Am I the only one who still gets confused with rice and orzo?
A quick glance at both of them in the store and I’m like, whaaaat. Truth is, you could use rice for this salad and it would taste great. It’d just be like this Banh Mi bowl or a Grilled Chicken Bok Choy Bowl.
But I declare Monday’s are for orzo, so here it is all mixed up with a bunch of other super healthy eats. This recipe takes a teeny bit of extra effort because of the grilling, but the payoff is well worth it. Anyway, grilling is fun. I like to stand outside with my tongs in one hand and a Malbec in the other.
You might notice me posting more and more salads, there’s a couple of reasons. It’s summer (close enough) and that means sayonara to heavy comfort foods. Another reason is we’re trying to kick a few pounds in the house.
Actually, Maura has lost 28 pounds since January! She’s super dedicated and I’m so proud of her for sticking at her routine. I’m feeling a little bit of pressure to complete my own goal of dropping 10 pounds before Speedo season, I’m pretty confident I’ll get it done.
Hopefully these kinds of salads will help me. I know it’s not completely carb free but I’m a believer of looking at the bigger picture and what I could be eating if I didn’t have a plate of grilled chicken, veggies and fruit in front of me.
For salads I prefer grain based rather than just all leafy greens. One of the easiest meals you can make is to buy one of those mini salads from Trader Joe’s, cook of a bag of frozen organic brown rice or quinoa and mix it all together. It’s okay to buy frozen rice, It’s consistent and ready in three minutes!
Baby broccoli cooks so fast on the grill so don’t take your eye away from it, or step into the house for more Malbec which I may have done.
Just drizzle some olive oil over it and season. Plonk it on the grill and watch it char.
Tell me if this isn’t your jam.
Orzo Salad with Balsamic Grilled Chicken
For The Dressing
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups uncooked orzo
- 1 pound chicken breast or boneless thighs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 oz baby broccoli
- 3 slices peaches cut into large
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 8 oz snap peas cut in half
- 1 cup chopped candied pecans
- 1 large ripe avocado
- Salt and black pepper
- Add the balsamic vinegar, garlic and black pepper to a blender.
- Switch to high and slowly add the olive oil until the dressing is thick and emulsified. Set aside.
- Cook the orzo in boiling water as per the instructions on the pack.
- Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again and let cool.
- Preheat your grill to high and season the chicken with salt and pepper, or your favorite seasoning.
- Grill the chicken on each side for about 5 minutes or no longer pink in the middle. Let rest and then slice into thin strips.
- Drizzle the broccoli with some olive oil and grill for about 3 minutes each side and they become slightly charred. Let rest.
- Lightly drizzle some olive oil over the peaches and grill them flesh side down for two minutes and you have some good grill marks on the them. You're just looking for some color.
- Place the orzo in a large bowl and add the chicken.
- Roughly chop the broccoli into large pieces and add to the orzo.
- Add the wedges of grilled peaches, green onion, cilantro, snap peas and pecans.
- Slice the avocado and add to the salad.
- Taste and season well with salt and black pepper.
- Finally add half of the dressing and toss well.
- Taste again and add more dressing if you think it needs it.
- Serve on a large platter with extra avocado.