I started out intending to make a completely different orzo salad but was lacking some of the ingredients. I changed to what I had on hand and made a very delicious and filling lunch or supper salad.
Orzo Chicken and Artichoke Salad
4 cups boiling water
1 cup dry orzo pasta
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 cup chopped, cooked chicken breast
7.5 oz marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
Red Wine Dressing:
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 Tblsp. honey
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp chili powder or cumin
¾ cup plus 2 Tblsp. light olive oil
Cook orzo in boiling water for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Drain and stir occasionally until pasta is slightly warm. Add tomatoes, chicken and artichoke hearts.
Place dressing ingredients in a one-pint jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to mix ingredients and pour over chicken/orzo mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Remove from refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving and stir.
I saw a recipe online for bell peppers stuffed with rice, ground chicken and an interesting blend of vegetables which sounded good, but I thought my family would like it better in casserole-form. I used chopped bell peppers along with chicken breast rather than ground chicken and substituted orzo for rice to make a very flavorful and satisfying meal. I used my favorite mixture of oregano and chili powder to give the dish a little kick and it was voted a winner by the family. I assembled the dish a day ahead of time and baked it for Sunday dinner. We had enough for everyone to have an extra serving for supper during the week. This dish would also freeze well.
Chicken, Spinach, Artichoke and Orzo Casserole
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
½ cup onion, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
15 oz. can of tomato sauce
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
15 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and coarsely chopped
1 cup orzo cooked al dente according to package directions
½ chicken breast, cooked and shredded
6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
Oiled 9×13 baking dish
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and cook bell pepper and onion until soft but not brown. Add minced garlic, oregano, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir in tomato sauce, thawed spinach, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes. Add cooked orzo and shredded chicken breast. Spoon mixture into oiled 9×13 baking dish. Dish can be covered and refrigerated at this point and baked later.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place covered casserole in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until mixture begins to bubble. Remove cover and sprinkle with crumbled Feta cheese. Bake for 10 minutes more. Serve hot.
6-8 generous servings
I found this recipe over 10 years ago online (sorry, I don’t remember the source) and adapted it to make a nice, light luncheon or supper dish. I would prefer fresh peaches, but canned ones also work fine and give a little pep to this low fat, low cal meal.
Tipsy Chicken with Peaches
3 medium chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 tsp. olive oil
Large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. smoked paprika
6 green onions with tops, chopped
¼ cup orange juice
2 Tblsp. Bourbon
1 cup sliced peaches
Grating of fresh nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Spray a 9 inch casserole dish
Place chicken cubes in prepared casserole and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat olive oil and cook onions over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add paprika and chopped green onions. Cook an additional 4 minutes.
Spread onion mixture over chicken; spoon orange juice and bourbon over the top and bake uncovered for @ 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, turning and stirring occasionally.
Remove chicken from oven and spoon peaches over the top. Grate nutmeg lightly over peaches and return to oven to bake for 15-20 minutes more until chicken is done.
Serve over hot rice.
Diet Power: ¼ of casserole with ½ cup rice = 278 calories, 3.7 g fat, 37.7 g carbohydrate, 1.99 g dietary fiber, 24.2 g protein.
I found this recipe, adapted slightly here, on a cherry orchard web site in 2013 (page no longer available).
I just got around to making the wraps and they are really good, quick to make and have some vegetables included along with the tangy dried cherries. I’ll be making these again.
*Instead of tortillas, I used some great flatbread I found in the deli section of my grocery store.
Dried Cherry Wraps
1/2 cup non-fat lemon yogurt
1 tablespoon honey Dijon-style mustard or honey-mustard dressing
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1-1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (8 ounces)
1 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup sliced green onion
4 (8- to 10-inch) whole wheat flour tortillas, tomato-flavored flour tortillas*
Whisk together yogurt, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, curry powder, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Gently stir in chicken, cherries, carrot, cucumber and green onion. Mound about 3/4 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla or flatbread, leaving space all around for folding . Fold in top and bottom and fold over each side, placing wrap seam-side down on a plate. Cut into 3 portions. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Yield: 4 servings
My daughter-in-law in St. Louis sent me a recipe for using up my leftover Thanksgiving turkey and we all loved it. This salad combines sweetened, orange-flavored fresh cranberries and crisp almonds to dress up some leftover turkey.
Since I used up all the turkey to make the salad right after Thanksgiving, I thought I’d make another batch for dinner today using chicken breast. It was delicious. It’s a very easy recipe to put together and makes wonderful sandwiches. Her recipe called for wheat bread slices, but I had some good bakery dinner rolls on hand and they worked well, too.
Make up the cranberry mixture and refrigerate a couple of hours ahead of time to get the best flavor.
Dee-Dee’s Turkey (or Chicken) Salad with Fresh Cranberries
½ cup fresh cranberries
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 Tblsp. orange juice
1 Tblsp. grated orange zest
2 cups cooked turkey (or chicken breast), chopped
2 Tblsp. parsley, chopped
2 green onions, tops and tender green parts, sliced
¾ cup mayonnaise
Salt/pepper to taste
¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
4 wheat bread slices, dinner rolls or bread of your choice
4 large red-leaf lettuce leaves
In a food processor with metal blade, process cranberries with sugar, orange juice and orange zest, using on-off pulses until coarsely chopped. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours.
In a medium bowl, combine turkey, parsley, green onions, mayonnaise and salt/pepper. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve. At serving time, stir the cranberry mixture and almonds into the turkey/chicken mixture and spoon onto bread slices. Top with lettuce. Makes 4-6 servings.
I took a “classic” macaroni salad recipe and made a few changes to turn it into a chicken and macaroni salad, suitable for a meal. The white balsamic vinegar gives this dish a different flavor from the usual versions – I like it a lot.
BALSAMIC CHICKEN AND MAC SALAD
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tblsp. white balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. yellow mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. dried minced onions
1 Tblsp. chopped pimiento
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender, 8-9 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain. Dry the pasta as much as possible, blotting with a paper towel. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, garlic, celery seed, black pepper, minced onions and pimiento. Stir in the drained macaroni. Add the chicken breast.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving, preferably overnight.
I combined a couple of recipe ideas to make this chicken salad with strawberries and a strawberry poppy seed dressing. My daughters and I love this salad.
It’s easy to make with cooked chicken breast (one full cup per serving), strawberries, pecans and dry minced onions. My daughters don’t like to bite down on a raw onion, so I used the minced ones. If I were making it for myself only, I’d add some sliced red or sweet onion.
An easy-to-mix oil dressing with pureed strawberries is added to the chicken mixture …
…and the salad is refrigerated for an hour or so to blend flavors.
STRAWBERRY CHICKEN SALAD WITH STRAWBERRY POPPYSEED DRESSING
FOR THE SALAD:
4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (one medium sized whole breast)
2 Tblsp. dry minced onion
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
¼ cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
FOR THE DRESSING:
½ cup fresh strawberries, quartered
¼ cup white vinegar
2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 Tblsp. poppy seed
3/4 cup peanut oil
TO MAKE THE SALAD:
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, onion, 1 cup sliced strawberries and pecans. Set aside.
TO MAKE THE DRESSING:
Place ½ cup of strawberries, vinegar, sugar, salt, poppy seed and oil in a food processor or blender and process until dressing is smooth and oil is completely blended with other ingredients.
Pour the amount of dressing you prefer over salad ingredients and toss lightly. Place in covered container and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Makes 4 servings.