Last month I planted out little container garden (thankfully we choose a place with a deck!). With all the heavy rains we’ve been having around here I wasn’t sure if some of the seeds would ever produce anything. Thankfully everything is on its way to becoming some delicious goodies. We planted Thai chili peppers, habaneros, pepperoncini, carrots, cucumbers, snap peas, super sweet tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, radish, zucchini, basil and lettuce. I took this picture this morning:
My last few recipe posts have been pretty “heavy” foods, so today while I was making dinner I thought I should probably post this one. It is quick, easy, light and delicious and believe it or not budget friendly (see below the recipe for more information). A perfect meal for this kind of weather. I love when spring and summer comes around because this means more fresh ingredients available and I don’t know if it is just me but I don’t crave those heavy meals much. I love salads and more veggie based meals during this time of year and I plan to be posting more recipes like this soon. To kick off my lighter recipes (this may not be a daily thing but I will get better about posting more recipes like this), I decided to make some gluten-free pasta (We mostly eat Sam Mill’s or Goldbaum’s gluten-free pastas, we find that to use these are the two that have a very similar taste and texture to “regular” pasta) with pesto, diced zucchini and for a little treat some sautéed shrimp. My basil hasn’t grown enough for me to make homemade pesto so for now we have been using the Classico Pesto – which is gluten-free! and delicious. While at the grocery store today I found some pretty decent sized zucchini and summer squash and thankfully shrimp was on sale so we picked up a few to toss in and add a bit of protein to our meal. Of course Bryan made us a salad with mixed greens and cucumbers with some homemade balsamic dressing.
This meal is delicious with our with out the shrimp, however we never splurge on shrimp but we are pretty sick of chicken and red meat right now and wanted to mix it up a little bit. You could always add some grilled chicken on top also or if you wish to add more veggies mix in some halved grape tomatoes, diced summer squash or blanched/grilled asparagus.
Pesto Pasta with Shrimp and Zucchini (serves 2)
1/2 Pound gluten-free pasta of your choice, I prefer penne, fusilli, or gemelli because I think it holds the pesto better)
1 Large zucchini diced into 1/2 – 1 inch pieces
1/4 Pound of Shrimp (cleaned, deveined and tails still on)
1/4 Cup pesto – more if you prefer
2 Tablespoons of olive oil, divided
Sea Salt and Pepper
In a medium saucepan bring water with salt and a tablespoon of olive oil to boil for pasta and cook according to the package instructions.
Season the shrimp on both sides with sea salt and pepper.
Heat one tablespoon in a non-stick sautée pan over medium heat. When there is about 5 minutes left on the pasta add the shrimp to the sautée pan. Cook for about two minutes on each side (until shrimp is opaque in the center)
When there are four minutes left on the pasta cooking time add the diced zucchini.
Strain the pasta and zucchini but do not rinse the pasta in cold water. Return the pasta to the pan, add the prepared pesto and shrimp. Toss until well mixed (if you are adding in the halved tomatoes add them in now and toss again). Add more pesto if you wish, serve with a side salad.
This meal is very versatile – add shrimp, chicken, veggies – whatever your heart desires.
Recipe cost break down:
Seeing as I just finished up my Menu Planning and Cost Control course I thought I would break down how inexpensive this meal was to make: the total recipe cost was $5.34 which means only $2.67 per portion!! Now can you imagine if you were to order this while eating out you would be paying around $12 – $14 for this dish that really only costs $2.67 per portion including shrimp.