Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad

Once a month the girls and I meet up for book club. We take turns in hosting a night of nibbles, wine, gossip and of course to discuss the book of the month. This week it was my turn to host my first book club evening and I was quite excited. Food wise, I wanted to serve something relatively healthy but with a bit of naughty mixed in. As book club is around dinner time, I find you often don't eat and then fill yourself with snacks. My sister makes an amazing chicken pasta salad and kindly shared her recipe with me, it's simple, filling and healthy. On top of this, I served mozzarella and tomato sticks, a selection of cheeses, multigrain crackers and melba toast, whole grain baguette, skinny popcorn and a sweet treat of mini cupcakes.

The salad is super easy to make and something you can have for lunch the next day if you have left overs. You will need:

A couple of chicken breasts

Some brown pasta

A small honeydew melon

Lime marinated red onion

Pine nuts

Either home made or shop bought basil pesto

Now I had every intention of making my own pesto, and I did, but I really should have hand chopped it as it turned out too smooth. It just didn't have the texture I wanted so I sent the boyfriend to get me the best pesto he could find at Sainsbury's.

Thinly slice about 1/4 of a large red onion, add some sea salt, olive oil and the juice of two limes and leave to marinate. Dice up your chicken breast and cook with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Boil your pasta so that it's nice and al dente, you don't want soggy pasta in a salad. Leave both to cool while you chop up or spoon out your honeydew. Lightly toast your pine nuts on a frying pan, don't use oil. After everything has cooled, combine all your ingredients and add pesto to taste, I used about half a jar for quite a large portion. Just before serving mix through some rocket. Super easy and I guarantee it will go down well, the saltiness of the pesto and the sweetness of the melon is a lovely combination and the kick from the onion and crunch from the pine nuts makes it a winner for me.

The mini cupcakes were delicious as well and went down a treat as well but unfortunately I can't share the very secret recipe with you. My best friend Nafsika who runs Cupcake Factory in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania has kindly trusted me with it so you will just have to imagine how yummy they were. They are by far the best cupcakes I have ever tasted.

I've been asked for details about what I'm wearing so I have updated all previous posts. This is my what I wore for book club, comfy and casual and perfect for a night in with the girls.

Jeans: Zara
Cape: JZD
Tank Top: H & M
Jewellery: URU Diamonds


  1. Mmmmm food looks delicious!!! What book were you discussing?

    1. We didn't actually do a book over Christmas, we did a podcast called Serial instead. It was really really good. Our next one is Down Under by Bill Bryson.

  2. The food looks delicious. Thanks for sharing and have an amazing weekend.

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