Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Orange-Teriyaki Spinach Pasta Salad - 52 Church PotLuck Salads

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Beautiful mix of Colors, Textures and Tastes,  Bright Oranges, Crunchy Water Chestnuts, healthy Earthy Spinach, Fresh Made Orange-Teriyaki Asian influenced Salad Dressing soaked Pasta and finally topped with the pop of Honey Roasted Peanuts!


The salad is unusual, delightfully sweet with a mix of textures and flavors.  Beautiful enough to grace any "take along" occasion like a Church PotLuck or family gathering.  Like I said, a dish to remember that will have your Sister-in-law Spinach Green with envy!

It is also a delicious salad that I have been serving at some of my catered lunches.  Tasty, beautiful and unique enough to justify charging.  Easy, Fast, Travels Well... Perfect for a catered affair!

Keep scrolling down for this easy to follow recipe...

OK... Here's what I did...

Spinach Pasta Salad

  • 1 Pound Bow Tie Pasta, prepared Al Dente (Cooked 1 Minute less than the directions on the box))
  • 8 Ounces Spinach, stems removed and washed
  • 1 Can (11 Ounce) Mandarin Oranges, drained but reserve the liquid
  • 1 Can (4 Ounces) Water Chestnuts, Sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Honey Roasted Peanuts
  • For the Fresh Made Teriyaki Dressing
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup White Wine Vinegar
  • Large Pinch of Salt
  • Large Pinch of Pepper
  • 1//3 Cup Bottled Terriyake Sauce
  • 3 TBS Sugar (can substitute 1/4 Cup Honey)
  • 1/4 Cup of the reserved liquid from the canned mandarin oranges
Cooking Directions
  1. Prepare the Pasta according to the directions on the box... EXCEPT, cook for one to two minutes less than directed.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the Spinach (washed, stems removed).
  3. Also, open and drain the liquid from the Mandarin Oranges, reserving the liquid
  4. Open and drain the can of water chestnuts (discard the liquid).
  5. Prepare the Salad Dressing, Combine all of the ingredients (Olive Oil, White Wine Vinegar, Salt and Pepper, Teriyaki Sauce,Sugar and the Mandarin Orange water) in a blender and whir away until thoroughly mixed. You are mixing oil and water so process for at least a couple of minutes.
  6. When the Pasta is done, drain. DO NOT RINSE WITH COLD WATER. The hot pasta will absorb the Salad Dressing better if you mix with hot wet pasta.
  7. SO, once drained, pour the Orange-Teriyaki Salad Dressing over the pasta and stir to mix. Cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.
  8. If there is any dressing pooling in the bottom after 10 minutes, now drain the pasta.
  9. Mix the spinach with the still HOT sauced pasta. The spinach will begin to wilt and soften from the hot pasta. Cover and allow to rest another few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Mix in the oranges, water chestnuts and peanuts, reserving a few to garnish the top.
  11. Serve chilled, room temperature or still hot and ENJOY!


This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Specialty Salad Recipes"!!!

Sometimes they are the main course, sometimes a lunch and sometimes they are the side dish... And if you count Jell-o salad you can even make a dessert of a salad.  Here are a few of my favorite salads that get far more Ooohs and Aaahs than that simple chopped head of lettuce.

Links include Potato Salads, Cole Slaws, and Plenty of greens and fixins' Salads... And more than a few matching FRESH MADE Jam Jar make it yourself Salad Dressings!


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