I usually stash a bag of salad and salad dressing in the office fridge (or I pack up some lettuce from home in another Glad® container), so this orzo salad paired with a more standard side salad makes the perfect lunch.
I also love that this orzo salad is very enjoyable cold and easily transportable, because on particularly nice days - which we've had a ton of lately! - I can quickly sneak away to a nearby park for lunch, get some sunshine and breathe in the fresh air even if just for a small bit. It helps make the afternoon much more enjoyable. Also, since I've eaten a very healthy lunch, I don't get the afternoon food coma, desperately wanting to take a nap. That is something I used to feel like I needed all the time. Don't get me wrong, I love a good nap, I just don't like the feeling of having to take one.
I love a salad with a beautiful variety of colors and textures. It makes eating what you've just created so much more enjoyable.
Tomato, Avocado, Chickpea & Orzo SaladAdapted from Love & Lemons
- 1 large tomato
- Olive oil
- Sherry vinegar
- 1 Clove garlic
- 1/2 C uncooked orzo (I love tri-color)
- A few handfuls of arugula
- 1 - 15oz can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 avocado, diced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Handful of fresh basil
- Handful of fresh parsley
- Pine nuts
- Feta cheese
- Salt & pepper (I prefer sea salt)
Cook the orzo according to package directions. Strain and let cool slightly.
Chop up the arugula a bit, add to a bowl with the chickpeas, avocado, lemon juice, chopped basil and parsley, pine nuts and feta. The original recipe did not call for feta, but I added it later and it was the perfect addition. I prefer buying a block of feta and then crumbling it myself with a fork - that way I get nice big hunks and it tastes so much fresher to me than pre-crumbled feta.
Resist the longing looks of your adorable doggie - if you can :)
Once your orzo has gotten a few minutes to cool, mix that in with your greens and chickpea mixture. Fish out the garlic from your tomatoes and discard. Drain a good bit of the marinade from the tomatoes and finally mix the tomatoes in to your salad. Voila!
Three pre-packed lunches - done. It would have been four, but I couldn't resist immediately chowing down a bit :)