Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader's Digest Canada
Quick to prepare, this pasta and chicken salad with basil makes an ideal midweek dinner and won't spoil if someone is late home. Tossing the pasta with lemon juice and white wine not only adds flavour but also means that the quantity of oil can be reduced.
Drop the pasta into a large saucepan of boiling water. When the water returns to a boil, cook for 10–12 minutes, or according to the package instructions, until al dente. Add the snow peas for the final minute of cooking. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again well.
Mix 2 1⁄2 tablespoons of the oil with the lemon rind and juice and the wine in a large salad bowl. Season with pepper. Add the pasta and snow peas, and toss to coat with the dressing. Set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan. Add the chicken and garlic, and stir-fry over high heat for 5–6 minutes or until the chicken is lightly browned and thoroughly cooked. Add to the pasta.
Scatter the tomatoes and olives over the top. Sprinkle with the basil leaves, tearing larger ones into pieces. Toss the pasta and chicken salad together and serve while the chicken is still warm.
Per serving: 533 calories, 34 g protein, 22 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 81 mg cholesterol, 48 g total carbohydrate, 5 g sugars, 5 g fibre, 174 mg sodium
Pasta, when cooked al dente, has a low GI (Glycemic Index), so it is digested and absorbed slowly—you stay full for longer. The lemon juice in the dressing increases the acidity, which also works to delay digestion.