Summer fare should be easy, breezy – and chock full of healthy veggies. With so many vegetables at season’s peak, this is a flexible main-dish salad that can be made with any seasonal vegetable you have on hand for a satisfying, healthful entrée. The grains are flexible too – swap out the orzo for hearty grains like quinoa, brown rice, wheat berries or faro for a boost of fiber, protein and B vitamins. The secret ingredient is our Lemony Yogurt Dressing, which only gets better with a handful of chopped herbs and makes a great tenderizing marinade for grilled chicken.
1 (6 oz.) container Green Valley Lactose-Free Plain Yogurt
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of one lemon (about 2 Tbsp. juice and 2 tsp. zest)
1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed (2 tsp.)
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, lemon balm) (optional)
1 cup dry orzo pasta
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 lb.
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 ears fresh sweet corn, kernels removed or 1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
1 cucumber, sliced (1 cup)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (about 15)
5 to 6 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 to 4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
- Whisk together dressing ingredients, adjust seasonings to taste and refrigerate until needed.
- Cook orzo in salted boiling water, until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- While the orzo cooks, poach chicken in a sauté pan filled with enough water to cover the chicken. Bring to a simmer and cook 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a cutting board.
- Shred chicken using two forks and place in a bowl with orzo, garbanzo beans, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide evenly and garnish with green onions and avocado. Serve with dressing on the side.
EZ TIP: Substitute rotisserie chicken from your favorite market for the chicken breasts.
EZ TIP: For tender, juicy chicken, double the dressing recipe and pour over 4 to 6 pieces of chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, up to eight hours. Grill or pan sear, as usual. Stir 2 tsp. garam masala into the dressing/marinade for a taste of India.