Monday, March 5, 2012

Green and White Pesto Orzo Salad

Last week I made a taco salad as our salad of the week.  I love taco salad!  And I was even able to find an avocado on sale (for $1, not much of a sale, but better than normal) so it was super tasty.  This week I decided to try a completely different salad.  I'd seen a broccoli pesto orzo salad on pinterest, but I knew I'd need to change it up so that Ben would consider it appropriate dinner food (and I had no desire to make my own pesto out of broccoli, although the idea sounded intriguing).  So, I created my own salad.

Both of us liked this salad, and found it to be very filling..  Amelia ate everything but the asparagus, which at least she tried.  Megan ate a little bit of orzo and then fussed because it stuck to her fingers.  I decided that I was fed up with her being such a picky eater recently, so I gave her the same plate of food again for dinner the next morning, and the next lunch, and the next snack time, and the next dinner.  And she finally ate the rest of the orzo, the broccoli and the chicken for the dinner after I sprinkled it with a little parmesan cheese (taking a lesson from Grandma Jane.)  She must have been a hungry girl after not eating all day, so after she ate all that, she also had a huge bunch of cherry tomatoes, a piece of bread, a serving of both raspberries and blueberries, and a package of Teddy Grahams.   I don't know that I'll try that again, because it was a long and frustrating day with unrelenting screaming at the dinner table.  As Amelia said "When Megan screams like that, it makes me want to cry."  I agree.

Pesto Orzo Salad with Broccoli and Asparagus
(serves 4)


most of a bag of baby spinach and spring greens, chopped
one bunch of asparagus
one large head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 cup dried orzo (whole wheat preferably)
3 sticks of string cheese, cut into rounds (reduced fat preferably)
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced. (good use for leftover rotisserie chicken or turkey!)
1/4 cup pine nuts
pesto sauce

Cook the orzo: Add orzo to a pot of boiling water.  Cook for 5 minutes for al dente.  Drain and rinse with cold water.

Cook the asparagus: Snap ends off asparagus stalks.  Add asparagus to boiling water.  Cook for about 4 minutes, or until still slightly crunch.  Rinse under cold water.  Cut into bite sized pieces.

Cook the broccoli:  Add broccoli florets to boiling water.  Cook for 1 minute, until broccoli has softened, but is still slightly crunchy.

Mix all ingredients together.  Serve.

I did not mix the pesto with the salad before serving because I wasn't sure how the leftovers would be.  Instead, I added about 1 tbsp of pesto to my salad serving, and stirred it up.  I also added some grape tomatoes to my salad when I ate the leftovers, and that was a delicious addition.  Except then I would have to call it a green, white and red salad.

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