Thursday, August 18, 2011

Orzo Grape Pasta Salad

Happy Thursday, folks! As one of our last summer weekends approaches, and I shed a tear as I write that.... I will be headed out of town to soak up the sun and get out of the grimmy city for a few days! This proves a time-old question we all try to tackle when we leave for a few days: eat out & spend a ton of money? Buy groceries you know you will end up throwing out? Nope... use what you've got! Get creative! And that's just what I did!

This easy pasta salad can be served hot or cold, topped with a piece of grilled chicken or fish, and the ingredients can be swaped out easily! I used fresh red grapes as I had a bag in my fridge that needed to be used up (or the risk of throwing them out was going to run high!). Along with some salty feta cheese, and a can of white kidney beans for added protein. Use whatever bean you like, a fresh/crisp fruit, and voila! Dinner! Enjoy!

(You can tell I like cheese, lots of it.... the sharp bite from the feta with the sweet plump grapes is like a taste explosion in your mouth.).

OH and another tip: a container of whole wheat orzo will NEVER go to waste in your pantry. Do yourself a favor & get some..... seriously.


3/4 cup dry whole wheat orzo
1/4 tbsp olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of your pan generously
crumbled feta cheese
1 cup red grapes, chopped
1 8 oz can white kidney beans (cannellini used here)
salt & pepper
1/2 cup diced red onion
2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar (more or less, to taste)

In a small-medium pan, add the orzo & 2 cups water. bring to a boil and cook 8-10 minutes or until al dente (you can eat it without it tasting like mush, or uncooked pasta... somewhere in the middle). Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat up your olive oil. Add the diced red onions and sautee 2-3 minutes or until they begin transluscent. Lower the heat & add the kidney beans. Sautee for another 2-3 minutes then add the grapes, orzo, and mix carefully so as not to break the grapes or beans. Drain the orzo, and add to the hot skillet. Toss with red wine vinegar, salt & pepper. Throw it on a plate an add as much feta as you like! MMMM!

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