As soon as I saw the recipe for this Chicken Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese in my new issue of Cooking Light, I knew it was going on the 'to make' list. Because it was my first time making it, I stuck to the recipe pretty closely. I was really excited to get home from the gym and make this meal. We thought it was pretty good, but not a favorite. I definitely think I will make it again but I will probably change a few things...like not using red pepper or onion. Although I really like the taste of red peppers, they just don't sit well on my tummy. So, they will be nixed next time for sure. I sauteed the red pepper and onion because I felt the raw ones would be too harsh for my sensitive self. :-) I think I would add a little something to the dressing too. I saw where Lani added dijon mustard to the dressing mix..so that's a thought. Last night, I also thought it would be good to add a little brown sugar to the dressing. I think this dish could use a little more texture so adding some nuts also sounds like a good idea.
We gave it a 6 out of 10...but I think adding/changing some things could definitely make it an 8. Different strokes for different folks...give it a try, you might love it. And it sure made for some yummy looking pictures. Here's the recipe with the few changes I made: (source: Cooking Light)
1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
3 cups chopped grilled chicken breast strips (such as Tyson) (I sauteed 3 chicken breast cutlets) 1 1/2 cups trimmed arugula (used spring mix)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup prechopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well.
2. Combine pasta, chicken, and the next 6 ingredients (through oregano) in a large bowl; toss well.
3. Combine vinegar, oil, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle vinegar mixture over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.
Cooking Light says 6 servings but I say 4!
CALORIES 295(23% from fat); FAT 7.7g (sat 2.9g,mono 2.8g,poly 1.1g); PROTEIN 24.4g; CHOLESTEROL 55mg; CALCIUM 40mg; SODIUM 788mg; FIBER 2g; IRON 2.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 32.1g