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Moroccan Chicken Pasta Salad

Moroccan flavours are among my favourite and seem make a meal more satisfying. Serving food in a jar has become somewhat fashionable of late. Glass is becoming increasingly popular for the environmentally conscious as it can be reused and recycled safely. Presenting food and beverages in glass jars is also decorative and is often seen at functions and picnics. The biggest appeal seems to be in the offering of a personal serving of food.

Many people shy away from pasta when trying to lose unwanted weight as it is ‘high in carbohydrates’. While this is true, we need carbohydrate and pasta offers us a carbohydrate rich ingredient for increased dietary diversity. The key word there was ingredient. Pasta portions, especially when eating out, are most often too large with insufficient protein and vegetables to accompany the starch. If eaten in excess, pasta will cause weight gain.

Pasta can be included in a healthy diet if it is planned as part of a healthy dish. Instead of white sauce, cream and heaps of cheese, add flavour to otherwise bland pasta with hummus, tomato, savoury mince, cottage cheese, plain yoghurt or roasted vegetables. Be sure to add a homemade pasta sauce and some form of lean protein. Choosing whole-wheat varieties is even better as it adds more fibre to the meal.

This Moroccan pasta salad travels well in a jar and can be tipped onto a plate at the destination of choice. This method of carrying and serving foods does is assist with portion control.

Moroccan Salad Jar

Moroccan Chicken Pasta Salad...in a jar!

By Kelly Published: August 21, 2013

  • Yield: 6-8 jars (6-8 Servings)
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Ready In: 40 mins

Using this basic 'template', make individual, customized picnic salad jars for each family member.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Chop the chicken strips into cubes and coat with olive oil, tumeric, cinnamon and cumin. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 25 minutes until cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, add the pasta to salted boiling water and cook for 11 minutes.
  3. Prepare the hummus dressing by blending together the chickpeas, including the liquid, with the olive oil, paprika, garlic, parsley and lemon juice.
  4. Spoon 4 tablespoons of the hummus dressing into the bottom of each jar, followed by a layer of cooled chicken.
  5. Add the peppers, cucumber and tomatoes as a third layer and the pasta as a fourth, leaving room for the rocket and nuts at the top of the jar.
  6. This recipe can be adjusted to suit each family member. Be sure to include all the layer 'elements'... low fat dressing, veggies, lean protein, healthy fat.
  7. Tips: Olives or seeds can replace nuts. Veggies can be roasted. Tuna or egg can be used as alternate protein sources.

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