Contributed by executive chef and food blogger Dennis Littley.
(CBS) My favorite foods always seem to include pasta - even salads.
This Grilled Shrimp and Pasta Salad was inspired by a recipe I read in the BBC's "Good Food." But I put a few twists on the plate to make it my own end-of-summer delight.
I know it may sound strange to add linguine to a salad, but trust me... once you start eating this you'll wonder how you ever got along with out it.
I like the pasta a little warm, but room temperature works well too. Just make sure your greens are nice and cold. The contrast in textures and flavors is incredible!
Remember healthy eating can be interesting and fun, you just have to start thinking like a chef. Feel free to add what ever veggies you like to the mix; a little crunch would be a nice addition. Just remember, anything you do add will also add a few more calories, but as long as their fresh vegetables I think that's not a bad use of calories.
If dessert is an option, while you're grilling the shrimp, pick out a nice ripe peach. This will be the healthy wow to end your meal.
Just cut the peach in half, remove the pit and place both halves on the grill. It takes about 10 minutes per side. The peach will caramelize and the skin will peel right off when its done. Enjoy!
GRILLED SHRIMP AND PASTA SALAD
(325 Calories, 5 gm fat)
3 medium shrimp
1.5 ounces dry linguine
1 ounce mixed field greens
1 ounce grape tomatoes
2 ounces fat-free Italian dressing (or dressing of your choice)
sprinkle of fresh basil chopped
freshly ground black pepper
Cook 1 1/2 ounces of your favorite pasta (follow the box instructions). Make sure it is cooked aldente (firm but not hard). Feel free to use whole wheat pasta if you like, it would go great with this salad. After the pasta is cooked, strain it, rinse it and set aside.
Peel and devein your shrimp. Then marinate shrimp in 1 ounce of fat-free Italian dressing. Let them sit for about 10 minutes in the dressing. Season with your favorite seasoning (I used Isinango SamaZulu from Kula Spices).
Grill the shrimp for 3-4 minutes per side.
Salad and Dressing
2 large handfuls of salad mix (about 1 1/4 ounces)
8 grape tomatoes
Quickly reheat your pasta in a saute pan with one ounce of fat free Italian dressing. I recommend a fat-free, calorie-free balsamic dressing, so you could even use a little more if you like.
Place your tossed greens as a base on the plate. Add your grape tomatoes around the exterior of the greens.
Now add your pasta layer on top of your salad greens. Try to twirl it in a circular motion so it looks good on top of the greens.
Top with grilled shrimp, chopped fresh basil and freshly ground black pepper. If you don't mind the extra calories, try a sprinkle of grated Romano cheese on top of the finished dish.
Executive chef, culinary instructor, and food blogger Dennis Littley feeds 560 high school girls at the Mount Saint Joseph Academy in Flourtown, Pa., where he also runs an after school culinary program. Follow Dennis at his food blog, More Than a Mount Full, where he shows that all school food isn't created equal.