simple orzo salad

Simple Orzo Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

Right now in life, I have two major obsessions.

One is Demi, evidenced by the hours in each day I spend staring at her (or smiling, singing or holding toys in her face…). Also evidenced by the sheer number of pictures I have taken of her. Yesterday I had to delete all of my music (so long, workouts!) to make room on my phone for more pictures. Because…priorities.

And my other obsession? Quinoa salads and pasta salads.

I can’t get enough of them. They are the perfect summer meal: easy, served cool and just light enough. In four simple steps, a pasta (or quinoa) salad is ready to eat.

  1. Cook quinoa or pasta.
  2. Prepare dressing.
  3. Prep other ingredients: vegetables, cheese, nuts, etc.
  4. Toss everything together.

Take the salads to a cookout. Take them on a picnic. Or devour them at home.

Today’s simple orzo salad is featuring a cheese that I use on a very regular basis: FETA!

Simple Orzo Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

I always have feta in the fridge, and it’s rare that a salad is eaten without it. I partnered with Nikos to create this salad and I think you’ll love it!

Simple Orzo Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

OK. Orzo is tossed with green onions (my favorite in salads), pine nuts, feta (duh) and a classic vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar. Simple, easy, tasty. Enjoy!

Simple Orzo Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

If you’re a feta fan like me, check out Nikos on facebook, pinterest and instagram for lots of feta-inspiration!

And if you’d like to win a trip to Hawaii (uhhhh, yes!), Nikos is sending one lucky winner and their guest on a trip to Hawaii to experience the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. Enter here. (And then take me if you win. Please.)

Simple Orzo Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

 

Simple Orzo Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 16 oz orzo
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced (about 1½ cups sliced)
  • 6 oz feta crumbles
  • ½ cup pine nuts
Instructions
  1. Prepare orzo as directed.
  2. While orzo cooks, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard and season with salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  3. Drain orzo and add to bowl with dressing. Toss until coated and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  4. When orzo is at room temperature, add onions, feta and pine nuts to pasta and toss until combined.
  5. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  6. To serve, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8 servings Calories: 434 Fat: 24 grams Carbohydrates: 44 grams Sugar: 2 grams Fiber: 2 grams Protein: 12 grams

PS. Want more feta?

 

asparagus & garbanzo bean salad

Asparagus & Chickpea Salad | anutritionisteats.com

Guess who hasn’t cooked a thing since having a baby? ME!

Now that’s not to say we haven’t been eating well, because we have. Between my parents, our cousins and friends, we’ve been SO well-fed and SO spoiled. (Not quite as spoiled as Demi though, packages arrive on a daily basis for that girl!)

Asparagus & Chickpea Salad | anutritionisteats.com

This salad was the last thing I made before I went into labor and I will definitely be making it again soon for a few reasons:

  1. My favorite spring vegetable is without-a-doubt, asparagus. Now is the time to eat it!
  2. It combines my favorite salad toppings. (hard boiled eggs! feta cheese! garbanzo beans!)
  3. I definitely need more salad in my life. Vegetables have been seriously lacking lately.

Asparagus & Chickpea Salad | anutritionisteats.com

This salad requires a bit more than most of the salads I make, but it is SO worth it and it’s full of so many tasty things.

Asparagus & Chickpea Salad | anutritionisteats.com

Butter lettuce, asparagus and radishes act as the vegetable base for this salad. We’ve got green, we’ve got crunch and…asparagus. See above.

Asparagus & Chickpea Salad | anutritionisteats.com

And for flavor, protein and texture I topped the vegetables with hard boiled eggs, garbanzo beans and some thinly sliced feta cheese.

Asparagus & Chickpea Salad | anutritionisteats.com

Then there’s the dressing. You can go a few ways with the dressing. My personal favorite is green goddess, but it is an extra step. You could also use french (Richie liked it with his homemade french dressing) or a simple shallot vinaigrette.

Asparagus & Chickpea Salad | anutritionisteats.com

It’s pretty on a plate and is perfect for company. Serve with some crusty bread and some grilled protein like chicken or fish.

It makes me excited for salad.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Asparagus & Chickpea Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 4 oz radishes (about 1 cup thinly sliced)
  • 1-15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 2 oz feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in medium-sized sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Add asparagus and cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Set aside and let cool.
  4. Divide lettuce leaves on 4 plates.
  5. Top with radishes, chickpeas, hard-boiled eggs, feta cheese and asparagus.
  6. Top with fresh ground pepper, a sprinkle of salt (if desired) and drizzle with dressing.
Notes
Dressing not included in nutrition facts.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 203 Fat: 7 grams Carbohydrates: 24 grams Sugar: 3 grams Fiber: 7 grams Protein: 12 grams

 

simple lemon kale salad

Simple Lemon Kale Salad is dressed with a flavorful lemon dressing and topped with parmesan and bread crumbs.  

Simple Lemon Kale Salad - the best way to eat kale! | anutritionisteats.com

How was your weekend? The long weekend felt SO good. After a few busy weeks at work (I just finished my last big project before my leave!) and getting sick with a cold last week, the three-day break was amazing. We didn’t do anything super exciting, but finished up a bunch of small projects which I was really happy about. (I love crossing things off my list.) And we finally have a crib so the nursery is really starting to come together.

I also spent a lot of time in the kitchen, working on some food projects (you’ll see some of them soon!) and trying out a few recipes that have been on my list. But this kale salad isn’t anything new.

Simple Lemon Kale Salad - the best way to eat kale! | anutritionisteats.com

I’ve been wanting to make it for you since….oh, THANKSGIVING!

