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Chicken Cherry Pasta Salad

3 cups dry, bow tie, penne, or corkscrew pasta – cooked to package directions and cooled
2 cups diced, cooked, chicken breast
1/2 cup sliced celery
3/4 cup sweetened, dried cherries
1/4 cup slivered almonds or pecan pieces, toasted

Combine cooked pasta, chicken, celery and cherries; mix well.

Pour dressing over salad; toss gently to coat.
Chill for 2-3 hours to allow flavors to blend.
Stir in nuts. Serve.
Save a few nuts, or toast extra to sprinkle on the top for garnish.

Dressing 1
3 Tblsp. chopped fresh basil
2 Tblsp. sliced green onion
1/2 cup bottled balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing (I like Newman’s Own best)

Dressing 2
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup apple juice
3 tblsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup of your favorite fat-free mayo (or I prefer Miracle Whip)
2 tsp. poppy seed

In blender, mix vinegar, apple juice, sugar, dry mustard and celery salt.
With blender running, slowly add oil, and blend until thick.
Add mayo and poppy seed, blend on low speed just until mixed.

* Serve with croissants or fresh rolls, or over a bed of lettuce or spinach! With a tray of fresh cut veggies or a bowl of fruit, it makes a great summer supper that’s pretty enough for a party, yummy enough to be a family favorite!

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