Wonderful stir-fried veggie, chicken pasta salad that’s great served warm or cold.
Fresh Broccoli, Cauliflower and Green Onions/Scallions require insect infestation inspection. Please see “Special Instructions” below:
Frozen broccoli and cauliflower should be carefully scanned for signs of infestation but requires no further checking unless insects are found.
11 ounces rotini pasta
6-3/4 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
2-3/4 carrots, sliced diagonally
11 ounces fresh mushrooms, quartered
2/3 head broccoli, cut into florets
2/3 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
1/3 cup water
1-1/3 bunches green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Place in large bowl with chicken. In large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Cook carrots with 1/4 teaspoon salt until tender-crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove carrots, place in bowl with chicken and pasta. Add 2 tablespoons oil to wok and cook mushrooms with 1/4 teaspoon salt until tender, 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms and place in bowl. Add 2 more tablespoons oil to wok, stir-fry broccoli, cauliflower and onion until coated with oil. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup water, cover and cook 5 to 10 minutes, until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove vegetables with slotted spoon and toss with pasta and chicken. Mix in green onions, soy sauce and sesame oil, adjusting soy and sesame to taste. Serve warm or cold.
Checking Fresh Broccoli and Cauliflower for Insect Infestation:
Broccoli may be infested with a variety of insects most prominently aphids and thrips. The aphids are green or white, but will often turn brown during the parboiling (partial cooking) that is done to prepare the vegetable for inspection (see Inspection, below). The thrips are usually black or gray. Also present at times is the broccoli worm, a thin white or light greenish worm of about a half inch’s length. This worm, when present, is difficult to discern because it looks like one of the thin stems.
Broccoli Stems may be used after a thorough washing. No further checking is necessary.
Our research has indicated that infestation levels of broccoli grown domestically (USA, Canada, but not Mexico) vary by season. During the winter months, (approximately November through March), infestation level is around 10%. Broccoli grown during this season should be inspected. During the summer months (the remaining seven months of the year), broccoli can be heavily infested, and inspection is often impractical. Broccoli from Mexico is infested throughout the year. It is primarily used for frozen broccoli products.
When checking broccoli, a well-lit area should be chosen. This aids in discerning an insect from the floret pieces. It should be noted that cleaning infested broccoli is not feasible. The purpose of inspection is to determine if the broccoli is infested. Once infestation is detected, the floret portion of the head must be discarded. One cannot be certain that all insects will be discovered and removed. However, the stem portion may be separated, washed and consumed
1. It is virtually impossible to perform a comprehensive inspection on raw broccoli. Parboil the broccoli for ten seconds to soften the florets and stems. An additional benefit of parboiling is that aphids often turn from green to brown and the florets from light to dark lush green. The contrast of colors makes the insects more easily detectable after this process. Submerge in cold water immediately after parboiling to preserve the flavor and firmness of the vegetable.
2. It is important to segregate each head individually when processing more than one head of broccoli. If a section of a broccoli head shows infestation, the entire head must be discarded.
3. Inspect each floret section: a) Look carefully at the under part (i.e., the branched area) of each floret. It is important to check the Y-shaped crevice between the branches. b) Spread each floret head apart and look inside the floret from the top down (i.e., through the green flower buds, into the branch area).
4. If one or two insects is found, special care should be taken in examining the remaining sections of that broccoli head. Should a total of three insects be found, either in a particular section or spread among different sections of the same broccoli head, the entire head should be discarded.
1. While parboiling the broccoli as described above, agitate the vegetable in the boiling water and bang it against the side of the pot several times.
2. After removing the broccoli and submerging it in cold water, check a sampling of the parboiled water in a glass bowl over a light box.
3. If insects appear in the water, each floret must be checked meticulously.
4. If no insects appear in the water, the broccoli may be used after running a strong stream of water through the head from top to bottom and from bottom to top.
Beware: Insects like company. If even one insect is found, the entire head must be checked most scrupulously
Please note that crudite´ displays should not include raw broccoli due to the impossibility of properly checking raw broccoli.
Cauliflower Infestation: Thrips may be found on the thin white branches or between the tightly packed cauliflower florets. These insects are easily discernible as their black color contrasts with the white vegetable. Small orange insects may at times be seen clinging to the outside of the cauliflower. These insects are easily washed off.
Please Note: Frozen cauliflower should be carefully scanned for signs of infestation but requires no further checking unless insects are found.
1. Separate and remove cauliflower florets from the stem
2. Examine several pieces of the cauliflower paying careful attention to the under part of the floret
3. Wash thoroughly before using.
4. Heads of cauliflower that are found to be infested are difficult to clean and should not be used
Checking Green Onions (Scallions) for Insect Infestation:
Light green or brown thrips may occasionally be found between the green branches where they protrude from the bulb. Less frequently, they can be found crawling on the outside or inside of the long green shoots.
1. A vertical cut should be made from the top of the scallion’s green shoot to the bottom of the bulb. Examine three scallions from each bunch, paying careful attention to the area between the branches that protrude from the bulb.
2. If no insects are found, wash thoroughly under a heavy stream of water or power hose and use.
3. If insects are found in a scallion, the entire bunch must be checked. The affected scallion must be discarded.