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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.

Sign up for Easy Meal Ideas from Janet's Kitchen at enews.tampabay.com. Get a free recipe e-mailed to you every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

>>easy

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 6:50pm]

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