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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lunchbox Special: Orzo Salad

Spring. Spring leads to Summer which leads to picnics, work lunches outdoors, beaches, etc. which makes me think about portable salads, snacks, sandwiches etc. This leads to me sharing my orzo salad recipe with you. In my version, I use baby spinach instead of the more traditional basil as a way to add more nutrients and a more subtle flavor. I have also added some chick peas and a light vinaigrette to round things out. This would also be a great dish for entertaining: shower, brunch, cookout, potluck etc. Now grab your favorite outdoor blanket and get outside.

3 cups whole wheat orzo, already cooked per box instructions
1 cup english cucumber, diced
1/2 cup red onion, minced
1.5 cups baby spinach roughly chopped/torn
1.5 cups red pepper, chopped
1 15.5 oz can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, well rinsed
4 oz of reduced fat feta (1/2 standard 8 oz pkg)

3 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh if you have it.
½ cup red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup EVOO
1. Cook the orzo per instructions and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, make vinaigrette by placing lemon juice, vinegar, and pepper into a food processor and slowly add oil.
2. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl, add 3 cups of orzo once cooled and combine well.
Finally, I wish to send out a sincere thank you to each one of my guest bloggers:
Judy at Food and Health
Janina of A place to learn and develop yourself
Kath of Kath Eats Real Food
and a big hug and thank you to my friend and foodie, Natasha of 5-Star Foodie Culinary Adventures for being my 'blog manager' while we were away.


Mary said...

This is lovely. For those who like a litle bite, baby arugula would be terrific as well.

girlichef said...

This is a perfect great-weather salad!! Sounds delicious :)

Anonymous said...

We're totally fans...big fans of this. We could eat it hot or cold.

Justin said...

this makes me think I should start making my own lunches instead of the same old take-out everyday (and I bet I'll save some money too)

Chef Fresco said...

I love orzo - and homemade vinaigrette! Looks yummy!

Chef E said...

I am a super fan of orzo, and asked a Pittsburgh pasta company when they will be coming out with a gluten-free version, and they said soon, or at least a whole wheat, Deallalo (sp?) is the company and their whole wheat does not look or taste like it used to when cooked!

Pass me a bowl please...

Anonymous said...

I love orzo salads! Love this version with chickpeas and spinach! Delicious!

Bits of Taste said...

This is so great and wholesome! Lovely

Donna-FFW said...

Jennifer. This looks absolutely elegant. Love your photo, the colors, the way youlaid it all out. Gorgeous, and so spring-like. Looks delicious too!

doggybloggy said...

chickpeas, spinach, orzo - Bravo!

Maria said...

Perfect for hot summer days!

Tangled Noodle said...

Love this! It makes a great, filling meal when it's too hot to cook or we want something refreshing. That reminds me, I need to pick up feta cheese tomorrow . . . !

Jennifer said...

Mary: Oh, yes, I will need to try with arugula next time

Janina said...

I just made this - easy and yummy! It makes quite a bit - great for picnics or left overs. I used goat cheese instead of feta cheese.

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