Thursday, January 7, 2010

Creamy Shrimp & Pasta

One of my dreaded weekly chores includes planning our dinner menu for the week and making up a grocery list.  I dislike it.  A lot.  Almost as much as I dislike doing laundry.  But, it's a necessity in order for us to stay on budget and it helps with my sanity of not having to figure out what I'm going to make for dinner each night (instead, I'm just crazy for about 4 hours every Sunday figuring our menu for the week)! 

I found this week to be incredibly difficult, especially now that we're approaching a new year.  As with most normal Americans, we're faced with the challenge of resolutions and that infamous one of losing weight with the attachments of eating healthier meals and exercising.  With that in mind, I was trying to also plan our menu by utilizing and using up some of the items we already have (another budget saver).  I knew that I wanted to make a shrimp entree of some sort because we had quite a bit of it in our freezer and shrimp is health, right?  Right.  But, for some reason when I think of shrimp, I think of pasta.  I don't know why but I just love shrimp paired with pasta and trying to come up with a semi-healthy meal including pasta can be a challenge in itself because pasta is just SO much better when it's loaded up with cream and cheese!

I came across a recipe that I believe actually came from Kraft, which inspired me to make this meal.  While I'll admit, it does have cheese in it, we paired it with a nice green salad to balance it out and I guess for psychological purposes, make me feel better about it!  We have been eating very well during the day and one meal with a little cheese can't hurt, right?!  This dish was so yummy.  In fact, I was trying to take pictures of it to post on here and I couldn't help myself from going back and forth to the stove and grabbing a forkful of it.  It was that good.  Honest.

Creamy Shrimp & Pasta

1 lb. Shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 Tbsp. Kraft Parmesan Basil Vinaigrette with Olive Oil
1/4 cup Pasta, uncooked
1 cup Grape Tomatoes, quartered
2 Tbsp Light Cream Cheese
1 Tsp. Basil
2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese, crumbled

In a small bowl, pour the dressing over the shrimp and let marinate, covered, in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.  Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed on package.

Heat a large skillet on med-high heat; add the shrimp mixture and cook 3-5 minutes or until pink.  Remove the shrimp from the skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Add the tomatoes, cream cheese and basil to the marinade in the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, 3 minutes or until blended well.  Add shrimp and cook until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Drain pasta and add to the skillet with the shrimp and cream mixture.  Toss gently to coat and sprinkle cheese on top.  Serve immediately. 

Source: Adapted from Kraft


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