Weeknight Pasta Salad Entree

The final product

Ever find yourself wandering around the kitchen at 5:30PM (or later) with absolutely no idea what to have for dinner? I was in that situation last night. To make matters worse, the weather here was pretty frightful, and I had no intention of braving the cold to make a grocery store run. Fortunately, I was able to throw something together using a few pantry and fridge staples. And the result received rave reviews. The ingredients below are probably hanging around your kitchen too. Consider this recipe your ace in the hole for those nights when you’re wandering aimlessly around your own kitchen in desperate need of a last-minute meal idea. P.S. it tastes even better the next day!

¼ cup raisins
4 stalks celery, chopped
¼ cup sweet pickle relish
¼ cup mayonnaise of choice (I like Nayonaise brand)
Pinch tarragon (optional but really tasty)
1/8 tsp. white pepper
Salt if needed

6 oz. gluten-free pasta, cooked and drained (I used Ancient Harvest brand elbows)
Cooked protein of choice (chopped chicken breast; chopped Gardein “chicken” strips; chick peas; etc.)

2 small apples, chopped (I prefer to leave my apples unpeeled for max nutritional benefit)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
½ cup chopped walnuts

1. Stir together the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl while cooking pasta.
2. Immediately add drained pasta to raisin mixture and stir to combine.
3. Next fold in protein choice and taste for season. Add salt and pepper if desired.
4. Just before serving, chop apples and toss with lemon juice. Fold into salad and stir well to combine.
5. Top salad with walnuts and serve.

May also be served warm.
Goes well with butternut squash or other soup, cooked green veggies or tossed salad.
Finally, if you discover that apples are not among your kitchen staples and you need a reason to start buying them, check out these articles for a
little apple motivation:
An Apple a Day….
15 Health Benefits of Apples
The Health Benefits of an Apple

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