Monday, August 8, 2011

Imitation Crab and Pasta Salad

I love salads!  All types of salads.  Sometimes I think I could survive on nothing but salads, especially during this hot Texas summer. So for the next few weeks my recipe offerings will be salads.  This salad is intended as a one dish meal but you can leave out the crab meat and use it as a side dish to serve with your favorite chicken or fish.  Remember that I also like quick and easy so that's what this is.  Even stopping to take pictures I was able to make  the complete salad in less than 30 minutes and I'm not fast in the kitchen.  That's one of the things I like about THRIVE foods, everything is already washed and chopped.  They've already done the prep work! Also be aware that there are no preservatives or additives in most THRIVE foods.  It's like using food right out of your garden as far as nutritional value.

Here is my original recipe for this fast and easy pasta salad.

Imitation Crab and Pasta Salad
(Makes 2 servings)

What you will need:

plus mayonnaise and imitation crab meat (sorry, I forgot to get those out of the refrigerator before I took the picture).


1 1/2 C  veggie spirals pasta (6 oz.)
  1/4  C  Thrive FD chopped spinach
    1  T   Thrive carrot dices
    1  T   Thrive FD chopped onion
    2  T   Thrive mixed peppers
  1/4  C  mayonnaise (I use lite)
     1  T  dry Ranch Dressing mix
   1/2 C  imitation crab meat (approximately 4" X 4" chunk)
 1-2  T  Thrive bacon TVP  (optional)


      1.     Bring 2 quarts lightly salted water to a full boil and slowly add pasta so that the water doesn't stop boiling.   Continue to boil for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender.

      2.     While the pasta is boiling place spinach, carrots, peppers and onions in separate bowls.  I put peppers and onions in the same bowl.   Use a spray bottle to spray water on the vegetables in each bowl. ( I read this trick on another consultants blog and it works so nicely.  No more draining off all those vitamins!)  Stir with a fork and let them sit a couple of minutes and spray again.  The spinach and carrots should look, feel and taste like fresh.


     3.    Between spraying and stirring the vegetables combine the mayonnaise and dressing mix in another bowl.  Stir it well until all the powder is absorbed into the mayonnaise.

     4.      Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water.

     5.     Cube the crab meat into bite size pieces.

     6.     Place pasta, crab meat, spinach, carrots and peppers/onions in a serving bowl and stir in the   mayonnaise dressing mix to coat all ingredients.  Add the bacon TVP and stir again.

That's it!  Now doesn't that look tasty?  Enjoy!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

About Me

Letting you know a little about myself will help you understand why I decided to begin this blog.  I have been cooking since I was 8 years old.  Cooking and shopping have been a big part of my life for half a century!  Wow, that  makes me think of my grandmothers and how much I admired their ability to create such wonderful,delicious meals with what they had in the cupboard.  I was even allowed the opportunity to participate in preparations such as churning butter, making homemade yogurt and cottage cheese, mashing potatoes with a hand masher, rolling out pie dough, etc.  Oh the memories and the list could fill the page but you get the idea.

Growing up on a dairy farm, we raised our own beef and pork and grew our own vegetables. Summers were filled with canning and freezing our fresh produce and making jelly.  Baking was one of my weekly chores.  I was responsible for making enough desserts to last a family of five for a week at a time.  As my skills increased I became the "chief cook and bottle washer" and grocery shopper for the family until I graduated high school and left for college.

Young married life and entertaining encouraged gourmet cooking and a large collection of recipe books.  I always enjoyed hosting a party!  As the years passed I found myself raising three children in a very small rural town while working full time and carrying a full college load as a single parent.  That pushed me to develop one dish meals.  Anything that could be made quickly and easily and still tasted good.  Our quality time together was during meal prep time and  the kids were at the counter doing homework. We always ate supper together.  Having everything in one dish also got the kids to eat vegetables!  So my gourmet cooking skills became whatever was quick and easy.  Those are the skills I have continued with throughout my 26 year career as an educator and now as a retiree living alone.

Trying to eat healthy and having food go bad before I could use it is what lead me to Shelf Reliance/ THRIVE.  I don't have to worry about wasting food. With THRIVE my produce is always fresh and much of the prep work is already done!  I have found numerous blogs and websites with recipes for large families but I want more ideas for one meal at a time for 1,2,or 3 people.   This blog is intended to help individuals and small families have recipes for healthy, tasty food.