posted by on Pasta, Salads, Vegging In

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I love the idea of cooking a three-course meal; it makes me feel like it’s restaurant week at my teeny apartment. But let’s be real, that can take time and New Yorkers don’t have a lot of that. So when I see a recipe with buzzwords like “quick” and “weeknight,” I’m all ears.

During a recent magazine perusing session, I came across a few recipes that fit the bill: A pasta seasoned with pistachio pesto and a Tuscan kale salad topped with plums. I changed some of the ingredients to accommodate what I already had at home, and both were totally summer and totally easy!

Spinach salad with Almonds, Strawberries and Goat Cheese (adapted from Health)

What to get:

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound spinach, ribs removed and sliced thin
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 8 strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 2 oz. crumbled goat cheese
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

What to do:

1. Whisk together first five ingredients (through olive oil) in a large serving bowl.

2. Add remaining ingredients to dressing, and toss well to combine.

Spinach salad

Spinach salad

3. Divide salad among salad plates and serve immediately.

Serves 4


Fusilli with Pistachio Pesto and Veggies (adapted from Cooking Light)

What to get:

  • 8 oz. pasta, cooked, drained, doused in cold water and drained again
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup roasted shelled pistachios
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ cups chopped seeded tomato
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • crushed pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped and steamed
  • 10-12 stalks on broccolini, steamed
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • pine nuts for garnish (optional)

What to do:

1. Combine cilantro, nuts and garlic in food processor and process until finely chopped.

Pistachio pesto in the works

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add cilantro mixture and cooking for two minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Stir in pasta, tomato, pepper, salt and crushed pepper flakes. Cook for two minutes until thoroughly heated and after including veggies, toss everything to combine. Remove from heat.

4. Top each serving with cheese and pine nuts.

Dinner time!

Dinner time!

Serves 4

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