
  • 8 ounces pepper jack cheese (cubed)
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 large jalapeño (chopped)
  • cooked fiesta lime chicken
  • cilantro lime dressing

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small food processor or blender, chop cilantro and garlic for 30 seconds or until leaves and cloves are in tiny pieces. Add lime juice, honey, and vinegar to cilantro and garlic and blend until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix chicken with olive oil and seasoning. Place chicken in small casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink on the insides.
  4. Remove chicken from oven and let cool for ten minutes. Dump chicken into bowl with cooked pasta and toss several times.
  5. Add olives, cheese, beans, jalapeño to pasta with chicken. Mix ingredients with large spoon. Pour dressing over top of pasta and serve immediately.

Notes

If you do you want to serve pasta immediately after making, drizzle pasta with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and reserve salad dressing for later time.

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Written by Miss Scrambled Egg

Erin is the author of Miss Scrambled Egg. She is a barista, teacher, and blogger. She is slightly overwhelmed by the sight of carrot cake and Bernese Mountain Dogs.
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