Thursday, March 25, 2010

Italian Style Shrimp Nutty Orzo Salad

This is one of those times of the year when I start seeing how much winter weight crept up on me when I wasn't looking. So, after I get over going into denial about the ten pounds, I start trying to find filling, healthier foods that help me lose weight without feeling like I am being punished. This is one of those salads I eat at least three times a week at work. I try and limit the amount to 1 cup to begin with, but I also have two bottles of water with lemon and no fat, no salt crackers to crush on top. Doesn't sound all that good, but when you mix them with the dressing they are like croutons for me. Oh well enough about boring diets. Spring is almost here~ yeah!!!! So I bring you a fresh light salad with orzo, greens, tomatoes and assorted nuts, with beautiful extra large tiger shrimps.

I couldn't find my favorites anywhere, hazelnuts this week! So had to settle for macadamia, pecans and walnuts, but after toasting them and they were wonderful.

The herbs blended were perfect for serving this salad cold and the shrimp had a nice lemony flavor.

Make sure your romaine or bed of baby greens are fresh and crisp

Let you dressing set out awhile, even overnight if you can to ferment the flavors

Orzo is one of those pasta's you can use in just about anything and a great substitute for rice

Extra large tiger shrimp boiled, and then chilled before using

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, cleaned and cooked
4 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/4 cup each: chopped fresh basil and mint
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of grated lemon rind, slices of lemon rind curls for garnish
6 tablespoons of white wine
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
3 cups orzo or brown rice
1/2 cup lightly mixed nuts ( first choice hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans and walnuts) Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste ground pepper
1 cup mixed baby salad greens or romaine
In a large fry pan heat or on the grill....using 1 tablespoon of oil
add shrimp and cook, till pink about 2 minutes. Set aside
In large bowl combine tomatoes, basil, mint, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon rind grated, wine, garlic and 1 tablespoon of oil....set aside 20 minutes at room temperature.
Stir in orzo or rice, nuts and shrimp, toss gently. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon salad on to the center of the plate and mound with shrimp mixture on top. If desired,garnish with more lightly toasted mixed
nuts, parsley and lemon rind.
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