Doctorate Housewife

What my degree in IPE didn't teach me about baking, DIY, fitness, and life…

Spinach Pesto Pasta Salad

Last week I went to a potluck BBQ. I wanted to bring a light Summer salad, something that could be served cold and that I could make in advance. But I also wanted something substantial, something that had a bit of protein and was healthy (you never know when you go to a BBQ). I looked at recipes on the web and decided to try BHG’s Spinach Pasta Salad. I modified it a bit and was super happy with the result. Now that Labor Day has passed, it’s probably the end of BBQ season, but just in case you’re looking for one last Summer salad…

I think I have a new favourite pesto recipe. It’s light – BHG estimates this recipe to have 6 servings of 277 calories per serving. And it’s so tasty. I love the way the spinach complements the basil without being overpowering. I’m definitely making this one again! Wanna try it?

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 box of whole wheat pasta (I used the little spiral ones)
  • 1 cup lightly packed spinach leaves or 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach (thawed)
  • 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 2 tbs parmesan cheese
  • pinch salt, pinch pepper
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1 cup light mayonnaise or salad dressing (I used 1/4 cup light mayonnaise mixed with 3/4 cup greek yoghurt)
  • 150g julienned ham
  • 2 tbs toasted pine nuts
  • 3 plum tomatoes

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Cook to al dente. Do NOT overcook.
  2. Put spinach, basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper into food processor and process until paste like. Add water and oil. Process till smooth. Add mayonnaise, blend.
  3. Add spinach pesto to pasta, mix until well covered.
  4. Toast pine nuts (be careful – they burn easily)
  5. Chop plum tomatoes into bite-sized pieces.
  6. Mix tomatoes and ham into the pasta. Scatter pine nuts on top.

Enjoy =) Print recipe

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5 comments on “Spinach Pesto Pasta Salad

  1. All Seasons Cyclist
    September 7, 2012

    Looks great — I think even my wife would approve of it (she only uses 100% whole wheat pasta). I am not sure why, but she is trying to keep me alive as long as possible.

    • Jessi
      September 7, 2012

      T’is a good goal =) It’s my plan for me and hubby. And after all this time, I’ve even come to prefer the whole wheat. Let me know what you think if you end up trying it.

  2. myhealthyohana
    September 8, 2012

    I’ve been looking for a healthy pesto recipe, will definitely give this one a try :). Looks yummy!

    • Jessi
      September 8, 2012

      Thanks! I was surprised how well the basil and the spinach go together – totally worth a try =)

  3. Pingback: Temptation Tuesdays « Doctorate Housewife

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This entry was posted on September 7, 2012 by in Dinner, Healthy Living, Nutrition, Recipes and tagged , , , , , .

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