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?

 

lentil pasta with arugula pesto

Lentil Pasta + Arugula Pesto - gluten free, high in protein and a delicious spring meal! | A Nutritionist EatsToday’s pasta recipe and giveaway is sponsored by friends at Uddo’s Kitchen.

Let’s share a bowl of spring-time pasta today, shall we?

It’s not just any bowl of pasta though. It’s LENTIL pasta. (More on that in a minute!) And it’s ARUGULA pesto.

Yums all the way around because it’s absolutely delicious and it’s absolutely good-for-you.

Lentil Pasta + Arugula Pesto - gluten free, high in protein and a delicious spring meal! | A Nutritionist Eats

I’ll start with the pasta. Uddo’s Kitchen lentil pasta is made out of…red lentil flour! That’s it. Just lentils. Which means that in addition to being really high in protein (14 grams per serving!) it’s also gluten-free. Pasta made entirely of lentils may make you a bit nervous, but the texture is great and I think it would be hard to tell that there is anything ‘different’ about it.

Lentil Pasta + Arugula Pesto - gluten free, high in protein and a delicious spring meal! | A Nutritionist Eats

Want to try it out? (Of course you do!) You can find it at Sam’s Club nationwide and Costco in the midwest. And you can enter to win two cases of it below!

Lentil Pasta + Arugula Pesto - gluten free, high in protein and a delicious spring meal! | A Nutritionist Eats

As for the pesto, when I thought about what I liked to eat with lentils, arugula topped the list.

Lentil Pasta + Arugula Pesto - gluten free, high in protein and a delicious spring meal! | A Nutritionist Eats

After a lot of research (during those middle-of-the-night feedings) I decided to try out a pesto made with arugula, instead of basil. We loved it! (Richie actually said it was the best pesto he had ever had.) The addition of lemon juice and zest makes it really bright and flavorful, and it’s a delicious addition to the standard parmesan, pine nuts and garlic. You could definitely use a different nut if you don’t have pine nuts – I think almonds or cashews would both work well!

Lentil Pasta + Arugula Pesto - gluten free, high in protein and a delicious spring meal! | A Nutritionist Eats

In addition to being tasty, pasta and pesto meals are so easy to make. (The best kinds of meals, right?) Throw the pesto ingredients into the food processor and you’re done. Toss with the pasta, top with some parmesan and red pepper flakes and dinner is ready. (Leftovers are also delicious!)

5.0 from 2 reviews
Lentil Pasta with Arugula Pesto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups arugula
  • juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan
  • salt & pepper
  • 12 oz Uddo's lentil pasta
  • shredded parmesan and red pepper flakes for serving
Instructions
  1. Prepare pasta as directed.
  2. While pasta is cooking, process garlic cloves in food processor until finely chopped.
  3. Add arugula (two large handfuls), lemon zest and juice, nuts, oil, parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Process until desired consistency.
  5. Toss with pasta and top with shredded parmesan and red pepper flakes if desired.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 397 Fat: 20 grams Carbohydrates: 38 grams Sugar: 1 gram Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 19 grams

 

Thanks again to Uddo’s Kitchen for sponsoring this post!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

4 easy trader joe’s meals

Last year, I shared a 5 trader joe’s meals (5 ingredients or less) and it’s been one of my most-popular posts ever since! It seems like we are all looking for quick meals that come together in minutes – I get it.

And I’m back with some more. I visit Trader Joe’s a LOT. It’s two blocks away and now that shopping involves schlepping a stroller + car seat up stairs…I’m there even more because I can only carry one bag (max) at a time. (Is it ridiculous that I still get a bit nervous to leave the house?!) Maybe you shouldn’t answer that…

Easy Trader Joe's Recipes - 5 ingredients or less! | anutritionisteats.com

Ideally, each of these meals would have a vegetable component, but some of these are lacking a bit. So to add a quick vegetable side, try salad greens with dressing (I love their refrigerated Cilantro Dressing), roasted broccoli, or sautéed green beans. If you are really desperate, carrot sticks always work in a pinch, too!

