Elle’s Incredible Orzo Salad


People rave about this orzo. It is a guaranteed crowd pleaser and the best dish to bring to a potluck, holiday meal, or barbecue. (I’ve brought it to all three, and served it at home as a simple side with a piece of grilled fish or tempeh.)

Here is the recipe, which doubles well if necessary.

1 pound regular or whole wheat orzo, cooked according to package directions, run under cold water, and cooled a bit
8 ounces of feta, crumbled*
An 8ounce bag of arugula (If baby variety, leave as is. If leaves are large, tear ’em up.)
1 bag dried cranberries, orange or regular (5 or 6 oz)
About 1/2-3/4 cup any of these: pine nuts, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds
Juice of four lemons
Extra virgin olive oil (maybe 1/4 cup? More if it seems dry.)
Sea salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste (I like Trader Joe’s Flower Pepper for this.)

Dump everything in a bowl. Mix. Serve, or chill to serve later. If you refrigerate for a while, I recommend adding more olive oil and lemon juice before serving.

*This can easily be made vegan by leaving out the cheese or substituting either finely grated vegan mozz, or firm tofu that has been pressed and soaked in olive juice.



Quinoa Salad

I love quinoa. To me, it’s like rice but better. In addition to being healthier (quinoa is a complete protein containing all eight essential amino acids), quinoa is also more versatile, being just as delicious cold as it is hot.

This quinoa salad is loosely inspired by a traditional dish from Naples called Zucchini A Scapece, which my grandfather made over and over every summer by frying zucchini from his garden, then dousing it in red wine vinegar, fresh mint and raw garlic. (I have a healthy version of this recipe that I’ll be sharing soon.)

This is a really fresh, clean, and light salad. This amount serves two as a side.






Elle’s Almost Nicoise Salad

This salad was so delicious. The only thing missing was olives. It seriously needed some fabulous pitted olives. The salty brininess would have completed the dish. Unfortch, I was out of olives. Including dressing, this salad comes in at only 424 calories, so in addition to being super easy and tasting great, it is guiltless. (I’d say serves two as a side or starter, one as an entree.)

I topped it off with my homemade Light White Balsamic Vinaigrette and a generous grinding of Trader Joe’s Flower Pepper (black peppercorns and dried flowers– so different and yummy).



…but seriously, it needs olives…