Monday, June 28

Zucchini Orzo Salad

Making lunches for the week ahead of time has been a real life/time saver for me. Since I am the rare soul that brings her lunch to work every day of her life (everyone else I know goes out!) I have to come up with new, creative dishes to pack! For a while now P and I have only been eating meat for dinner and since he is fine with grilled cheeses and PB&J's everyday it has been pretty easy to please him. Me on the other hand would prefer a change, and likes variety. Scoping out vegetarian blogs and recipes has helped! Its amazing how many ways you can add protein to your diet without eating meat! It also helps that I used to cook for a vegetarian and have a number of recipes up my sleeve. I thought I would share a recent lunch that was pretty easy to whip up and will definitely be making again!!

Zucchini Orzo Salad

For the Salad:
1 medium sized zucchini cubed
1 small red onion sliced in thin rounds
2 Roma tomatoes cubed
handful of roasted and chopped almonds*
sprinkling of veggie cheese (of course you can use regular if you prefer!)
about 8oz orzo pasta cooked
1 C raw spinach leaves

For the vinaigrette:
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and sugar. Stream in the olive oil, whisking vigorously, until combined.
2. Saute in a bit of olive oil the zucchini and onions until soft and yummy. I sprinkled a little salt on them during sauteing process.
3. Toss the pasta, zucchini and onion mixture with the dressing and add the uncooked tomatoes and spinach leaves.
4. Separate in your different bowls if packing for lunches (I was able to make 4 lunches out of this recipe).
5. Top with almonds and cheese. When you heat salad at lunch time the cheese melts, tomatoes and spinach soften perfectly. I imagine you could eat this cold as well! :)

*after eating my first helping of this salad I noticed that the crunchy almonds almost tasted like bacon bits! They were a VERY good, healthy touch to add flavor.


  1. I'm one of those people that used to eat out everyday but then decided it was cheaper and healthier to bring my own lunch. Thanks for this great idea.

  2. This looks really good! I've never had orzo before...I'm going to have to try it out!

  3. I love orzo! I've got another great orzo pasta salad recipe...I am always on the look out for fresh yummy pasta salads.

    1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
    1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
    1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
    1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
    1 (19-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon cold water
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic

    Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.

    Combine pasta, onions, cheese, dill, and chickpeas in a large bowl, tossing gently to combine.

    Combine juice and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat.

    Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

    CALORIES 327 (29% from fat); FAT 10.4g (sat 2.9g,mono 5.1g,poly 1.8g); IRON 3mg; CHOLESTEROL 13mg; CALCIUM 107mg; CARBOHYDRATE 47.6g; SODIUM 641mg; PROTEIN 10.8g; FIBER 4.9g

    Cooking Light, AUGUST 2002

    I have made this a million times! I add cucumber to mine sometimes.


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