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Mediterranean Chicken Salad with Spinach and Orzo

Serves 3 or 4.

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    This salad packs a protein punch with loads of flavour to boot. Orzo is a type of pasta that is light and chewy—not as heavy as other types of pasta. Orzo comes in whole wheat and gluten-free varieties.

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    Best tomato choice

    Sungold cherry tomatoes are the best choice for this chicken salad; they are orange in colour with a sweet flavour and low acid content.

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    Mediterranean Chicken Salad with Spinach and Orzo

    Ingredients

    • 17 oz (500 g) organic chicken breasts
    • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
    • 1 cup (250 mL) dried organic whole wheat or gluten-free orzo
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) minced fresh basil
    • 1 small shallot, minced
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh thyme
    • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) balsamic vinegar
    • 3 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, minced
    • 8 oz (225 g) bag spinach
    • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) halved heirloom cherry tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) crumbled goat cheese

    Nutrition

    Per serving:

    • calories616
    • protein41g
    • fat34g
      • saturated fat0g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates37g
      • sugars4g
      • fibre7g
    • sodium185mg

    Directions

    01

    Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).

    02

    Place chicken breasts in bowl and liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place chicken breasts on small parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake until juices run clear (about 15 to 20 minutes). Cut cooled chicken into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) thick slices.

    03

    Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add orzo and cook for 6 to 8 minutes over a rapid boil. Strain off water, toss orzo in 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil and lay on medium-sized parchment paper-lined baking sheet to cool.

    04

    For dressing, in small bowl whisk remaining oil, garlic, basil, shallot, thyme, vinegar, and sun-dried tomatoes; whisk until just combined.

    05

    Toss cooked chicken slices, orzo, spinach, tomatoes, and 1/4 cup (60 mL) dressing. Garnish with goat cheese.

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