Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4+ garlic cloves, chopped finely or minced
2 packets of Equal (or may use 2 Tbs agave nectar)
a pinch of salt
a pinch of ground pepper
dried Italian seasonings, optional
1. Place all the ingredients in a small bowl or mini-food processor or blender. Mix well.
2. Coat a spoon with the dressing and taste, adjusting any of the ingredients to one's personal taste.
1 lb of cooked whole wheat pasta: bowtie, penne or wagon wheel, cool and drained
1 handful of chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
1 cup black olives, chopped or sliced
3 cups of meat from 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded or chopped in bite-size chunks
Several green onions, chopped
1 pkg grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 cups of fresh spinach leaves
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
feta or gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Adjust any of the above ingredients for color, presentation, and the # of servings needed.
Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over salad and serve with toasted Italian bread, like ciabatta.