Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Spring for Another Salad

Keep the healthy eating going this week with another salad.
Lemon Chicken and Orzo Salad
Cook's notes: A Greek flavored salad that keeps well in the refrigerator. Make a day ahead for the flavors to meld and you'll have a delicious meal ready to go. Orzo does soak up some of the liquid so you'll need to add more dressing the second day. Making your own dressing keeps the salad on the lighter side but using a prepared dressing is another option as well as using a rotisserie chicken for saving time.
Health Boost 
Make It Vegetarian: Toss in garbanzo, chickpeas or cannelloni beans instead of the chicken 
Keep It Fresh: If don't have dill use thyme, oregano or basil. They're all big flavor boosters. 
Save it For Later: Make twice as much lemon vinaigrette for dressing the salad the next day.
Recipe adapted from People Magazine October 19 2,015 and serves 4.
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  •  3 TB. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried dill weed
  • 2 cups shredded skinless, boneless chicken (about 2 large breasts)
  • 3/4 cup diced English cucumber
  • 1/2 cup each diced yellow and red sweet mini bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 TB. dried parsley flakes or 2 TB. fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • optional 3/4 cup sliced black olives
Directions:
  • Cook orzo according to package directions al dente (omit salt if it's called for) Drain and rinse with cold water, drain and place in a large bowl.
  • In blender add lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper, garlic and dill.   Mix well and drizzle over cooked orzo and toss to coat.
  • Add chicken, cucumbers, peppers, scallions and parsley.  Mix well and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Add crumbled feta to serve with black olives. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY
(April 26, 1785-January 27, 1851)

John James Audubon was the founder of modern ornithology. He was also an explorer, woodsmen, hunter, prolific writer, painter and self-promoter. He is considered to be one of the world’s greatest bird painters. His masterpiece, "The Birds of America"(1827-1839), depicts almost five hundred North American bird species, each image—lifelike and life size—rendered in vibrant color.
Check out Nancy Plain's award winning book "This Strange Wilderness".
Her book is well researched and meticulously documented with appendix, glossary, source notes, bibliography, and illustration credits included in the back of the book. Nancy effectively captures the essence of Audubon’s personal journey to uncharted places where no one had seen, drawn, or written so much about the animals and birds of this young country. In Audubon’s words, “My whole mind was ever filled with my passion for rambling.” 

I found Nancy's book to be a work of art. The first thing you will notice is the quality of paper used to print this book. It is further enhanced by Audubon’s beautiful watercolor reproductions. Nancy noted that Audubon’s birds glow with life and look real enough to hop off the page and fly away. This high quality volume combined with Nancy’s mesmerizing prose elevates this book above many on the same subject. 

“The woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those who sang the best.” 
John James Audubon 


1 comment:

  1. Dear Sue,
    Thank you for remembering John James Audubon's birthday! And thank you so much for your kind words about my biography of the man.
    As always, I'm loving your blog--great recipes, great reading suggestions. And as a fellow dog lover, I love reading about Bella's exploits, too. Happy Spring to you all!

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