Friday, May 21, 2010

Chicken Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese

My mom's friend has been consulting with a nutritionist at the Houstonian for quite some time. She often passes my mom good healthy recipes - this is one of them. This is a great recipe to make when you grill too much chicken the night before. I had Corey grill up a value pack of chicken one night and then just saved the 3-4 chicken breasts left over for this meal.


Recipe Notes

This recipe needs just a little "something extra" - it's a tad bit dry by itself. Corey tried adding about 1 tbsp. of light champagne vinaigrette to his meal and it was just what the doctor ordered. I would think that just about any vinaigrette would compliment this nicely.

Nutritional Information (per serving - serves 6)

295 calories - 7 g. fat - 32 g. carbohydrates - 24 g. protein


  • 1-1/4 c. uncooked orzo pasta
  • 3 c. chopped grilled chicken
  • 1-1/2 c. trimmed arugula
  • 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 c. chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 c. chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 6 tbsp. goat cheese


1. Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.

2. Combine pasta, chicken, arugula, tomatoes, red bell pepper, onion, basil, and oregano in a bowl. Toss well.

3. Combine vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle dressing over salad.

4. Toss well to coat and sprinkle with goat cheese.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Charred Summer Vegetables

Corey really enjoyed this Cooking Light side dish. The hotter it gets, the more I want to make lots of vegetables for dinner to take advantage of summer's bounty!

Recipe Notes
I used a 10-oz. package of frozen corn instead of the fresh corn kernels. It worked really well and took up ZERO time that otherwise would have been spent shucking corn and cutting off kernels.

Nutritional Information (per serving - serves six, 2/3 c. servings)
102 calories - 3.2 g. fat - 3.3 g. protein - 2.7 g. fiber

  • 2-1/2 c. corn kernels (about 5 ears) or one package frozen corn kernels
  • 2 c. chopped fresh green beans, ends removed
  • 1 c. chopped zucchini (about 4 oz.)
  • 1 c. chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper


1. Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray.

2. Add corn kernels, green beans, zucchini, and red bell pepper to pan. Stir to combine, cover, and cook for five minutes.

3. Combine shallots and remaining ingredients in a bowl.

4. Stir well and add shallot mixture to vegetable mixture. Toss to coat.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Corn, Zucchini, and Basil Saute

This is a great, fresh summer side dish, courtesy of Martha Stewart Everyday Food.

Recipe Notes
Be sure to add the basil right before serving. As many of you know, as soon as basil gets wet for any period of time it starts to turn brown. Tastes great either way, but it will look more fresh and summery if you add it right before serving. I use frozen corn instead of fresh to save time and effort - you can just add the frozen corn straight to the skillet.

  • 6 ears corn, husks and silks removed, kernels sliced from cob OR 1 package frozen corn
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly-sliced crosswise
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 c. fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar


1. Heat oil over medium high heat in saucepan.

2. Add zucchini and garlic and cook, tossing, until zucchini is bright green. (1 to 2 minutes)

3. Add corn and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing until corn is heated through (1-3 minutes with fresh corn, 5+ minutes with frozen).

4. Remove from heat, stir in basil and vinegar, and serve.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Herbs & Capers

Summertime means the grill and it also means tomatoes. This is a tasty Cooking Light salad that is worth the extra price of the heirloom tomatoes. I also LOVE the abundance of fresh herbs! Serve with a grilled steak or grilled chicken, vegetables, and any other favorite summer fare.


Recipe Notes
Don't put this salad together until right before you plan to eat. The acidity in the vinegar starts to break the tomatoes down almost immediately.

Nutritional Information (per serving - serves 6)

112 calories - 4.2 g. fat - 5.6 g. protein - 2.6 g. fiber


  • 2-3 lbs. assorted beefsteak and cherry heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges or in half (depending on size of tomatoes)
  • 1/2 c. (2 oz.) reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 1/4 c. thinly-sliced basil
  • 3 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp. capers, drained and chopped (I skip the chopping part for this ingredient)
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 6 slices sourdough bread, toasted or grilled


1. Combine first nine ingredients in a bowl.

2. Sprinkle tomato mixture with salt and pepper and toss gently.

3. Serve with bread.