Today was a very important day in our household. It's the last day of April, and therefore our final day before launching into Meatless May. Now you can either cheer or laugh at that last sentence, but we decided to go vegetarian for a month. We're keeping eggs and dairy, but goodbye meat. For me it's not a big deal...I went through that collegian-vegetarian phase that so many Portlandians experience. But it's my hub's first attempt at a meat-free diet. We're looking forward to 31 days of alternative protein sources....but only after enjoying one final day of meat. Naturally, today was filled with our favorites. In parting, we supped on one of our best easy meals - Mediterranean Avocado pasta.....with lots and lots of shrimp.
Today was glorious. 80-degree weather with bright sun and budding tree blossoms....in other words, the perfect day for the hubs and I to get off work an hour early (totally worth working through lunch). Knowing we had planned this quick and easy dinner, we we able to enjoy the great outdoors with the pups by strolling around our little neighborhood lake. Which turned out to be awesome, if for no other reason than we met the pup's doppelganger. (In our little three-some, that's two down and only one to go for YIMYM fans....yikes!)
After our lovely walk, it was time to make dinner. Which took about the length of a glass of rosé. This quick pasta meal is perfect for summer weeknights, and one I've been waiting to share. As previously blogged, I love avocado cream sauce in the summer. It's creamy, light texture is incredibly refreshing on pasta. It cools the noodles a bit leaving you with a mildly warm dish rather than a steaming plate that sets you sweating. One of our favorite ways to enjoy this fabulous cream sauce is with Mediterranean flavors such as pungent sun-dried tomatoes, salty capers and succulent shrimp (I'll miss you in May!). These toppings add a wonderful little punch of flavor to the creamy pasta.
If you live a meatless life as opposed to just May, you would love this dish topped with fresh feta rather than shrimp. Alternatively, if you live a meat-filled life, it's also great topped with grilled chicken. Perfect with a dry rosé or white wine on a summer evening, this is a fabulous healthy dinner for any day of the week.
See you in June, shrimps!
Avocado Spaghetti with Tomato and Capers (3 servings)
- 1 avocado
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 3/4 - 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
- salt & white pepper, to taste
- 6 oz whole wheat spaghetti or angel hair
- 1/3 c sun-dried tomatoes
- 3 tbs capers
- 9 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
- fresh parmesan or feta, to garnish
Place the avocado, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until smooth, seasoning with more salt and pepper if necessary. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to directions.
While the pasta is cooking, place a medium pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is nice and hot, spray with non-stick. Add the shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until pink and no longer opaque, then remove to a plate.
After you have drained the pasta, transfer to the mixing bowl with the pureed avocado. Toss together gently with tongs until the pasta is well coated. Divide the pasta between three plates, then top each plate with two tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes and one tablespoon of capers. Top with shrimp and fresh grated parmesan. Serve with fresh sliced tomatoes or a light salad