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Another Friday is here. Time really seems to fly so fast. Did you have a 2013 Bucket List? Have you been peeping at it and checking off the things you’ve done so far? I didn’t have one this year, but I had one major goal and that was to start this blog and here I am writing my 26th post. I hope I’ll be able to write my 1000th post in the next four years. Watch this space!
Yesterday, I watched a past Ellen DeGeneres show. There was this old but young-at-heart lady, Edythe Kirchmaier, who had celebrated her 105th birthday and was being interviewed by Ellen. And guess what? she had renewed her driving license that morning, and had never had a driving ticket. She also said that she enjoyed her iPod and iPad and is still on Facebook!
Her secret: be happy, don’t worry about things you can’t do anything about and be positive, at all times. If your glass is always half empty, it’s time to have it half full. That made me reminisce about the youthful days when we used to say, “may you live to blow 101 candles!” Did you ever write that on a birthday card?
After watching this young-at-heart lady, I decided, I must start eating healthy food, so I made some Orzo salad for lunch, but because I am such a ‘carnivore’ I added some chicken pieces in it. Makes it taste much better. I don’t know if I can ever be a vegetarian, it must take a lot of will power and determination. To all vegetarians, I salute and admire you!!!
I want to thank you so much for reading this post, please do come back again and if possible, bookmark this website. You are also welcome to leave a comment. Now for the Chicken-Orzo salad, enjoy!
Always remember to assemble all ingredients before you start. It makes everything go much faster! Start by cooking the Orzo, according to package instructions. I always add some salt at this stage, if you prefer not to add salt, that ‘s okay, it’s a matter of personal choice.
For the lemon dressing: combine lemon juice, olive oil, honey, lemon or lime rind (zest) and crushed garlic. Shake well to combine. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Adjust seasoning, if required.
The mixture should look cloudy. Keep it in the fridge.
Ingredients for the rest of the salad
Once the Orzo is cooked, drained in cold water and cooled, drizzle the lemon dressing over it. Toss to coat the dressing.
Now add the chicken, diced cucumber, chopped red and orange capsicum (bell peppers), green onions and basil. Toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
If you like, crumble some Feta, Goat Cheese or shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, on the salad. I didn’t have any suitable cheese that day so I didn’t add any.
Serve. I ate mine as a complete meal for lunch because I added chicken to it!
Chicken Orzo Salad
Preparation time: 20 minutes; Serves: 4-6
- 150g (1 cup) uncooked orzo
- 1 cup skinned, shredded, boneless rotisserie or boiled chicken breast, or left over chicken
- ½ cup English cucumber, diced
- ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup orange bell pepper, diced
- ⅓ cup (spring) green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional) or any other cheese as suggested below.
Ingredients for Lemon Dressing
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon or lime rind (Zest)
- ½ teaspoon crushed garlic (you can also substitute garlic with thyme or add both)
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cook the orzo in plenty of salted water, according to package instructions, until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place in a large bowl.
- For the lemon dressing: combine lemon juice, olive oil, honey, lemon or lime rind (zest) and crushed garlic. Shake well to combine. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Adjust seasoning, if required.
- Drizzle lemon dressing over orzo, toss to combine.
- Add the chicken, diced cucumber, chopped red and yellow bell peppers, green onions, and basil, toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle with Feta cheese, if using, or any other preferred cheese as suggested below.
- I prefer to add salt to the Orzo, at the cooking stage, it gives it a better taste. You can omit salt if you wish. Orzo is a rice shaped pasta.
- Cheese variations: you can substitute Feta for crumbled goat cheese, or Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Salad variations: instead of cucumber you can use zucchini (courgette) or fresh asparagus spears.
- You can also add grapes or cherry tomatoes, olives, fresh baby spinach or use whole-wheat orzo.
- Herb variations: parsley, mint, basil, dill or any other of your choice,
- Last Updated: 18 December 2018