Tex-Mex Pasta Toss
Yep, I've been busy this month, which is my usual excuse for not posting. But I have NEW reasons now, including the fact tht I am starting a master's program in less than a week and oh my god I have to do HOW much work before class even STARTS? Um, I may have had a tiny anxiety attack when I read that on top of the the 4 hour class each week, I should plan on another 12-16 hours for reading, studying, writing papers, and participating in online discussions. And I'm keeping my day job, people. But when will I work out? And read for fun? And cook real dinners? And go to all those football games I bought tickets for? And plan my wedding (dress shopping has commenced!)? And oh, yeah, hang out with that boy I am marrying?
Then I remembered I used to do it all nicely when I was going to school full time and working full time at the paper and managed to have some semblance of a social life. So I calmed down and realized I would just have to put those Type A time management and organizational skills to used. And get used to less down time and less sleep than these last three years have afforded me.
So I've been looking for more meals that can be pretty easily tossed together and that make great leftovers for when I need to bring dinner along to class. This recipe has already become a go-to this last month, especially as we have gobs of tomatoes, corn, peppers, etc., lying around from the farmer's market. And really, if you manage your time well, which I'll try to explain in the recipe, this comes together in 30 min; it is mostly chopping, which can be done earlier in the week if you know you'll be busy that night.
Like most pastas, this vegetables in this one are flexible - just use what you've got or what you like.
Tex-Mex Pasta Toss
(serves 4 but is easily scaled up; adapted from Cooking Light)
8 oz whole wheat penne pasta
1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 poblano peppers
2 ears corn, husked
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 c grape tomatoes, quartered
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow or white onion, finely diced
1 avocado, chopped
2-3 oz chevre
chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper
1. Place jalapenos, poblanos, and corn on baking sheet and place under broiler for about 12 min. Turn every few minutes, as each side gets blackened. While this is going on, boil the water for pasta and heat a grill pan for the chicken.
2. Cook the chicken (seasoned with salt, pepper, and chile powder). While it is cooking (flip chicken as needed), begin chopping the uncooked vegetables.
3. When they are blistered on all sides, remove the peppers and corn (just lightly roasted, not blistered) and place peppers in plastic bag to steam for about 10 min. Set corn aside to cool.
4. At this time, start the pasta. Cut the avocado and any remaining veggies.
5. Cut corn from the cob (see instructions here).
6. Slice the peppers in half, scrape out seeds, cut into strips and then dice. Be careful about touching your face, as jalapenos will make your eyes/nose buuurrrrn. Wash your hands really well after this step. Some people like to wear gloves when handling hot peppers.
7. Dice/shred the chicken.
8. Toss all ingredients together with the pasta, mixing in cheese and seasoning to taste, along with cilantro This is great warm, room temperature, or cold from the fridge.
more bread and cheese, please!: Tex-Mex Pasta Toss