Monday, May 30, 2011

Lighten Up Blog Hop

Hi everyone!
 Welcome to May's Lighten Up Blog Hop, organized and hosted by Beverly at BEglorious. If you've arrived from Melissa's, welcome, you're in the right place! If you're starting here, follow my link to Amy after my recipe or refer to the full list of participants.
 Since today is Memorial Day here in the U.S.A, millions of people will be enjoying a picnic as a part of their holiday. Our theme for the month is, therefore, picnic dishes! I've decided to share with you a dish that is a long time favorite in my family. It's also super easy which adds considerably to the appeal for me, especially on a holiday weekend. This pasta salad is made with a vinaigrette dressing instead of the usual mayonnaise-based dressings so it is considerably lighter than the usual picnic standard.

  Pasta Salad with Spinach and Feta
1 lb rotini pasta (any kind will work really, but rotini holds the bits of spinach and feta in the twists - yum!)
1 (10oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup Italian dressing (my favorite is the Good Seasons make-your-own packets)
 Cook the pasta as directed on the package. Rinse in cold water after draining to cool it down faster.
The chopped spinach will have some water in it from thawing, squeeze out this excess water

 Break up the clumps of spinach with your fingers (yep, get messy!) and mix it in with the pasta.
 Add in the feta, stir well. Add dressing, stir again.
Done and ready for travel!

 I make my Good Seasons packet with the less-oil version to cut back on calories even further. If you are making it the night before, I recommend putting half the dressing on the night before and the other half on right before you leave for your picnic.
 I calculated the calories by 1-cup servings, but we rarely eat that much at once...especially if there is a lot of other food. However, if I'm eating it as a lunch entree, I will eat a full cup.
 Makes: 8-10 servings
 Calories: 250

Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I hope this sounds yummy to you and that you enjoy trying it. Hope on over to Amy's place for your next stop. Don't forget to visit everyone, Beverly has a prize drawing if you answer this question for her:  If you had one serving of each of these dishes at your picnic how many calories would you consume? Email your answer to neusebrats{at}aol{dot}com for a chance to win this month's prize.

 The full May menu list is below as well as links to conversion charts if you need them. Happy Picnicking!
May Menu
- French Roasted vegetable Sandwich (Beverly) 
- Grilled Vegetable Kabobs (Melissa)
- Pasta with Spinach and Feta (Rachel)
- Eton Mess (Amy)

Since we have readers from all over the world, we want you to be able to easily convert measurements as needed. These links take you to conversion charts. We hope you find them helpful.


Amy said...

You know, since it is not picnic season here, I could add some diced chicken and this would make a great main meal that the kids would love too! Thanks for the recipe rachel - I love this one :-)

Lizzie said...

Mmmm... this would be great cold, as a salad, but as Amy said, it would make a lovely main meal, with fish or chicken - served hot of course!
Thanks for sharing your yummy recipe :-)

Melissa said...

This sounds good Rachel. I've only had Feta cheese a few times and really didn't like it, but it's been a while since so I think I'll have another go with this recipe and see if my taste buds have changed! I definitely like the idea of the spinach with the rotini pasta.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for this recipe Rachel it sounds a good combo x

Ginger said...

this looks so easy to make Rachel! I'm going to print it out now and will try it soon :)

Alison said...

I love Feta cheese..TFS!
Alison xx

humel said...

Sounds yummy to me - very much my kind of recipe and I shall definitely be trying it, thank you :)