Thursday, August 4, 2016

Light Lemon Balsamic Caprese Pasta Salad


I love summer!  It is my absolute favorite time of year.  It's my chance to spend time with my kids and really just enjoy being a mom.  We try to go on a bunch of different adventures and really just focus on being a family.  Sometimes, in the chaos of the school year, it can be difficult to have those moments of quality time and we have to really focus on ensuring we fit those moments in.  This summer I have taken a break from work and everything else to just focus on spending time with my kids and family.  It has been a wonderful summer, but I'm missing my blog and all of you.  I'm ready to be back and focusing on my weight loss. What are some of your favorite activities for this summer?  

We have spent the last week at a lake camp my parents rented and have gone to a number of really wonderful cookouts.  One of my favorite things to bring to cookouts is this delicious light Lemon Balsamic Caprese Pasta Salad.  It is a great alternative to heavy mayonnaise based and dressing laden salads.  I came up with the idea after my oldest, who hates mayonnaise and anything 'white' that has the potential to maybe be mayonnaise, was feeling very left out at the BBQs.  He loves this light and fresh recipe.  He told me, "Mommy, it's kind of like eating a burst of summer in each bite."  He's just so cute that it kills me!  
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Lemon Balsamic Caprese Pasta Salad
Servings: 12 ★ Smart Points: 3 ★ Points Plus: 2 ★ Calories: 87 ★ Total Fat: 3 g ★ Saturated Fat: 0 g ★ Protein: 4 g ★ Carbohydrates: 12 g ★ Fiber: 2 g ★ Sugars: 1 g ★ Sodium: 63 mg ★ Cholesterol: 0 mg


Ingredients:
· 6 ounces rotini (I used SmartTaste) 
· 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
· 4 ounces mozzarella pearls 
· 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
· 1 lemon, juice and zest
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 4 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
· salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. Cook pasta according to packet instructions.  When the pasta is al dente, quickly rinse it under cold water.  While the pasta cooking, use a small bowl to mix together the balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, basil, salt, and pepper.  Add the tomatoes and mozzarella pearls.  These should marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the rotini and cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, and dressing. Allow to sit for a further 10 minutes. Refrigerate until served.
Healthy dinner ready in 30 minutes and goes great with a weight watchers meal plan.

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