What would you do if your Mom’s salad dressing was so good that your friend stole it from your fridge? When this happened to Greg Vetter, he went to Whole Foods with a tupperware container of salad dressing and convinced their buyer to place an order. That’s how Tessemae’s All Natural got their start. I first discovered the brand earlier this year, and I have become a huge fan of their salad dressings (which can also be used as marinades and dips), using them in both my Mexican Corn Pasta Salad and Grilled Caesar Salad recipes.
This past weekend I joined the Tessemae’s team for Crop Circles Chicago, a pop up farmers market that brought 20,000 pounds of free produce to Englewood, a food desert on the South Side of Chicago. At the event, Englewood residents were able to pick up free Whole Foods produce and Tessemae’s salad dressing. The Tessemae’s staff mixed up salad samples with their line of salad dressings, and the crowd loved their all natural dressings made with real ingredients that you can actually pronounce, and enthusiastically picked out bottles of dressing to bring home. With flavors like Soy Ginger, Lemon Chesapeake, Classic Caesar, Green Goddess, and Balsamic there was something for everyone. Throughout the event chefs demonstrated how to combine the fresh produce and the Tessemae’s products to create healthy meals providing both entertainment and education to the crowd.
Tessemae’s is committed to bringing awareness to the food desert problem. Currently 23.5 million Americans live in food deserts – urban areas more than a mile from fresh food, or rural areas more than 10 miles from fresh food. There are three times as many supermarkets in wealthier areas compared to poor areas, while poor areas have more than twice the amount of fast food. The goal is to make affordable fresh food available to everyone.
Crop Circles events have taken place in Compton and Chicago this year, and Tessemae’s is hosting upcoming Crop Circles events throughout the country, including an event near their hometown, Baltimore, this fall.
After a day of handling out salad dressing, I was inspired to create a recipe using the Lemon Garlic Dressing that was stolen from Greg’s fridge, leading to the creation of Tessemae’s All Natural. When Charles saw the Lemon Garlic dressing he suggested that I make a pasta salad with chicken, corn, tomatoes, goat cheese, and plenty of arugula. Since I used rotisserie chicken this meal came together in less than 20 minutes. I made a huge batch – enough for 8 people and I served this healthy hearty pasta salad at a little party I hosted and my friends gobbled it up!
When I made this pasta salad Charles and I ate some of it warm, and then the next day I served it chilled. It tastes great either way.
20 minCook Time
20 minTotal Time
- 3 ears of Corn
- 3 cups Pasta
- 2 cups Rotisserie Chicken, diced
- 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes
- 6 ounces crumbled Goat Cheese
- 2 cups Arugula (or Spinach)
- 1/2 bottle Tessemae's Lemon Garlic Dressing
- Bring 2 pots of salted water to a boil. One pot is for the pasta, while the other is for the corn and just needs a couple inches of water.
- Shuck the corn. Once the water for the corn boils, add the corn, cover the pot, and let the corn cook for 4 minutes. Then remove from the pot and let cool.
- Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box. Once the pasta is ready, drain and pour into a large bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of the salad dressing over the pasta. By doing this while the pasta is warm, the pasta will absorb the flavor from the lemon garlic dressing.
- Then dice the rotisserie chicken, and slice the tomatoes in half.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the corn off the cob.
- Add the chicken, tomatoes, corn, goat cheese, and arugula to the pasta. Add as much extra dressing as you like.
- Serve warm or chilled.
This post was sponsored by Tessemae’s, the opinions are my own.