Orzo, Spinach & Feta Cheese Salad

orzo salad

Absolutely the perfect salad for summer, to eat while watching the world cup soccer games or just for any occasion. Healthy, fresh and full with colors!

I know, I know, always looking for recipes to “lose weight” (a mission impossible for me by the way), but what can I tell you…. I have to try no matter what.

Meanwhile, hope you enjoy the summer and this post!

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::Orzo, Spinach & Feta Cheese Salad::

3/4 pound orzo

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 small clove of garlic, minced

pinch of dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

3 ounces spinach leaves, washed and torn into bite-size pieces

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup Kalamata olive, pitted and sliced

1/2 cup scallions, minced

2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained

3 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled

3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted.

Garbanzo beans (if desired)

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente.

 In a small pan, warm oil over medium-low heat. Sauté garlic until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer garlic and whatever oil remains in the pan to a bowl.

Add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, salt and pepper; whisk to combine. Add spinach and toss lightly. Add orzo, olives, capers, feta cheese, scallions, oregano and cumin. Toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top with crumble feta and pine nuts. Refrigerate and serve cold.

 

 

Mixed Veggies Chicken Avocado Walnut Salad

“One day, we will live in a world without salads. It is a dream I have.”
 Carl “Cal” Tuohey, Gray Hair, Black Belt: Earning a Black Belt After 

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It’s Monday. For me, the worst day of the week. I do not like the idea that the weekend is gone. I find it hard to get up. But I got it. Very early this morning, had a healthy breakfast and went to my spinning class. Checked.

A mid-morning fruit snack. Checked.

Salad for lunch. Almost checked.

Salad time!  This one is fresh and exciting.  Yes… I’m still talking about salad.

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This salad contains fresh avocado, arugula, english cucumber, cherry tomatoes, crunchy walnuts, chicken, olives and a balsamic- mustard dressing.

I feel like I’m trying to make up for all the food I devoured in December.  Seriously… I had so many of everything!  I don’t want my salad to feel like a chore, ever. That’s the absolute worst.

So, while I’m preparing this salad, comes to mind over and over, a quote which reads: “Eating a salad (in public) is an overweight person’s attempt to appear in control.”

And the only thing I do is think: God, M. Mokhonoana is right! I don’t want to be that person!… Don’t worry. It was just a minute of panic, but am good now. Everything under control.

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This awesome salad have a few happy ingredients: fresh citrus juice and ripe avocado, crunchy walnuts and little extra parmesan cheese.

The combination of citrus juice with creamy avocado is just wonderful.  Perfect balance.  The chicken add a bit of protein.  Leafy greens because they make us beautiful.

::Mixed Veggies Chicken Avocado Walnut Salad::

For the salad:

about 2 cups leafy arugula

about 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved

1 medium (or half of a large) organic english cucumber, sliced

1 small (or half of a large) ripe avocado, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup olives

1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup diced chicken breast

For the dressing:

1 teaspoon dijon or whole grain mustard

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients.

In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid combine mustard, vinegar, balsamic, olive oil, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and a few pinches of pepper.  Place the lid on the jar and shake it up until the mixture is emulsified. Taste the dressing and season to taste, adding more salt, pepper, or acid as necessary. Pour the dressing (as much as you’d life) over the salad.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Enjoy immediately!