This week was the start of the summer holidays and thanks to my wife who has both kids scheduled in activities 95% of the time, I’d say it went pretty well. No joke, I have a color-coded excel sheet on the fridge with all of the places they need to be all summer…score!

Quinoa, orzo and grilled chicken mixed with spinach and avocado.

So this week both kids have been in golf camp. It’s Miranda’s third year but only Quinn’s first. Both are doing great and I’m so proud of their progress. Watching Quinn reminds me of how I caught the golf bug. My dad basically gave me an old wooden shafted cut down club and I followed him around the golf course just whacking at the ball. It’ll be interesting to see if any of them continue to play as they grow up. I had to laugh today at lunch when I saw Miranda take a picture of her pizza. Maybe golf isn’t her calling but being the next Pioneer Woman is.

PicMonkey Collage

Miranda decided she wanted to ask the neighbors if they had any books they didn’t need. Her mission was to donate them to kids who don’t have access to many books of their own. I love it when spontaneous ideas like this happen!

I had the best Father’s Day and spent it bobbing up and down on the ocean and eating brunch! My wife made the whole thing happen and spent the night before cooking up a whole bunch of awesome stuff including my favorite Scotch Eggs. I was so spoiled and continued on the food fest at local barbecue and beer place. Such an awesome day.

I saw these awesome hanging pallet gardens at my local Whole Foods Market. We’re looking for something to help cover a fence in our backyard so making these in half the size is now on my summer list of stuff to do, where the heck do I find some pallets?

PicMonkey Collage1

I’m leaving you with this healthy and easy-to-bust out grilled chicken salad. Summer’s here folks and it’s time to start eating outside on paper plates and drinking pitchers of margaritas, right? Well it should be, I love eating outside so tonight I threw some Copper River salmon on the grill and served it with this salad. Loved it, make a double batch and use it for your next summer potluck!

Healthy quinoa and orzo pasta salad

Check out these other amazing summer salads! 

Caesar Pasta Salad

Thai Steak Salad

Pasta Primavera Salad

Citrus Chicken Quinoa Salad

Healthy quinoa and orzo pasta salad

Chicken Salad with Quinoa and Orzo

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 176kcal
Author: foodnessgracious
A healthy salad or side dish to any barbecue or pot luck party.
Print Recipe


For The Dresssing

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 leaves sprigs fresh thyme pulled from the stem
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For The Salad

  • 2 cups orzo pasta cooked
  • 1 cup quinoa cooked
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked grilled chicken cubed
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
  • Half of an avocado diced into cubes
  • Grated Parmesan to garnish


  • Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small plastic container and shake vigorously to mix.
  • Cook the orzo and quinoa following the manufacturers instructions and cool.
  • Once both are cool, add them both to a large bowl.
  • Add the olives, thyme, cubed chicken, spinach leaves, pistachios and avocado and dressing.
  • Toss well to combine all of the flavors, taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.


This is an easy salad to make but having everything prepped is key. The orzo, quinoa and chicken can all be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge until you're ready to make the salad.


Calories: 176kcal