My mother likes to bake. She is a very left-brained person by nature. She is a bookkeeper, a quilter, and when she feels like it, a baker. It drives her crazy when she asks me how I made something for dinner because when it comes to measurements I wing it or eyeball it. Cooking isn’t a science like baking. It is an art. I always say that a recipe is like a blank canvas. It gives you the foundation you need to create your masterpiece. While not many of my recipes I would consider masterpieces, I do enjoy creating them, and I do enjoy eating them, so I’ve at least got that going for me!
A couple weeks ago I grabbed a recipe off the internet, Prevention.com to be exact. It was a light and healthy salad I was looking forward to making. Except I kept getting side tracked by friends, and fun, and work. By the time I finally got around to making it, I had received an email with a similar salad recipe from Whole Foods. But it was just different enough that I thought, damn, I could blend these two together and make a REALLY good salad that eats like a hearty meal.
It turned out delicious, and even better the next day when the flavors all had a chance to really meld together. And with our recent hot weather it made for a perfect dinner on a warm night.
Remember- objects may be closer than they appear in miorror- all measurements are just approximate to be used as a guide.
1/2 box whole wheat orzo
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1/2 cucumber – quartered and sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes – halved
1 red bell pepper – chopped and roasted
1/2 small red onion – chopped
2 cloves garlic – minced
2 tbsp parsley – chopped
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cook orzo in boiling water according to directions (al dente). While cooking, drain and rinse garbanzo beans and place in large bowl. Add all other ingredients, toss, and let set for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse orzo in cold water, twice. Drain and add to bowl. Toss together and serve!
Note: If you are gluten-free, omit the pasta. If you are going dairy free or vegan, omit the feta. This is such a yummy recipe in many forms, find one that is best fit for you!