Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cold Shrimp and Veggie Pasta Salad

I hosted book club this week and it was long overdue for my turn! I love book club and not for the books, for the ladies I have book club with. They are the greatest bunch of woman I know and I love seeing them each month.

Last time I hosted I made a simple pineapple salsa and caprese salad on a stick. I also made mac n cheese cups that didn't turn out well, but moving on. This time I was going to host it outside (it was too muggy though) so originally I wanted the menu to be light enough for outdoors but enough that people didn't go away hungry.

The menu was a simple one starting with Tazo iced passion tea lemonade, fruit salad, cold shrimp and veggie pasta salad, pepperoni pizza dip and for dessert, s'mores layer bars.

Is it a sophisticated menu? Nope. Do the flavors go well together? Maybe? I don't know really, my only goal was to pick 2 sort-of-healthy options and two, very not healthy options.

Cold Shrimp Pasta and Veggie Salad
I made this the night before and it helps the noodles soak up the flavors. I just made sure not to overcook the noodles as they will soften overnight in the dressing. I didn't add the shrimp, avocado or parmesan though until about an hour before I served it. The shrimp and avocado might turn colors, it's still good but less appealing. If you're making it to serve that day, then just dump everything in.

8 oz uncooked pasta - I used tri-color Fusilli (short curly noodles)

16 oz deveined shrimp

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup sweet corn kernels
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1 whole avocado, cubed
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro

1/2 - 1 cup Italian dressing
1/2 cup freshly shredded parmesan
juice of one small lime

Boil noodles until they are al dente. Remove from heat, strain and rinse with cold water.

Remove any tails on shrimp and rinse well. Chop up shrimp or leave whole.

Combine noodles, shrimp, veggies, Italian dressing, lime juice and parmesan cheese.

Refrigerate pasta salad for at least an hour and then serve.

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