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Friday, April 3, 2009

Our favorite dinner - it's healthy too!

This is what I call Italian dinner, except there's no marinara or alfredo. It's Italian because all three courses include the same ingredient - Italian salad dressing.

Course One: Pasta Salad

1 package tri-color bowtie pasta, cooked & rinsed
1 large English cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 c Italian dressing
1/2 c Ranch dressing
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to use. The Ranch dressing tones down the vinegar-y bite of the Italian and adds a creamy deliciousness. (You can add any fresh veggies you like to this. My kids prefer cucumber.)

Course Two: Veggie Kabobs

1 package (12 oz) whole white mushrooms, cleaned well
1 large onion, cubed
1 orange bell pepper, cut in 1" cubes
1 green beel pepper, cut in 1" cubes
1 package (8 oz) cherry tomatoes
3/4 c Italian dressing

Combine ingredients, mix well. Let marinate for 30 minutes to an hour, then thread on metal (or soaked wooden) skewers. Grill over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, turning as needed and basting with the dressing that's left in the bowl. Unbelievable delicious - you might want to make double. Makes 6 really really full metal skewers, or 10 regular skewers.

Course Three: Italian Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of all fat and pounded thin
1 cup Italian dressing

Marinate chicken in dressing for one hour. Discard dressing. Grill over medium heat until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. (Grill alongside skewers - they're usually done at the same time.)


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