Recipe: Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad

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I'm trying earnestly to get back to cooking.  My mom is nothing short of a Gourmet and spoiled me and my family intensely with her ever changing meals growing up.  By the time my youngest sister Rachel was in high school and Erin and I were in college she was even cooking different breakfasts every morning.  She cooks a less-than-five-star meal maybe once a year.  She's that good.

SO I have a lot to live up to :) I know I don't have to but honestly I do love cooking and while I am a completely different type of cook than my mom {she researches amazing recipes and cooks several different "things" per meal...I usually am inspired-by-then-wing-it or make up my recipes and have a self-imposed rule that I only "recipe" one item and the other items are things like "salad." or "butter beans." or "rice." or I just stick to the one-dish-ers}, I strive to make it a regular priority like she did with my growing family as the years go by.

I don't know if these things are even cooked by any of you, but I share these recipes because they are easy, taste good, and personally I am inspired by things I read on blogs or pinterest {...or instagram {TESSA!}} so I feel the need to share right back.  Digital age cookbooks.

The following was just what I was craving this past Sunday after a big after-church lunch at Cracker Barrel.
A light and healthy summer supper:

one zuchinni, quartered lengthwise
4oz baby portabella mushrooms, on a skewer
one small red onion, sliced in 1/4" slices
one red bell pepper, seeded, quartered {or third-ed depending on the type of bell pepper} and pressed flat
3/4 carton grape tomatoes, halfed
can garbanzo beans {chickpeas} drained and rinsed
1/2 box orzo pasta {bc its what I had...you could easily do a whole box and make much more.  It keeps wonderfully in the refrigerator for a couple days and heats up easily in the microwave}
2 lemons
olive oil
hot sauce {such as Tabasco, I used Cholula}

Grill zuchinni, skewered mushrooms, onion, and red bp and turn until crispy grill marks are made on all sides {more the better!}
Cook orzo according to package directions.  Drain
Chop grilled vegetables and mix with orzo.
Mix in halved tomatoes, garbanzo beans, juice of 2 lemons, 3TBS olive oil, many dashes of hot sauce, maybe a teaspoon of cumin, salt and pepper to taste.
Taste and add any ingredient you are lacking.
Top with chopped parsley.

To me, the chickpeas add the protein of a meat to the meal, but if your husband asks "where's the meat" {like mine did!} then it would grilled chicken breasts or thighs seasoned simply with salt and pepper would accompany it nicely. 

Summer at it's best!

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  1. That looks delish. I think I'm a combination of you and momma. I do two recipe dishes. On the rare occasion that there is a third item, it is either out of a box, a sliced tomato, or salad. Simple.

  2. Yum! This sounds delish with those grilled veggies. Must add a whole new dimension of flavor. And I love garbanzos (add them to a green salad for some protein).

    You're a great chef, one who has come up with some outstanding dishes in all categories. Keep presenting them on the blog, because you are a favorite resource!

  3. Yum. I made a WAY more simpler (and thus boring) version of this the other night. Dru loved it though and took it for lunch for several days. Very excited to try your version!!

  4. yummy--- and that parsley looks incredibly delicious!


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