Grover's Feta and Shrimp Pasta Salad

Updated: August 12, 2023

Getting dinner on the table can be a chore. We are all busy! As you dash home from carpool to karate or dance class, or for working parents going from your office to daycare, it may be hard for some of you to know what you are cooking for dinner tonight, much less on Thursday. Nutritionists, foodies, and budget-savvy gurus say meal planning can help your family save money and eat healthier.  

I meal-plan each week, which in turn gives me my grocery list. I'm far from perfect and have a lot to learn from others. Truthfully, I have searched recipes for hours, made a grocery list, forgot to get critical ingredients, misplaced the list of planned meals, and then forgot that I bought zucchini to roast with one of those scheduled meals.

Surprise! Surprise! I later find rotten zucchini in the fridge.

Case in point. I'm not a domestic diva. I make more mistakes in the kitchen than perhaps anyone. I put a tablespoon in my dish when it only needed a teaspoon. I've left out ingredients only to discover them after the meal.

"Darn, the recipe called for cheese on top."

But, at the end of the day, the result must be the same. I want us to sit down as a family and eat homemade, nonprocessed meals. It's also essential to me that my kids try a wide variety of foods, even if Baby Diva shakes her head no or takes everything off her plate that looks remotely strange to her. Even my son is giving me a hard time lately at the dinner table, but regardless, we eat dinner together nightly, and I try to prepare well-balanced meals. It's what we do! It's part of our family routine.

Sometimes MiMa joins us for dinner. 

A friend and former colleague teaches a course through North Carolina State University's Cooperative Extension Service. The four-hour course teaches families techniques to make life in the kitchen easier, save money with grocery shopping, and make food purchases that will cause them to eat healthier. Every county in North Carolina, including the Cherokee Indian Reservation, has a Cooperative Extension Service. It's an excellent state service.
The best thing to remember is to "Plan, Shop, Fix, and Eat!" stated agent Meleah Collier, based in Whiteville, N.C. She told me the best practice is to write out the meals you plan to make in one week, stick to your grocery list by only shopping for those ingredients needed to make the meals and choose simple recipes with fewer ingredients for your meal planning. Remember to factor in a night or two for leftover meals when planning. Meleah suggested that leftover meals could be remade into new, different meals with the proper planning.

I'm not there yet with that tip. If I have chili on Sunday, with some leftovers, then it's still chili on Thursday. I don't have the superpower to turn chili into anything else. That takes meal planning to a whole new level for me. Maybe one day, but I'm still mastering planning and writing meals for five days a week.

Also, think ahead. If you can "fix" any food in advance on your meal plan, it will help save you a lot of time. This would include chopping, browning meat, or freezing meals.

I don't know about you, but simple recipes with fewer ingredients are a must in my kitchen on a busy weeknight. If a recipe looks complicated, time-consuming, and involves a long list of ingredients, it will be made in someone else's kitchen, not mine.

For today's inaugural "meal-planning made easy" post, I will share a shrimp salad that is wonderful for hot weather and EASY. My dad, who owned restaurants before he died in 2005, sent this recipe to me in 1999, along with my new car insurance card. In his note, he only wrote one thing: "This will be good." He was right.

Grover's Feta and Shrimp Pasta Salad

1 pound shrimp, cooked and deveined
1 cup feta cheese
1 cup cottage cheese
4 green onions
2 tomatoes
1 diced cucumber
1 ½ tsp of dried oregano
1 tsp pepper
8 ounces of angel hair pasta.

Cook pasta. Combine all ingredients. Stir. Add pasta.   Mix well.

Grover's Feta and Shrimp Pasta Salad


Excellent easy, and light Greek-style recipe for a hot August night.

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