Country Potatoes with Eggs:

Easy Trader Joe's Recipes - 5 ingredients or less! | anutritionisteats.com

The Country Potatoes with Haricots Verts & Wild Mushrroms is one of my new favorite items from Trader Joe’s, it’s SO good! Simply prepare the potatoes as instructed and fry or scramble an egg to serve alongside. It is suitable for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Turkey Bolognese Pizza:

Easy Trader Joe's Recipes - 5 ingredients or less! | anutritionisteats.com

You know I love my tortilla pizzas! (Pesto Pizza / Healthy Taco Pizza) and I thought trying the bolognese sauce would be a great way to switch up flavors, and get an extra boost of protein. Simply bake the tortilla until crisp (at about 400 degrees), top with sauce (drained as much as possible!) and cheese and bake until cheese has melted. (Brown rice and sprouted tortillas are my favorite to use.)

Falafel Sandwiches:

Easy Trader Joe's Recipes - 5 ingredients or less! | anutritionisteats.com

If you’re looking for a vegetarian lunch or dinner, this is about as easy as it gets! Whip up a quick cucumber sauce, heat up the falafel and pita and your meal is on the table. Combine one container of greek yogurt, a minced clove of garlic and 1/2 cup shredded cucumber with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dried dill, salt & pepper in small bowl and set aside. Heat falafel (takes 2-3 minutes in the microwave) and pita (in oven or microwave) and serve with cucumber slices.

Penne Peperonata with Sausage and Spinach:

Easy Trader Joe's Recipes - 5 ingredients or less! | anutritionisteats.com

I branched out and tried some of the frozen pastas that Trader Joe’s stocks in it’s freezer cases. I didn’t have high hopes going into it and frozen pasta has always seemed a bit ridiculous – it’s so easy to make! Well, it’s delicious. And it’s easy. Remove casing from hot italian sausage (or use sliced chicken sausage) and heat over medium heat until cooked through. Drain and set aside. Prepare pasta as directed. Toss hot pasta over spinach (or try arugula!) and top with sausage.

PS. Looking for more? 5 trader joe’s meals (5 ingredients or less) 

easy baked ziti

Easy Baked Ziti | anutritionisteats.com

Who is ready for a non-Thanksgiving recipe? It was a wonderful evening, but I’m ready to get into the Christmas spirit! This doesn’t mean that I’ve got the decorations up, or even plan on getting a tree but I love giving gifts, lighting candles every night, and of course, the comfort food that cooler weather brings.

And baked ziti is the perfect comfort food.

Easy Baked Ziti | anutritionisteats.com

It’s comforting, it’s satisfying and it’s easy to make. Isn’t that what every dinner should be?

Bonus: it’s five ingredients and takes only 10 minutes of active prep time. It will be on the table in 35 minutes and everyone will be happy.

Easy Baked Ziti | anutritionisteats.com

Baked Ziti isn’t necessarily the prettiest food around, but it is tasty. No matter if your taste buds lean gourmet or picky – it’s a meal that the whole family will love. I used a spicy red pepper marinara (jarred) sauce but use your favorite jarred or homemade sauce.

Serve with a green salad – it’s all this dinner needs!

Easy Baked Ziti | anutritionisteats.com

Easy Baked Ziti
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 1½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 25-oz jar of marinara sauce
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta as directed until al dente, drain and set aside.
  3. Mix together ricotta cheese, eggs, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
  4. Cover the bottom of an 8x8 inch pan with half of the marinara sauce.
  5. Top with pasta, ricotta mixture and remaining sauce.
  6. (Sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese if desired.)
  7. Bake for about 25 minutes, until bubbly.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 538 Fat: 19 grams Carbohydrates: 62 grams Sugar: 13 grams Fiber: 7 grams Protein: 28 grams Cholesterol: 145 miligrams