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Ingredients

  • 16 Ounces orzo pasta
  • 1 Cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 1 Cup Tuscan House Italian Dressing, divided
  • 1/2 Cup Almonds
  • 1 Cup ATHENOS Traditional Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 5 Cups head broccoli, cut into small florets

Directions

Cook pasta as directed on package, adding the broccoli for the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool.

Toss pasta mixture with tomatoes and peppers; lightly toss with 3/4 cup dressing.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Toss with remaining dressing, feta, and nuts just before serving.

Nutritional Facts

Servings14

Calories Per Serving246

Folate equivalent (total)33µg8%


  • 3/4 cup orzo pasta (uncooked)
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli (chopped)
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries (diced)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (or honey)
  • poppy seeds (1 teaspoon, optional)

1. Cook orzo pasta according to directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
2. In a large bowl, combine orzo pasta, broccoli, strawberries, and sunflower seeds. Drizzle with lemon poppy seed vinaigrette and toss to combine.
3. Season with salt and pepper. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.


Cheesy Broccoli Orzo

Cheesy Broccoli Orzo is a crowd-pleasing, quick and easy side dish recipe for dinner!

This post may contain affiliate links.

Want to know what I find difficult?

Besides finding a hair length I like, painting my own toes, sleeping in cars, wearing high heels (team wedge!) and recently discovering that Atomic Fireballs have 40 calories a piece (highly disappointing considering I’ve been subjecting my tongue to their delicious, delicious burn since my in-laws brought Ben and me a bag from Cracker Barrel last week…)

Finding a good side dish recipe.

I don’t know. I’m the kind of person who can sit down with a big bowl of soup or piece of lasagna and be just fine, but Ben likes himself some options at dinnertime!

In the summer I’ll slice up a couple peaches or a make a side salad with cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden for dinner, but I have to be careful, you see. There are plenty of side dishes I’ve been politely asked to “discontinue” due to the fact that I get obsessed and try to serve them 4 days a week.

(Cough, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, cough. OMG that reminds me! The brussels sprouts in my garden are budding wee sprouts! Will post an update soon.)

Tropical Fruit Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing

I don’t like to spend a ton of time on fussy side dishes either, so I’m always on the hunt for recipes that are not only quick, but interesting, and aren’t just serving as dinner “fillers”. Enter Cheesy Broccoli Orzo.

Lip-smacking delicious, easy, and FAST – this is one side dish Ben requests over and over. Sometimes I surprise him with it because it literally makes him so incredibly happy. Bahahaha! Anyways.

All you do is boil a cup of rice-shaped orzo pasta for a few minutes, then add chopped broccoli and cook for a few more minutes. BTW – you could use brown rice in place of the orzo for a whole-grain boost, but it takes about 30-40 minutes to cook. Orzo is for when time is of the essence!

Drain the mixture really well, as broccoli florets are notorious for holding onto water, then return to the pot.

Add a little bit of shredded cheddar cheese, grated parmesan cheese (fresh or pre-grated – doesn’t matter) and a pat of butter.


How to Make greek orzo salad

ORZO. Boil a pot of water. Once boiling add the orzo pasta reduce heat and cook al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Drain.

COMBINE. Add the pasta to a large bowl along with the artichokes, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese and olives and mix. Drizzle with Greek dressing and toss until evenly coated.

Aside from the mix ins that we included in our recipe you can also use:

  • Capers
  • Diced purple onions
  • Chickpeas
  • Bell peppers
  • Pine nuts
  • Sliced almonds

It’s a really great salad to serve with a side of protein such as chicken , fish or steak .


Broccoli orzo salad

This salad has small pieces of broccoli that melt in your mouth with the orzo pasta. The fresh, tangy buttermilk dressing makes this salad extra delicious.

