Chopped salad with avocado and gorgonzola

The second meal of this week is an easy salad. You can put it together in 15 minutes and it is so yummy! It doesn’t seem like avocado and gorgonzola go together- but they do! They are so delicious together in this salad. It makes my mouth water just thinking about the creamy, tangy gorgonzola with the yummy balsamic vinaigrette. Make this salad- you won’t regret it =)

Chopped salad with avocado and gorgonzola

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar                                                                                               1 tablespoon red wine vinegar                                                                                           1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil                                                                                                   2 teaspoons honey                                                                                                                 1/4 teaspoon salt                                                                                                                       1/4 teaspoon pepper                                                                                                                 1 avacado, cut into bite sized pieces                                                                               Juice of 1/4 of a lemon                                                                                                            1 bag romaine lettuce, chopped into small pieces                                                              1/4 of a red onion, chopped                                                                                                   5 slices bacon, cooked till crisp and chopped-microwavable bacon works fine if you are in a hurry!                                                                                                                           3 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese                                                                                 1/3 cup crumbled tortilla chips

– Wisk together the first 6 ingredients for the vinaigrette- set aside.

– Sprinkle the lemon juice over the avocado and add to a large salad bowl.

– Add the remaining ingredients. Pour the vinaigrette over and toss.

Serve for crusty bread to soup up the delicious vinaigrette. Serves 4.

The yummy crispy bacon
The yummy crispy bacon
Perfectly ripe avocado with the onions
Perfectly ripe avocado with the onions
Sprinkling on the cheese
Sprinkling on the cheese
All done!
All done!
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Easy Comfort Food

My husbands favorite meal is pasta with pesto. I make it for him all of the time! Ordinarily I make homemade pesto. I couldn’t make it homemade yesterday for our special pasta dinner because we currently don’t have a food processor! We are in the Boston area for three months for my husband’s job- and don’t have most of our belongings with us.
Using store bought pesto makes this meal super easy. I love that this meal includes carbs, veggies and protein. Everything you need in one pot. I recommend you make a big pot of it- and save the leftovers for weekly lunches. The recipe serves 4- but the servings are very large!

Easy chicken pesto with mushrooms and asparagus
1 pound box of farfalle pasta (bowties) or any other type of pasta of your choice
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts- cut into bite sized pieces
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter divided
1 bundle of asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
8 ounce pack of button mushrooms- chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped                                                                                                       1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese divided                                                                         1/4 cup half and half                                                                                                                8 ounce container store bought pesto

The veggies all chopped. I buy the sliced mushrooms and chop them smaller.
The veggies all chopped. I buy the packaged sliced mushrooms and chop them smaller.

-Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. Add pasta and cook according to directions. Take 1-2 minutes off the cooking time for al dente.

The pasta. We do Barilla Plus a lot of the time for added protein.
The pasta. We do Barilla Plus a lot of the time for added protein.

– Sprinkle the salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder on the chicken.

– In a large pan melt 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Add the chicken. Spread it out and don’t stir for a while to get the chicken browned. Remove when fully cooked. Set aside.

– In the same pan add the remaining olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon butter. Add the mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes, then add the asparagus. Brown and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper.

Veggies browning. Make sure to get color on the mushrooms. It brings out so much flavor when they are caramelized.
Veggies browning. Make sure to get color on the mushrooms. It brings out so much flavor when they are caramelized.

– In the pasta pot add the cooked pasta. Top with the remaining butter and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Stir and add the pesto and 1/2 and 1/2.  Add the chicken and veggies and stir. Top with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Stirring everything together.
Stirring everything together.
Dinner!
Dinner!

Optional- Add crispy bacon for a smoky flavor. Substitute or add onions, peas or whatever other veggies you like. Shallots would be great.