• Karine Wlasichuk

Late Night Cooking: 5-Minute Fajitas Pasta Salad with Leftover Chicken

I really need to stop with these long titles. But the 'Late night' part excuses -somewhat- the horrible lighting and wine consumption. Just kidding, I am never sorry about the latter- it's full of antioxidants. This meal is so practical as it takes 5 minutes to toss it together and if you ingredient prep - which you should- you can make it in your sleep!

As you can see in this article, I love creating reusable containers out of just about any product container I can find: marmalade jars, Parm and feta bins, pickle mason jars, hummus and dip containers, and so many others. You can' use these to pack warm lunches as they do not go in the microwave, but you can use them to -ahem- ingredient prep and for salads on the go! Seriously, I love, love, giving a second life to everything in the kitchen.

I personally like to plan out my meals on Sunday nights with what I have in the fridge (I find out what is on sale at the grocery store, buy all my fresh produce and then create recipes for the week) and for vegetables such as onions and shallots, it is really nice to either mince, chop and store them in advance (a day or two), or a few hours before dinner whenever Ella is sleeping. As I am with our baby all day long, I want to be present and ready to pick her up and give her all my attention at any point without having to wash garlic juice off of my hands. So ingredient prepping (as it also saves time and pretty much your mood daily) really helps with being a present mother and also an organised one! And yes, a healthy one. I always cut a bunch of carrots and celery ribs and store them in water jars, so as to encourage me to reach for these instead of crackers for snacking. Look at me, spilling all my secrets in one post. Don't know that I'd call those secrets, perhaps hacks. Moving on.

For this *5-minute* Fajitas pasta salad, all you need is shredded chicken (I have a Youtube video coming up on how 2 small chicken roasts can last me a full week of meals), and a few fresh, colourful veggies- make it festive guys. Let's talk portions. The ingredients listed below were good for 2 dinner bowls and 3 lunches. So 4 people could easily share this pot and even have a little extra to nibble on. Sharing is caring! No that's too tacky. Here's a beautiful quote instead:

'When you have more than you need, build a longer table- not a higher fence'

You will need,

Red bell pepper (or any colour, 1, sliced)

Yellow bell pepper (you get it, any colour works- 1, sliced)

Red onion (1, chopped)

Smoked Paprika Salt (or regular salt, I just like to add smokiness to the chicken- for taste)

Black pepper (for taste)

Any pasta (I used 3/4 I had left from a bag, which was 3 1/2 cups)

Olive oil (galore)

Chili oil (optional, a few drops when adding the chicken- I personally drop them everywhere)

For the first time in a long time, I don't have several photos (or even one clear one) of the final meal, apparently I thought it was more important to focus on the wine and olive oil bottles. Someone was feeling artsy.

A few steps,

1. In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, toss the red onions with olive oil, a few drops of chili oil, black pepper and smoked paprika sea salt. Stir for about 5 minutes, until the onions have softened.

2. Add peppers and more olive oil. Stir for 7-10 minutes. I get your point, it's a bit more than 5 minutes, but hey, it's one skillet!

3. While the peppers are cooking, bring salt water to a boil in a medium-sized pot and cook your pasta according to packaging instructions. Drain and place back in pot, off the heat.

3. Add the chicken and salt-pepper if needed. As the chicken has already been pre-cooked, I take the skillet off the heat when the chicken has blackened a bit. If you are doing the recipe with raw chicken, I would prepare it in its own skillet and mix everything together at the very end!

4. Throw the veggie-chicken mix in the pasta pot, add *more* olive and chili oil and mix thoroughly. Enjoy the heat! - and especially knowing that it was ready within minutes.

How most nights end, alongside carbs and wine: