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Weekday dinner inspirations: Summer pasta salad with shrimp and more

Mon | Go easy

Sometimes the simplest dinners are best. My mother taught me that. Baked Chicken with steamed broccoli and a green salad is tonight's offering. Lightly rub olive oil on bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts; season only with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake the chicken for an hour at 350 degrees. Ramp up salad with crumbled feta and black olives.

Tues | Go comfort

We're bringing comfy back tonight with grilled cheese sandwiches. To add some interest, use hearty whole-grain bread, Havarti cheese, baby spinach leaves and a big swipe of honey mustard. Serve with slices of tomato and cucumber dressed with a sweet vinaigrette.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Shred the bird for quick Chicken Noodle Soup. Start by sauteing some chopped onion, celery and carrots in a bit of olive oil. Let the veggies get soft, then add low-sodium chicken broth (or water and a couple of bouillon cubes). Throw in noodles and cook until al dente, then toss in the chicken to heat through. Serve with warm biscuits.

Thurs | Go cool

In the middle of a dog-breath hot summer, Pasta Salad With Shrimp (recipe below) offers relief. Use whole-wheat pasta for more fiber, but make it all ahead to get the full cool benefits.

Fri | Go outside

Crank up the grill for Pork & Veggie Kebabs. Thread marinated pork tenderloin chunks alternately with cherry tomatoes and green pepper pieces. Serve with brown rice.

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Summer Pasta Salad With Shrimp

8 ounces short pasta, such as fusilli

1 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced crosswise

1/3 cup roughly chopped pitted kalamata or Nicoise olives

4 lightly packed cups baby spinach

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and transfer pasta to a large bowl. Toss with squash, olives, spinach, lemon zest and juice, and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon oil. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high. Add shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until opaque throughout, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Top pasta with shrimp.

Serves 4.

Source: Everyday Food

Weekday dinner inspirations: Summer pasta salad with shrimp and more 08/10/10 [Last modified: Monday, August 9, 2010 5:50pm]
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