Recipe | Summer Orzo Salad

After a wonderful week enjoying time with family and friends (and then getting terribly sick soon after 😦 ), I am back with a super easy summer recipe that I have created for you all. This is a great twist on the average pasta, egg, or potato type salad that have been done all too often. I hope you give this recipe a shot and become just as surprised as I did at how awesome this turned out!

Tip: This recipe calls for a couple of different herbs/spices. Fresh herbs will make this taste even better, but if you only have the dried form, go right ahead and use what you have. 🙂

You will need:

  • 6oz (1lb) box of orzo pasta, you will use 2 cups after it cooks. Save the leftovers for more salad or something else!
  • 1/2 cup any vegan mayonnaise (I used the truffle flavor of Just Mayo. The flavor is very subtle, so it passes just fine as regular mayo.)
  • 1 small bag of a pre-mixed vegetable slaw (I used a mix of broccoli, carrot, and cabbage.)
  • 3-4 leaves of finely chopped basil, or 2-3 tsp of dry basil
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp pepper
  • 2tsp freshly chopped parsley, or 2tsp of dry parsley
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 1tbsp maple syrup (or agave nectar)
  • *optional* 1tbsp hemp seeds (adds an awesome subtle nutty flavor, and tons of extra health benefits!)

 

As I mentioned above, fresh herbs are best for this recipe. I went to the store to grab a basil plant and I stuck it next to the kitchen window for easy cooking access and optimal freshness. You have to keep the soil moist regularly, so the leaves don’t dry up. This is why I don’t always keep fresh basil on hand, but on the occasions I do it is worth it!

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To start, get a small bowl and add all of your seasonings together first. Put in the basil, parsley, salt, pepper, turmeric, and red pepper flakes.

Then add your mayo, apple cider vinegar, vegetable broth, and maple syrup or agave. Give it a good whisk or stir so you end up with a sauce that isn’t too thick or too runny. You should be able to pour it into the salad easily.

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You can give the sauce a taste at this point if you’d like to make sure it has reached the flavor you desire. There’s no harm in adding a touch of extra salt, pepper, or anything else that you want more of.

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This is what orzo looks like. It is very much like rice grains in appearance, but tastes like normal pasta. Pretty cool! It’s also not expensive. I got a box for 99¢. Cook your orzo according to the box directions, and try not to overcook. You want to keep it a little firmer than normal, so the salad doesn’t become mushy. Drain and rinse the orzo in cold water until it is no longer warm. Reserve the 2 cups needed for the salad, and go ahead and save the rest to use for whatever else you would like. 🙂

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Into a large serving bowl, add your bag of vegetable slaw, cooked orzo, and prepared sauce. Stir and toss well so everything is coated evenly. *You can optionally add hemp seeds as an extra pop of flavor and major nutritional value as well. Because I love hemp seeds so darn much, I’ll give you a little background info into why you should try adding them to your diet.

“Hemp Seeds are a perfect natural blend of easily digested proteins, essential fats (Omega 3 & 6), Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), antioxidants, amino acids, fiber, iron, zinc, carotene, phospholipids, phytosterols, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin D, vitamin E, chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, potassium, phosphorus, and enzymes. All amino acids essential to optimum health are found in Hemp Seeds, including the rarely found Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). The 17+ grams of omega fats supplied by Hemp Seeds provides sufficient, continuous energy throughout your day. More digestible protein than meat, eggs, cheese, or cows milk. Rich. Can be eaten by those unable to tolerate nuts, gluten, lactose or sugar; there are no known allergies to hemp foods.” – Pure Healing Foods

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Give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it! You can hashtag #summerorzosalad on Instagram if you have any photos to share. 🙂

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Thanks for reading!

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