CHOPPED SALAD WITH ORZO AND CORN

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Chopped Salad with Orzo and Corn – a refreshing chopped salad loaded with fresh veggies, orzo, roasted corn and bacon, drizzled with an easy lemon vinaigrette.

Hubs and I don’t do leftovers, nor do we like to eat the same thing over and over again, well except sandwiches and pasta bakes as far as hubs is concerned. And salads. Not that we’re health nuts or anything like that, God forbid, but salads are something else. We pretty much like them all. Especially when there’s bacon in them. So yeah there are no leftovers when salads are concerned, and the only thing that we’d eat over and over again are salads.

Salads are refreshing and sometimes they’re the perfect complement to a dish and sometimes they are a meal on their own. This salad is a meal on its own and I can eat lots of it, a couple of those plates with no issues. Because sometimes, not often — or maybe too often with me, you just hit on something so good, you just can’t stop eating.

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The other thing is I’m kind of crazy about orzo lately. I’ve been cooking with it a lot, I just find it fascinating. It’s like rice but it’s not, it’s pasta but it’s like rice. How can you not love it? It’s so versatile and I mean come on it’s pasta, how can you not love it. And recently I’ve started adding it to salads and wow, do I ever love it. And the beauty of it is that it cooks so fast.

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But this salad, my friends, is a piece of cake to make. It’s basically a chopped salad, loaded with lots of goodies like roasted corn, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, and let’s not forget my favorite ingredient in the whole world, bacon! I paired this together with an easy dressing with lemon juice, olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar and that’s all she wrote. Lunch. Dinner. Leftover lunch to take to work.

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INGREDIENTS

1 lettuce head or mixed lettuce leaves, chopped
1 cup orzo, uncooked
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup corn kernels, canned or frozen
4 slices bacon, fried and chopped
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
½ English cucumber, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
¾ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

For Dressing

⅓ cup olive oil
juice from 2 lemons
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp chili pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Cook the orzo according to package instructions. Let cook before using.
In a pan heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the corn kernels. Cook them for about 5 minutes or until they start slightly browning/charring.
In a large bowl add the lettuce, orzo, corn, chopped bacon, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, bell pepper, parsley and cheddar cheese. Toss everything together.
In a small bowl whisk all the dressing ingredients together until it starts to emulsify, then pour over the salad and toss.

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