To say pasta is beloved in my household would be a HUGE understatement! I swear, I should have been born Italian! That said, we usually try to limit our pasta intake to one meal a week in an attempt to keep in line with our fitness goals. Everything in moderation, right!? This Orzo salad is a great, nutritious option with TONS of green vegetables, fresh herbs and healthy fats (hello, avocado oil!). I even add extra spinach to my own plate to make it more of a salad- salad and less of a pasta-salad (you know what I mean!).
- 1 lemon, zested
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup Avocado (or olive oil)
- 1 lb asparagus (rinsed)
- 2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock to make it vegan)
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1½ cup dry orzo pasta (I used organic Kamut Orzo, but any kind works!)
- ¼ cup Fresh Basil, chopped
- 1 Cup Fresh Spinach, Chopped
- 1 Cup Chickpeas
- Mix together lemon zest, juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
- Add oil and whisk until it emulsifies a bit. Set aside.
- Snap the end pieces off the asparagus and lay the asparagus stalks in a frying pan. Pour water over the asparagus (just enough to cover it), turn stove on high and steam asparagus about 45 seconds until bright green in color. Asparagus over cooks VERY quickly, and once overcooked loses texture and flavour. So be careful here!
2.Prepare an ice bath for asparagus (ice and cold water in a mixing bowl)
3. Immediately transfer asparagus to ice bath for a approx. one minute.
4. Drain water, then chop cooled asparagus into 1 inch pieces
5. Place the chicken broth and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Add the salt and splash of oil and bring back to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
6.Drain orzo, but do not rinse it. Place the hot orzo in a large bowl, add the asparagus, basil and spinach.
7.Rinse Chickpeas and add to salad.
8. Pour dressing over the salad & DEVOUR!
Happy Healthy Eating!
xo The River City Sisters