Ingredients
  • 750 mL (3 cups) finely chopped broccoli
  • 175 mL (3/4 cup) whole wheat orzo
  • 75 mL (1/3 cup) buttermilk
  • 45 mL (3 tbsp) chopped fresh basil or 15 mL/1 tbsp dried basil
  • 30 mL (2 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley or 15 mL/1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) rice vinegar
  • 30 mL (2 tbsp) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. In saucepan of boiling water, cook orzo for 5 minutes. Add broccoli and cook for 3 minutes or until orzo is tender but firm. Drain well and place in bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in small food processor or blender, puree buttermilk with basil, parsley, green onion until smooth. Pulse in garlic and vinegar. Pour over orzo mixture add cheese and toss to coat well.

Tip: For a cold salad, simply rinse the orzo and broccoli under cold water after cooking and drain well. Add dressing as in recipe.

Tip: To make 75 mL (1/3 cup) of your own buttermilk place 5 mL (1 tsp) lemon juice into glass measuring cup and add enough skim milk to make 75 mL (1/3 cup).

Nutritional info per serving (1 of 6)
  • Calories: 163
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Total fat: 2 g
    Saturated fat: 1 g
    Cholesterol: 4 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 31 g
    Fibre: 5 g
    Sugar: 3 g
    Added sugars: 0 g
  • Sodium: 104 mg
  • Potassium: 322 mg

Recipe developed by Emily Richards, PH Ec. ©Heart and Stroke Foundation 2011


Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Mediterranean Orzo Salad is a simple vegetarian side dish recipe that's packed with fresh and zesty flavors.

This post may contain affiliate links.

The thought of grilling season on the horizon has me dreaming of picnic and BBQs recipes, so I whipped up this awesome little side dish to serve at any spring or summer get together – Mediterranean Orzo Salad!

This simple, orzo-based side dish is packed with fresh and zesty flavors from tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese, capers, fresh parsley, and a zingy Lemon Dressing, plus it’s great warm or cold.

This is the perfect side to serve with grilled chicken, fish, or steak. Totally addicting, too, so grab a fork and get ready to dig in!

How to Make Mediterranean Orzo Salad:

Start the Mediterranean Orzo Salad with 6oz orzo (gluten-free if you need it) which is pasta that kind of looks like rice. It’s a great little shape for side dishes! Cook the orzo in salted, boiling water until al dente, then drain and set aside to cool off for a bit.

Gluten Free Rolls

Meanwhile, whip up the Lemon Dressing that will dress the pasta salad. First add 1/4 cup lemon juice and lots of salt and pepper into a food processor or bowl, then add 1 teaspoon honey, and 1 clove garlic (minced if you’re going the bowl/whisk route). Process or whisk while slowly drizzling in 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil.

Taste then add more salt and pepper if necessary, and then set aside. You can make this ahead of time, FYI.

Next, to a large bowl add 1-1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half.

Plus 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced into rings.

Followed by 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese.

Next add 1/4 cup chopped parsley.

and 2 Tablespoons capers. Just…yum.

Toss everything together with the cooked pasta and enough lemon dressing to coat then serve immediately or pop into the fridge until you’re ready to eat. I hope you love this light and flavor packed side dish recipe – enjoy!


Orzo Pasta Salad

This orzo pasta salad with broccoli, bell pepper, red onion and chickpeas is a great summer side dish. It’s tossed in a lemony vinaigrette making it a fresh and light companion for grilled steak, chicken, or seafood. Make it ahead to let all the flavors marry together and serve it cold or at room temperature.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Broccoli Florets
  • 1 cup Orzo
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt, Plus 1/2 Teaspoon Divided
  • ¼ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • ¼ cups Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Diced
  • ½ whole Red Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Parsley
  • 16 ounces, weight Chickpeas, Drained.

Preparation

Place ice cubes and water in a medium-sized bowl.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and let them boil for 2 minutes. Scoop them out of the water and submerge them in the bowl with the ice and water to stop them cooking. Drain them and set them aside.

