Who doesn’t love pasta salad? The only problem — it’s way too easy to eat way more than your share. Veteran (failed) dieter Orson Welles hit the nail on the head when he said, “My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.”
The trick with pasta salad is to load it up with veggies and shrimp (aka: lean protein) like this recipe from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. There’s spinach and shrimp in every bite so you’re not likely to notice there’s only half the usual amount of pasta for four servings. Less pasta = fewer starchy calories.
I made this with the tail end of a bag of frozen Costco shrimp. I had only 3/4 pound, less than the recipe calls for, but it didn’t matter. Salad is a hodgepodge anyway. Martha’s chefs are ingenious: tossing the hot pasta in with raw vegetables wilts the spinach and squash, almost cooking them so that they’re neither crunchy nor mushy. Be sure to slice your squash as thinly as you can; I used a mandoline.
If you like your shrimp on the piquant side, squeeze some extra lemon juice on each serving.
1/2 lb. short pasta, such as fusilli
1 medium yellow squash, halved lengthwise & thinly sliced
4 lightly packed cups baby spinach (about 3 1/4 oz.)
1/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente and drain in a colander. In a large serving bowl place squash, spinach, olives, lemon zest, lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Toss hot pasta with vegetables and set aside. You want the squash and spinach to wilt slightly with the hot pasta while you cook the shrimp.
Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and sauté shrimp, stirring occasionally, until opaque, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and toss with pasta and vegetables.
WW Points per serving: 9