Summer is in full swing here, and we’re ready for some “cool” food!
I did a lot of grilling last month for a photography job I was working on. It was fun, we ate very well, and I even found some great new recipes. Check out these delicious stuffed tomatoes!
But, I’ve come to the conclusion that when it’s hot outside, grilling is not a way to cool down!
So, in light of the heat index, here is one of my favorite summer meals.
Be sure and see how I cook this meal “when I feel like it” at the bottom of this post. It’s a great make-ahead dish for this busy days. (You know, those days when you’re stuck lounging at the pool and you’re too “tired” to cook when you come home.)
I sort of made this up a few years ago when I wanted some kind of pasta salad but something with a little bit more substance. I was pleasantly surprised at how much spinach you can get away with using in this dish, and how easy is is to make. We usually pair it with a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store but it could serve as a dinner all by itself. (Just don’t try to slip that past my husband, he’s easy going but does prefer at least a small amount of meat in his meals.)
So let’s get cookin’.
First, follow the package directions and get your tortellini cooking.
While that’s cooking, chop your spinach and put it into the bowl you’ll add the pasta to when it’s done cooking.
You can chop your other veggies too but don’t add them to the bowl just yet.
When the tortellini is done, drain it but don’t rinse it.
Pour the hot tortellini over the spinach. This will slightly cook the spinach and help it settle down a bit. (You know, so your kids won’t notice quite so easily.)
Once the pasta has cooled, add the other veggies and the dressing.
Mix it all up and refrigerate until dinner time.
Have an amazing day, knowing that you’ve got a delicious meal waiting for you.
- 1 9 Oz. Package Four Cheese Tortellin (from the cold section, near the cheeses.)
- 2 large handfuls fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 Tomato, chopped (or a handful of cherry tomatoes)
- ½ Cucumber, chopped
- 2 Green onions, chopped
- ½ cup italian dressing
- Cook tortellini according to package directions. Do not overcook.
- Chop spinach and place into a large bowl.
- Chop other veggies and set aside while the pasta cooks.
- When pasta is done, drain (do not rinse) and add it to the spinach.
- When pasta is cooled, add the other veggies and salad dressing.
- Stir to combine, cover, and chill until ready to serve.
So here’s how I cook this meal “when I feel like it“.
1. I plan this dinner when I know that either my husband can stop at the store on his way home, or that I can go close to dinner time. I like to pick up the chicken right before we eat.
2. Make the salad in the morning and you’re done! Way cool!
If you often pack lunches, for your kids or yourself, this makes a great packed lunch. My daughter takes this to her homeschool tutorial because it doesn’t require any kind of heat, and doesn’t smell up the lunch room like tuna, or an egg salad sandwich!
That was just free information. You can thank me later. 🙂