Summer pasta salad

Hi friends! Happy Monday! Hope your week is off to a fantastic start ๐Ÿ™‚

We had some cray cray weather over here last night- it went from yellow skies and pouring rain

sky

to a full-up rainbow.

rainbow

We had a lovely night with family and friends- first at the madreโ€™s house, then over to the dadooโ€™s and back to the madreโ€™s.

Tucker even wore his red bandana for the occasion ๐Ÿ™‚

tucker

As with any family gathering, there was a legendary amount of food.

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Madre made filet mignon

filet

and lots of salmon– each cut was grilled in a foil packet

salmon

and my bro and I were on salad duty.
He chopped up organic veggies

veggies

[English cucumber, cherry tomatoes and bell pepper)

to put atop greens

greens

and whisked up a lemon-honey vinaigrette,

while I made my all-time favorite pasta salad

.

pasta

My nana also brought an incredible cilantro lime shrimp and a bowl of fresh fruit.

My plate of glory:

plate

+ more pasta and more shrimp

We also dined on the famous cupcakes ๐Ÿ˜‰

Being surrounded by family and friends here in Tucson is pretty much amazing, even thought I definitely miss my Valdosta friends who became our family while we were there. After having to be away from them for so long, it definitely feels like it was worth the wait <3

Itโ€™s cardio time over here- see ya later this afternoon!

xoxo

Gina

Want to know if weโ€™re having a boy or a girl? The big reveal is *HERE* ๐Ÿ™‚

Something to do:

Make this pasta salad for your next gathering- or just to have to lunch during the week ๐Ÿ˜€ Itโ€™s perfect for summer, and a great combo of protein, carbs and healthy fats. Itโ€™s based off an Elie Kreiger pasta salad I used to make all the time, with a few tweaks:

Summer Pasta Salad

Makes 8 servings

-1 package of brown rice pasta, cooked according to package directions (al dente) in salted boiling water; rinse in cold water when itโ€™s finished cooking and lightly coat with olive oil to prevent sticking.

-1 log of goat cheese, crumbled

-2 C of crushed walnuts. If youโ€™re feeling fancy, heat in a skillet on medium low for a couple of minutes to release the aroma of said nuts. Itโ€™s an easy flavor booster

-1 bottle of raspberry vinaigrette (I like the Trader Joeโ€™s brand- Annieโ€™s also has an amazing version)

-1 C of spinach, chiffonade cut

-Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and season well with sea salt and pepper. If making this ahead of time โ€“which I recommend because the pasta has more time to soak up all the goodness- prepare the pasta with the walnuts and vinaigrette, but add in the goat cheese and spinach right before serving.

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44 Comments

  1. kate on July 18, 2011 at 10:10 am

    ooh that pasta salad sounds incredible ill have to try it this week!!

  2. April @ Grits and Granola Bars on July 18, 2011 at 10:11 am

    What a yummy looking dinner! Those shrimp look especially good ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. kaila @ healthy helper! on July 18, 2011 at 10:23 am

    That pasta salad sounds amazing!!! And congrats on finding out Gina! You must be so excited!!!

  4. Joy (A Little Bit Fit) on July 18, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Is there anything better than being surround by family and fabulous food! What a wonderful day!

  5. Amara@GirlinaWhirl on July 18, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I’ll say congratulations here! So happy for you. Also might try the pasta salad for my sister’s baby’s blessing in a couple of weeks. Thanks!

  6. Lisa @ Sunny Seed Stories on July 18, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I don’t normally like steak, but I love filet mignon! And I have been craving pasta salad for weeks–might just have to put your recipe to good use. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups on July 18, 2011 at 10:49 am

    That pasta salad recipe looks amazing! I’m sold on anything with goat cheese.

  8. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on July 18, 2011 at 10:49 am

    That salmon looks divine!

    And PS… CONGRATULATIONS!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ I bet this little boy will be the best dressed one in town!

  9. Holly @ The Runny Egg on July 18, 2011 at 10:54 am

    The pasta salad sounds delicious! I like easy recipes like that.

    We had some crazy storms this weekend too — I liked seeing the rainbows afterward though.

  10. Sonia (the Mexigarian) on July 18, 2011 at 11:12 am

    That pasta salad actually sounds yummy. I am slowly exploring into other vinaigrette. Barely fell in love with balsamic earlier this year.

    Looks like there were a lot of good eats in su casa. ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. Sara K on July 18, 2011 at 11:21 am

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! So exciting!

  12. Jen Correa on July 18, 2011 at 11:24 am

    The chopped veggies look so colorful! YummY!

  13. Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) on July 18, 2011 at 11:34 am

    That pasta looks so great!

    Now i’m off to check out the deets on the new baby ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Stefanie @thenewhealthy on July 18, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Love the goat cheese addition to the pasta salad – that’s right up my alley! ๐Ÿ™‚ Going to check out the big news right now!!

