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

12 healthy lunch recipes

Boring lunches are so 2014. This year it’s all about tasty and healthy lunches.

We know the reasons we should pack our lunch instead of buying it out. (Healthier and cheaper!)

But it’s not easy. It takes planning and prepping. And most importantly, precious time. But as annoying as it is to actually do it, you’ll be so glad you spent a little time when you get to sit down to a tasty and healthy lunch. I prefer to set aside some time each Sunday to prep the components for lunches so that I only have to spend a few minutes getting lunch ready the night before.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

It’s also important to start small. It would be crazy to make a different meal each day of the week, so I aim to make the same lunch for three days and leave the other two days open for leftovers, frozen meals or meals out.

Here are some of my favorites that can be prepped ahead of time and easily packed up for work. Pick a new recipe to try each week and you’ll never suffer through a boring lunch again!

Green Salads:

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Summer Harvest Salad (Trader Joe’s Copycat!) I’m so glad I found this recipe again, it’s such a good one and it’s full of satisfying ingredients topped with a yummy mustard-y dressing.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Simple Kale Salad Sometimes you just want a simple kale salad…and here it is. It’s a superfood salad!

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Waldorf Salad Sweet, crunchy and full of fresh produce. Low in calories (300) and high in protein, if you’re looking for something light but filling, this is your salad.

Grain Salads:

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette Is it wrong to say that I love this salad because the arugula can be used as-is and it doesn’t require washing any vegetables?! It’s the truth. But it’s also delicious.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Roasted Asparagus & Red Pepper Quinoa Salad Hmmm, so many good ingredients in this quinoa salad.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Black Bean Quinoa Salad This vegetarian salad has a whopping 23 grams of protein per serving. It’s a satisfying one! Quinoa, black beans and a little cheese – what else do you need in life?

Soups and Sandwiches:

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup Make a huge batch of this soup and freeze for many lunches to come. If you eat salads often, this vegetable-packed soup will be a nice change of pace.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Curried Lentil Turkey Soup Oh I love this soup. So much curry flavor going on and so many satisfying ingredients (lentils and turkey).

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Egg, Avocado & Cheese Toast This is about the only recipe that can’t be packed up for lunches, but I had to include it because it’s such a staple in my life. Add two of my favorite foods to avocado toast and I could eat this for every meal of my life!

Chicken Salads:

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Curried Chicken Salad If you like curry, you’ll love this curried chicken salad. Chicken salads are perfect for lunch because you can top a simple green salad with a dollop of chicken salad and you have quick lunch for a few days.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Spring Chicken Salad The best spring produce (peas and leeks) shine in this chicken salad that’s made with greek yogurt and a small amount of mayonnaise.

12 Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Fall Chicken Salad This is a copycat from a favorite little cafe of mine and I might have to consider it my favorite. (I’m not sure I can fully commit but it’s definitely up there on the list.)

PS. If you want more… Healthy lunch ideas!

What’s your favorite healthy lunch?