Kale and Orzo Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

 Laziness.  Writer's block.  Lack of motivation.  Crazy schedules.  Eating out of the freezer. 

I know, excuses, excuses, excuses.   Bottom line - life has been a little crazy as of late.  We have been on the go, on the road, and more than a little sleep deprived. 

And I'm not lying about subsiding primarily on freezer food. The grocery bill has been a mere fraction of the usual, which has been really, really nice.  The good news is the freezer is bare and I have no choice but to get back in the kitchen; the bad news is I managed to spend all of the grocery savings at market in Atlanta.

This should come as no surprise.

One of the few things I actually whipped up during my hiatus that requires more than simply warming in the oven or on the stove is this orzo salad.  And that's only because it's almost easier and faster than reheating a meal from the freezer.  Not lying.

This orzo is really good as a side dish, or even for a light lunch or dinner.   If I'm looking for a meal with a little more substance and pizazz, I'll toss in some grilled chicken or shrimp, parmesan or feta cheese, and any veggies I can scrounge up from the fridge for a heartier dish.  

No matter how you serve it, I promise it's cheap, quick, easy, and delicious.  And did I mention healthy?  What more can you ask for in a weeknight meal?


Kale and Orzo Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Serves: 6 to 8
Prep and Cook Time:  30 minutes

8-10 ounces of whole wheat orzo 
1 bunch of kale, chopped
1 cup of pine nuts
1 large cucumber (or 2 small), sliced and quartered
1 pint of grape tomatoes
1 bunch of dill, chopped
2 lemons
1/2 cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon

Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional add-ons:  Feta, Parmesan, Shrimp, or Grilled Chicken

Boil orzo according instructions on package.  When finished, drain orzo in a colander and rinse completely with cold water until pasta is no longer hot to the touch.  Pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mix well to prevent sticking.    In a large bowl, mix orzo, kale, pine nuts, cucumber, tomatoes, and dill together.  In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and the juice of the two lemons.   Pour dressing over the orzo salad and mix well.  Salt and pepper to taste. If you have the time, refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

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