Monday, April 5, 2010

Craisin-Walnut Salad and Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo

After a weekend of beautiful weather, I was blessed with yet another day of it as the week started today. A friend and I spent some time outside sipping iced tea and talking about our love of being on the water (jet-skiing, fishing, margaritas ... sighs ...). When it came time to plan my meals for the week, I knew tonight's would have to be light and summery. That being said, I came up with this:

Craisin-Walnut Salad
  • Spring salad mix
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Craisins (dried cranberries) - *Tonight, we tried (and enjoyed!) pomegranate-infused ones
  • Crumbled feta - *Usually I have feta on hand, but after realizing I didn't, I substituted with shredded mozarella. Not a bad replacement!
  • Ken's Healthy Options Raspberry-Walnut Vinaigrette 


Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo
  • 8 oz. orzo
  • 1 C water
  • 1/2 C chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), divided
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 3 tsp chopped fresh marjoram, divided
  • 1 tbsp red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp plus 1 tbsp EVOO, divided
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (1.25 lbs)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 C finely shredded Romano cheese, divided
  1. Cook orzo in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
  2. Meanwhile, place water, 1/4 C sun-dried tomatoes, plum tomato, garlic, 2 tsp marjoram, vinegar and 2 tsp oil in a blender. Blend until just a few chunks remain.

    (If this doesn't scream "Under the Tuscan Sun!" [and I don't mean the movie], I'm not sure what does.)
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning, until golden outside and no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
  4. Set aside 1/2 C of the tomato mix. Pour the rest into the pan and bring to a boil. Add the remaining 1/4 C sun-dried tomatoes to the pan along with the orzo and 6 tbsp cheese. Cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide among 4 plates.

  5. Slice the chicken. Top each portion of pasta with sliced chicken, 2 tbsp of the reserved tomato mix and a sprinkling of the remaining cheese and marjoram.

Et voila!


  1. Mmm. I think I should of stayed just a little bit longer at your house yesterday just so I could try this. It looks really good. Do you have any leftovers? ;o)

  2. My mother, Patrick and myself liked this dish a lot. Patrick loved the salad. My only thing I plan on doing next time is making double of the tomato sauce. This was really simple to make considering it had the flavor and look of a fancy restaurant dish. Thanks for sharing this recipe.