Last year my cousin introduced me to this salad and this past Thanksgiving I made it – because no Thanksgiving (in California) is complete without some kale.

It’s SO good and will convert any kale non-believers. (Are there any left in the world?!) The dressing is really bright with tons of lemon flavor and the parmesan cheese and bread crumbs take this salad from a ‘I’ll force myself to eat it because it’s good for me’ kale salad to a ‘there isn’t enough kale salad’ salad! I had numerous requests for the recipe, so I know it’s a good one. (Also, it feels really strange to be talking about Thanksgiving.)

Simple Lemon Kale Salad - the best way to eat kale! | anutritionisteats.com

How simple is it?

First you cut the kale as thinly as you can. I like to remove the stems and then layer a few of the leaves on top of each other to easily slice. A note about the kale: for this salad, lacinato (dinosaur) kale works best so try to find it if you can. The leaves are darker and flatter but it’s pretty common so it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

Simple Lemon Kale Salad - the best way to eat kale! | anutritionisteats.comThe dressing is a simple mix of lemon juice and zest, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. A note about the garlic: I love using the zester to grate the garlic instead of mincing it as it almost creates a paste. It ensures that there aren’t any big clumps of garlic to bite into and the zester is already out anyway! :)

Simple Lemon Kale Salad - the best way to eat kale! | anutritionisteats.com

You can go in a few directions for this salad. It’s the perfect side to grilled fish or braised meat but you could also turn it into a main-dish salad with some grilled chicken and garbanzo beans. Just make it, you’re going to love it!

Simple Lemon Kale Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch lacinato (dinosaur) kale
  • juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • 1½ Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (or use citrus zester!)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp shredded parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry kale.
  2. Remove stems and thinly slice. (Into really thin ribbons)
  3. Whisk together lemon zest and juice, olive oil and garlic.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Toss dressing with kale and lightly massage until combined. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle parmesan and bread crumbs over salad and serve.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 243 Fat: 13 grams Carbohydrates: 26 grams Sugar: 1 grams Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 10 grams

PS. Want more kale? Miso Butter Kale, Sweet Potato, Kale & Bacon Egg Bake, Simple Kale Salad

chicken tacos with guacamole

Chicken tacos with guacamole, a twist on the classic are the perfect weeknight dinner. 

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

Chicken tacos. They’re a weeknight staple, and hopefully on Tuesdays because Taco Tuesdays are just plain fun.

We actually went out for Taco Tuesday/Happy Hour just last week. All of a sudden, reality has started setting in that soon (10 or so weeks!) we’re going to have a squiggly, little infant on our hands and life as we know it is about to change. So we’re taking full advantage. An impromptu happy hour mid-week and two movies this weekend (American Sniper – SO good, Inherent Vice – not really a fan), we’re really living it up. (Hehe.)

Preparing for the baby’s arrival has also gotten into full swing and we finally hung curtains in the “nursery” …. putting together the crib and dresser are next on the list!

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

These chicken tacos though! No taco seasoning out of a pouch here. These are a bit different. Just as flavorful, but without the overwhelming chili flavors. The meat is cooked with onions, garlic and red pepper and seasoned with pantry-staple spices. It’s fresh and tasty, and you control how spicy you want it to be!

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

It’s extremely versatile as well. Double – or even triple – the batch, it’s perfect for freezing. We’re having leftovers with quinoa and black beans this week, but it would be great in quesadillas, on nachos or salads, in burritos, etc.

These tacos as a whole are SO good and adding anything else (besides a touch of sharp cheddar) is not necessary. You’ll be hooked on the warm chicken taco meat + sharp cheddar + cool guacamole all served up in a crunchy corn tortilla combination. And guess what? Dinner is on the table in 30 minutes. (By the way, I so rarely buy crispy corn tortillas that I didn’t realize that you need to bake them for a few minutes – they are so much better when you do this!)

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

If you’re a chicken-every-night kind of person, Chicken: The New Classics by Marcus Bean* deserves a spot on your shelf. It’s a collection of – yup, you guessed it – chicken-based recipes, utilizing a wide range of chicken cuts. This recipe is a perfect example of the modern twists on chicken classics theme, a classic but reinvented a bit and just as satisfying as the original.

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

The book is broken into sections like Buying, Preparing and Cooking Chicken, Weekday Meals, For the Weekend, Dinners & Celebrations and Basic Recipes (like the guacamole) and Accompaniments. The images are beautiful (which is always important for me) and I’ve got quite a few recipes I’d like to make flagged, like: Chicken Fricassee, Persian Chicken, Crisp Chicken & Potato Crust and Chicken with Crisp Noodles.

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

But ultimately, I started with these chicken tacos with guacamole and I’m so glad I did. I have a feeling that (Chicken) Taco Tuesdays will become your new favorite day of the week, too!

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

 

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1.5 lb ground chicken
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • juice from ½ lime
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 12 taco shells
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, onion and red pepper, and fry for 2-3 minutes until just soft.
  3. Add the chicken and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring until the chicken is just starting to color.
  4. Add the dry spices and mix everything well, then add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated and the chicken is cooked through.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, prepare guacamole.
  7. Cut the avocados in half, remove pits and scoop out the flesh, using a spoon and put it into a bowl.
  8. Add the lime juice and crush with the back of a fork, add cilantro and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Fill the tacos with the chicken mixture and top with spoonfuls of guacamole. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and serve with lime wedges.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 tacos Calories: 565 Fat: 36 grams Saturated fat: 13 grams Carbohydrates: 31 grams Sugar: 3 grams Fiber: 4 grams Protein: 44 grams Cholesterol: 162 mg

 (*affiliate link) This book was sent to me, all opinions are my own.