Vegan Kale Orzo Pasta Salad
This is probably one of my favorite salads for winter that’s heavier than a normal kale salad. I love the texture and taste of this salad as its a perfect compliment for any entree Or you can simply add a protein - like I’ve done all week long and its been my go-to lunch and dinner!
For a kale salad to work, its all about the way you treat the kale. It can make or break the salad. Spend time massaging the kale which breaks it down and makes it easier to digest. Otherwise kale can be very fibrous and sometimes very rough. When you break it down by massaging it with oil it makes it quite nice and really satisfies the pallet and it much easier to eat!
Aside from Kale, the orzo is definitely a highlight of the salad. Adding a nice texture, some filler and creates a nice balance between the kale. The word "orzo" translates to "barley" in Italian due to its characteristic grain-like shape. It does not actually contain any barley (also off limits if you have a gluten sensitivity) but is instead made from wheat semolina flour.
What is semolina flour? It actually has a high protein content and is low in fat. It also has low glycemic index that makes it great for diabetics as well as people who want to lose weight. So unless you are sensitive to gluten, or have an intolerance, you can eat it with ease!
Here’s a breakdown of the nutrition facts of Orzo pasta for reference.
Serving Size (One cup cooked)
Calories 316 / Total Fat 1.3 g / Saturated Fat 0.2 g / Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g / Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g / Sodium 7.3 mg / Potassium 190 mg / Total Carbohydrates 64 g / Dietary Fiber 2.7 g / Sugars 2.3 g / Protein 11 g
2 cups Orzo Pasta
4 cups water
1 fresh organic lemon
1 bunch of fresh organic kale
1 pinch black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive or grapeseed oil
1.) Boil water and add a pinch of salt. Bring water to boil and add pasta. Cover and bring to a simmer. Let cook for approx 10 minutes or until water is absorbed into the pasta.
2.) Begin massaging kale with 1 tbsp of oil and squeeze lemon on to kale and continue massaging.
3.) Remove pasta from heat. Drain in colander for about 2-3 minutes. Add to kale.
4.) Once pasta and kale are together add black pepper, salt, paprika and remaining oil to mixture and continue mixing with hands until its thoroughly mixed.
5.) serve and enjoy as a side dish or main course!