Spinach Orzo Salad

I am obsessed with this salad. Seriously. It is SO yummy! I love how light the dressing is. I love that it’s so easy and there’s not much chopping involved…mostly dumping :). This salad is a nice side dish or even a meal replacement. In fact, when I go to BBQ’s or other social events, I almost always bring this salad along because I know that if there is nothing else there I want to eat, I’ll be happy and satisfied with my spinach orzo salad. And the leftovers hold up and don’t get too soggy if you eat it within a couple of days.

Here is what I used for the salad: prewashed spinach(you can buy this huge bag at Costco for really cheap), orzo pasta, capers, marinated artichoke hearts, and two tomatoes. Now, if you don’t like artichoke hearts, like my husband, you don’t have to put them in. I love them so I add them and I tell hubby he can pick them out and give his to me :). The nice thing about this salad is that there are lots of different things you can add to it, depending on what you like.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is take out a pot for your orzo to cook in. Follow the package directions, but cook only about 6 minutes. While you’re waiting for your water to boil and your pasta to cook you can chop up your tomato, dump your other salad ingredients into a big bowl and then put your dressing together.

I find our capers near the mustard at the grocery store, just in case you were wondering :). And the artichoke hearts are usually on the same aisle.

The dressing on this salad is perfection. Really, it is. Just a little bit of sweetness is mingled in this dill vinaigrette.  Below are the dressing ingredients(I use Braggs liquid aminos rather than  soy sauce). Just dump everything into a blender and mix it up until it’s blended. If you want you can double this recipe and freeze the extra in icecube trays or a ziploc bag. Try and use a fresh lemon if you can….I obviously didn’t for this batch :).

I’m going to buy a nice little dressing jar soon so I can take a new picture and replace the one below for you :), but for now, the quart jar is all I’ve got!

The finished product. I think salads look so pretty in trifle dishes!

THE RECIPE:

Spinach Orzo Salad- lightly adapted from Robyn Openshaw, http://www.greensmoothiegirl.com

1 cup uncooked orzo pasta (preferably whole wheat. Boil  6 min, rinse well)

12 cups spinach (I use about half the Costco bag or about 20 oz)

2 tomatoes, diced

2 oz. capers, drained

optional: 3 oz.  marinated artichoke hearts, drained

optional: 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, walnuts or pecans

optional topper: grated parmesan

Toss all ingredients. Add dressing and toss.

Sweet Dill Vinaigrette

2 Tbsp  lemon juice

2 Tbsp 100% orange juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

2 Tbsp cup apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. raw honey

1 garlic clove

1/2 Tbsp. dried (or 2 Tbsp fresh) dill weed

Blend all ingredients in a high-powdered blender. Makes 3/4 cup. Can freeze in ice cube trays or ziploc bag.

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Filed under Dinner, Lunch, Salads, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers, vegan

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