In the same pot that you used to blanch the broccoli, boil the orzo. There’s no need to change the water, just be sure and bring it back to a rolling boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt before adding the orzo. Cook the orzo according to package directions. While the orzo is boiling, chop the cooled broccoli florets into small pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil. Whisk until the oil is fully incorporated.

Drain the orzo and transfer it to the bowl with the dressing. Add the broccoli, bell pepper, red onion, chopped parsley, and chickpeas and toss well to combine.


Orzo Salad Recipe Ingredients

I use these key ingredients to fill this orzo salad recipe with fun flavor and texture:

  • Whole wheat orzo is the base of this salad. If you can’t find whole wheat orzo, regular orzo will work in its place.
  • Garbanzo beans add protein and hearty texture.
  • Mango adds a sweet, juicy contrast to the crisp veggies.
  • Diced cucumber and red bell pepper add fresh, crunchy texture.
  • Red onion and garlic fill out the flavor and add extra crunch.
  • Fresh herbs and arugula add fresh flavor and lots and lots of green.
  • Pine nuts finish it with a toasty crunch.
  • Tahini makes the creamy, dairy-free base of the dressing, while lemon juice & sherry vinegar brighten it up. I also add cumin and sweet paprika for a little spice.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.


Recipe Summary

  • Fine-grained sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat orzo
  • 5 cups broccoli florets and thinly sliced stems
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season generously with salt, add orzo, and cook according to package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain well again.

Meanwhile, cook the broccoli. Bring 3/4 cup water to a boil in a large pot. Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the broccoli. Cover and cook for 1 minute until bright green but still slightly crunchy. Drain the broccoli in a strainer and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well and set aside.

Make the pesto: Combine 2 cups of the cooked broccoli, garlic, three-quarters of the pine nuts, Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice in a food processor. Drizzle in olive oil and creme fraiche and pulse until smooth.

Toss orzo and remaining cooked broccoli florets with about two-thirds of the broccoli pesto and the lemon zest. Thin with a bit of warm water to desired consistency. Adjust seasoning by adding more salt, lemon juice, or pesto as desired. Fold in avocado. Serve topped with remaining pine nuts.


Orzo Super Salad Recipe

If you are going to transport this to an outdoor picnic or potluck, place all of the ingredients, layered, in a big bowl or container. Toss the avocado gently with a bit of lemon juice ahead of time - so it doesn't brown. Make sure there are a few inches of head room in the container, and you'll need some sort of lid. Carry the dressing in a separate jar. When you are ready to serve the salad, gently toss the ingredients with the dressing using your hands, or leave the lid on the container and gently shake/tumble it - not ideal but it works. You can double or triple this recipe to serve more of a crowd. To make it vegan, you know the drill, skip the feta. And GF-ers, you can swap in a gluten-free grain/rice (for the orzo) and make a grain salad out of this instead.

1 cup dried (whole wheat) orzo pasta
8 - 10 medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments
1/2 a medium head of broccoli (or broccolini), cut into small trees
small handful of cilantro(or mint if you prefer), chopped

1 small clove of garlic, mashed with a big pinch of salt and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

a small handful of sprouts
1/3 cup almonds, toasted
1/2 small cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 medium avocado, sliced into small pieces
1/4 cup feta, crumbled

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and boil the orzo per package instructions. Avoid over-boiling, you want your orzo to be cooked through, but maintain structure. About 30 seconds before the orzo is finished cooking stir the asparagus and broccoli into the orzo pot. Cook for the final 30 seconds, drain and run under a bit of cold water. Just long enough to stop the cooking.

In the meantime, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and more salt (if needed) into the dressing. Set aside.

When you are ready to serve the salad toss the orzo, asparagus, broccoli, and cilantro with about half the dressing. Add more dressing if needed, and toss well. Now add the sprouts, almonds, cucumber, avocado, and feta. Very gently toss a couple of times to distribute those ingredients throughout the salad and serve.



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