Monday, September 14, 2015

Still summer!

My kids have been back to school for a week now and we're getting into soccer and our fall routine, but it's definitely still summer in southern California1  While I daydream about pumpkin desserts and look at crock pot recipes on Pinterest, the reality is that I'm still cooking like summer - grilling and eating a lot of salads.

Here's one of our favorite recent salad dinners.  I doubled the chicken and marinade and used the grilled chicken for two different meals.  It's really versatile and my kids love it this way.  You can grill or roast the chicken and if you want a gluten free version of this recipe, white rice is a decent substitution for the orzo.

Lemon Orzo Salad with Chicken and Asparagus

2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 cup orzo
8-12 asparagus spears
2 cups packed fresh spinach
juice of 2 lemons (divided)
1/3 cup feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Make the chicken marinade:  Combine yogurt, coriander, cumin, garlic salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a large ziplock bag.  Add chicken breasts and massage to completely coat.  Refrigerate for 2 hours (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 415 degrees.  Toss the asparagus with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 10-15 minutes or until crisp tender.  Chop into 1 inch pieces.
Chop fresh spinach and put in a large bowl.  Cook the orzo according to package instructions.  Drain and stir it together with the fresh spinach (it'll wilt the spinach slightly).  Add the asparagus to the bowl.

Grill or roast the chicken breasts until cooked through (I put mine on the same pan as the asparagus when the asparagus was done and then roasted it at 450 for about 15 minutes).  Slice into thin slices.  Toss with the orzo and vegetables.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and toss.  Add more lemon juice or a drizzle of olive oil if it seems dry.

Sprinkle feta on top and serve warm.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I just read a children's book that good for -- well, children of all ages, "Me...Jane." It's mostly a picture book (illustrations) about Jane Goodall as a young girl, and her stuffed chimp named Jubilee. And how her fascination with nature at a young age turned out to be a life-long passion.