Shrimp & Orzo Salad

The new year has arrived and it's time to stick to your New Year's resolution of getting fit and staying healthy. Lucky for you, we have a delicious recipe that's good anytime of the year and not too heavy on the body either--Shrimp & Orzo Salad.

Shrimp, or salmon,  is always a good choice for protein if you're looking to eat less meat. Grilled, broiled or boiled is the best way to keep it light but avoid frying.

The Shrimp

To make this dish, I sautéed the shrimp with my base seasonings of salt, pepper and garlic. I also added oregano for the traditional Mediterranean flare that a lot of shrimp and orzo recipes go for.

The Veggies 

For the veggies, you can choose whatever you prefer. Red onions are a must-have in any salad I eat, so I roughly diced those with some tomatoes and cucumber

If we were going a typical Mediterranean route, feta would be the cheese of choice, but I had some mozzarella that I diced up instead. I also think some freshly shaved parmesan would work well here.

The Starch

Last but not least, the starch. I know, a starch is not light by any means, however, the starch here only acts as a vehicle for the flavors and ingredients, a filler if you will. But don't be afraid to toss the starch all together and keep the salad even simpler. 

I chose orzo because it did not break my pockets and it's the right size for the salad. This would also work great with couscous or any fluffy grain you'd like to use. Orzo is a small rice-shaped pasta, but if you're not too heavy on counting calories, bowtie pasta is always perfect for pasta salads. For the orzo, I like it with a little bit of a toasted flavor so I toasted it with a little bit of olive oil before boiling it.

The Dressing

For the dressing, I created a simple vinaigrette with vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I used white wine vinegar for this, but red wine would probably be perfect. A tip is to use the water from some sort of pickled vegetable, like peperoncini, which would be a great addition to this (and it sticks to the Mediterranean theme). 

I hope this simple salad is a nice cleanse from all the heavy food you consumed during the holiday season. Use it as a guideline if you're looking for better recipes to keep to your resolutions this year!