Once that summer heat hits, I always find myself craving fresh, bright & crisp foods! Here in Seattle, we get stuck in that drizzly, cold gloom for most of the year and when we get a chance to see that sunshine everything changes.
Pool parties, camping, BBQs, lake days... some of my favorite things about summer and with all the celebrations that are happening, I try my best to stay on track with my nutrition so I don't go into fall feeling like a marshmallow!
But...let's be honest, sometimes nothing can top an ice cold beer on a hot day. #realtalk
I had a hankering for a cold pasta salad (my mama makes a MEAN pasta salad!) but I didn't want to overdue it and end up in a calorie laden carb-loaded coma after. One of my favorite tricks to beef up any cold salad or casserole recipe is to LOAD up on the veggies. You'll still feel really satisfied, full and beat that craving, all while sneaking in some extra greens.
Here's the recipe I whipped up that encompasses some of my favorite flavors!
- 1 package pasta - cooked & rinsed in cold water (I used Gluten Free veggie pasta in spirals) Don't over cook the pasta, you want it a bit firm so it doesn't fall apart
- 1 bunch asparagus - lightly steamed, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 3/4 of a red onion - thinly sliced (like this!)
- 1 bell pepper - chopped in chunks (I prefer yellow or orange because they're sweeter)
- 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes jarred in olive oil -OR- jarred red pepper
- 1 container mozzarella balls - halved
- 1 package cherry tomatoes - halved
- 1 large package frozen, deveined shrimp (thaw in a bowl of hot water, peel off skin + tail and sauté with a little coconut oil in a skillet until cooked - just a couple of minutes! They'll turn light pink when done.)
For the dressing (whisk together):
- pinch of salt & pepper to taste (I use pink himalayan salt)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Guess what?? Recipes for pasta salads are really easy and they're pretty much fool proof! You can easily swap out these ingredients for something else depending on what you have on hand. Toss all of the ingredients in a bowl with the dressing, chill & enjoy!
Approximate 21 Day Fix container equivalents (1.5 cup serving):
- 1/2 yellow
- 1/2 green
- 1 tsp
- 1/2 red
- 1 blue