This quick-n-cool summertime salad could also be called “refrigerator salad” as it’s a great way to combine bits of leftovers for a satisfying, healthful entrée. Choose whatever veggies are in season and switch out the orzo with 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.

Summer Sunshine Salad with Chicken, Orzo, Chickpeas and Lemony Yogurt Dressing

Ingredients

Dressing

1 (8 oz.) container Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Plain Yogurt
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of one lemon (about 2 Tbs. juice and 2 tsp. zest)
1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed (2 tsp.)
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbs. chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, lemon balm) (optional)

Salad

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

Preparation

1. Whisk together dressing ingredients, adjust seasonings to taste and refrigerate until needed.
2. Cook orzo in salted boiling water, until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Divide evenly and garnish with green onions and avocado. Serve with dressing on the side.

Serves 4-6.

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.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Green Valley Organics.*