RECIPE REVIEW: Edamame-Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese

I try to keep lunches new and fresh as a way to avoid lunchbox boredom! Taking your lunch to work/school is a great way to keep your intake healthy and nutritious because it gives you more control over what is available to you during your busy day!  By bringing your lunch, you have the ability to save money, meet your daily needs for fruit and vegetables, increase your fiber intake, decrease your saturated fat intake, and practice portion control!  Although peanut butter & jelly sandwiches are easy, they can get old day in and day out, so I tried a new recipe to see if I could add some excitement back to my lunchbox.

I made Edamame-Orzo Salad with Feta Cheese which is altered version of a recipe by Cooking Light called Chicken-Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese. I made revisions simply because of the ingredients I already had in my kitchen!!  This salad made my lunchbox have some flavor and kept me fueled with fiber, protein, and whole grains!  And the best part… it was SO EASY & FAST to whip up!!

I started by cooking my orzo pasta according to the package directions, but without the salt and fat.  I was able to save a few pennies because I was fortunate to have a coupon from Whole Foods for $1.00 off pasta and the weekly special was BOGO for pasta! Always check Whole Foods website along with Southern Savers to learn the weekly specials at local stores to help cut the grocery budget!

Blog Pictures 036
Blog Pictures 036

While the pasta was cooking, I chopped the tomatoes, boiled the edamame, chopped the red bell pepper, and red onion. I purchased all my produce from Whole Foods since the produce involved fall on the “dirty dozen” list of recommend produce to purchase organic!

Blog Pictures 037
Blog Pictures 037
Blog Pictures 035
Blog Pictures 035

I purchased my edamame from Whole Foods as well because they have my favorite frozen, shelled edamame beans at a reasonable price!!

Blog Pictures 034
Blog Pictures 034

Since I already had dried basil and oregano on hand, I used dried herbs instead of fresh, but I would recommend using fresh if available!  Before combining the ingredients, I roughly chopped the arugula into bite sizes.

Blog Pictures 038
Blog Pictures 038

Next, I combined the pasta, edamame, and the next 6 ingredients through oregano in a large bowl and tossed well.

Blog Pictures 040
Blog Pictures 040

And finally, I combined the red wine vinegar, oil, salt, and black pepper with a whisk  before I drizzled vinegar mixture over pasta mixture. The final step was sprinkling the pasta salad with cheese!

Blog Pictures 041
Blog Pictures 041

Edamame-Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese

Recipe By: Cooking Light

Leftover salad is also good the next day for lunch; stir in a handful of arugula to add a fresh touch, if you have extra on hand. Serve with pita wedges. Yield:  6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups salad and 1 tablespoon cheese)

1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta) 3 cups Edamame Beans 1 1/2 cups trimmed arugula 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper 1/4 cup chopped red onion 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well.

Combine pasta, edamame, and the next 6 ingredients (through oregano) in a large bowl; toss well.

Combine vinegar, oil, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle vinegar mixture over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.