Lemony Orzo-Veggie Salad with Chicken

by Anne Bennett on August 2, 2017

Can you remember your mother telling you to “eat your vegetables?” I can. I had an aversion to cooked carrots because they tasted mushy, and my mom regularly cooked them (to death). Thus I remember a lot of fights over cooked carrots.

Fast forward to now: the subject at Weight Watchers meetings this week is Vegetables, how eating more of them can help in our weight loss efforts because they provide bulk and eating satisfaction. Thankfully, for people who say they don’t like vegetables, (probably because of the way their moms cooked them) there are lots of tricks to sneak them into meals. First rule: don’t overcook them!

Here, from Cooking Light, is a cool summer salad that’s loaded with healthy crunchy bits. If you can manage to set aside one cup of chicken from your next rotisserie chicken, it will reward you with a week’s worth of fast, delicious lunches, either at work or at home.¬†Cooking Light suggests a serving size of 1 1/4 cups, but 1 cup is fine for lunch and will take the WW SmartPoints value down to 6 instead of 8.

Yes Virginia, you can erase the memory of culinary childhood travesties (like soggy, smelly, steamed Brussels sprouts), and find countless ways to enjoy a variety of colorful, delicious veggies.

3/4 cup uncooked orzo
1/4 tsp. grated lemon zest
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. honey
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
1/2 cup diced English cucumber
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and place in a large bowl.

While orzo cooks, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, garlic, honey and pepper, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle mixture over orzo and toss to coat. Add chicken, cucumber, red bell pepper, green onions and dill and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with goat cheese and serve.

Serves 4 (Each serving about 1 1/4 cups)
WW SmartPoints per serving: 8

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