  15. Yolie @ Practising Wellness on July 18, 2011 at 11:38 am

    It must be so lovely to be close by your family…you obviously appreciate it so much, which is wonderful. My boyfriend is a Kiwi and we have talked a lot about moving to New Zealand in the future, and that is the one thing that really tugs…being so far away from my family. So fun to see you celebrate your amazing news in true foodie style! ๐Ÿ˜€ xyx

  16. Cait @ Cait hates Cake on July 18, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Sunday Night Family Dinners are the BEST! I was lucky enough to get together with part of my family for dinner last night. That pasta salad sounds delicious. It’s super hot here right now so a cool pasta salad sounds perfect.

  17. Laura (Cookies vs. Carrots) on July 18, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Ooooohhhh, those steaks look amazing! So nice to get some family time in!

  18. Heather @ get healthy with Heather on July 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I love pasta salads! I’m sure the goat cheese makes the salad. Lovely spread of eats ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. geetha on July 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    yummy spread!!!…can we have nana’s cilantro lime shrimp recipe pls!!! :))…those shrimpies look like they can go in my tummy right now!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Fitnessista on July 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      1. go to costco.
      2. buy cilantro lime shrimp- i think it’s in the deli section by the pasta salad
      3. take home and eat ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Jill on July 18, 2011 at 9:03 pm

        Now that’s my kind of recipe!

        • Fitnessista on July 18, 2011 at 10:07 pm

          haha! for real

          • geetha on July 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm

            can’t wait to try!!!…exactly my kinda recipe!!! :))



  20. Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food on July 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I am on a pasta salad kick right now! They are so perfect for fast summer meals! I can’t wait to try this one! Thanks for sharing!

    And congrats on the Little Pilot! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn on July 18, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Ahhhhh pasta salad!!! I have a question — you going from vegan to non-vegan and eating goat cheese etc. again, are there specific health benefits of goat cheese that convinced you to eat it again, or just the taste? I’m curious because I eat seafood and otherwise strictly plant foods, and in thinking about eating other animal products, I’d like to hear your point of view. THanks girl!!!!

  22. Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola on July 18, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    That pasta salad looks delicious!! I’m going to have to make that soon!! And how nice that you are finally by your family right when you are starting your own. What a blessing!!

  23. Vanessa @ Sweaty in Pink on July 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Salmon on the grill is the best! It’s one of my summertime favorites.

  24. Danielle on July 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Do you have the recipe for the honey-lemon dressing your brother made?? It sounds delicious!

    • Fitnessista on July 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      i don’t, but neither does he haha. he mixed lemon juice, canola oil. honey, sea salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar and i think that’s it?

  25. Namaste Gurl on July 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Mmmm- there’s nothing like potlucks with all your favorite foods ๐Ÿ™‚
    That paste dish looks incredible!

  26. courtney @ cupcakedynamite on July 18, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    oohh! what a unique pasta salad, definitely trying it out!!

    • Fitnessista on July 18, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      let me know what you think ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Becky @ The Bex Factor on July 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Thanks for the pasta salad recipe. I’m on a huge brown rice pasta kick right now so I’m going to add this to my list of recipes to try!

  28. Alexa @ Simple Eats on July 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    That pasta salad sounds awesome! I’m still nervous to try brown rice pasta!

  29. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on July 18, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    So glad you had such a great time and yes, being back nearby your loved ones is great and sounds like it’s even SWEETER for you because you were away for such a long time. And now they can be with the little nugget. Congrats on the big reveal and finding out. I just read the post ๐Ÿ™‚

    And those cupcakes…..mmmmm,good! I want more foodie porn pics of those…hah!

  30. janie on July 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Looks gooooood ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance on July 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    My boyfriend has been wanting me to make him filet mignon but I’ve been very intimidated (I don’t eat red meat)
    Now I just might have to tackle it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  32. Fallon on July 18, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    That pasta salad sounds delicious! Really simple too.

  33. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on July 18, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Love that pasta salad recipe. You had me at “goat cheese”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  34. Alexa on July 18, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    I just started reading your blog and I have to say I absolutely love it! I do have a question, I’ve noticed that you always use goat cheese in your food but never seem to use any other cheese, is goat cheese better for you than cow or sheep cheese? Is it about preference? Or do you simply not eat other cheeses?

    • Fitnessista on July 18, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      hi alexa! welcome to the little blog ๐Ÿ™‚ glad you’re enjoying it so far! i have goat cheese instead of cow’s dairy since goats is easier to digest and i prefer the taste ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Alexa on July 18, 2011 at 10:28 pm

        Oooh I did not know that goat cheese was easier to digest, thanks for the tip! I’ll have to try it sometime soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Amanda on July 18, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Pasta salad sounds fabulous! Can’t wait to try it!

  36. Lindsey on July 19, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Thanks for the pasta salad idea! I made it last night (I had all the ingredients on hand) with a few modifications. I used trader joe’s organic whole wheat penne instead of brown rice pasta, added a can of TJ’s artichoke hearts and some halved cherry tomatoes, and made up a little balsamic/olive oil/citrus dressing. YUM! so glad i have some left for lunch today ๐Ÿ™‚

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