Orzo the Good

Orzo, the quick-cooking, rice-shaped tiny pasta, is the base for this low-fat salad. Juices from chopped vegetables along with white wine vinegar and fresh lemon juice provide the nonfat dressing.

Cook the orzo in homemade chicken broth with the fat removed, or with water flavored with chicken bouillon cubes. To remove fat from chicken stock, first chill the broth, then spoon the congealed fat from the top.

Boneless turkey breast cutlets are available in most supermarkets. First season the cutlets with salt and pepper, then rub with garlic. Spray the grill with a little non-stick cooking spray just before cooking. It should take only five to 10 minutes to cook the turkey cutlets, depending on how hot the fire is. After cooking, cut the turkey into strips and stir into the orzo before chilling. To keep the chopped romaine as crisp as possible, mix in just before serving.



An excellent variation on this recipe would be to substitute three cups of whole cooked medium shrimp for the turkey.

ORZO CHOPPED SALAD 2 teaspoons olive oil 1/2 cup chopped onion 1 cup orzo 2 cups chicken broth, fat skimmed 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 2 tomatoes, diced 1 bunch asparagus, tough stems removed, remainder blanched and cut into 1/2-inch pieces 2 cups cilantro leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 (1-pound) package boneless turkey breast cutlets, about 6 2 cloves garlic, minced Salt, pepper 5 cups coarsely chopped romaine lettuce

Heat oil in large saucepan, add onion and cook until translucent. Stir in orzo, then chicken broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and broth is absorbed, 9 to 11 minutes.

Spoon into large bowl. Add white wine vinegar and stir in gently to prevent orzo from sticking. Stir in tomatoes, asparagus, cilantro and lemon juice.


Rub turkey cutlets with minced garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Grill on medium-hot grill until cutlets are cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from grill and cut into strips. Stir into orzo mixture.

Chill. Stir in romaine just before serving. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 12 (1-cup) servings.

Each serving contains about:

71 calories; 143 mg sodium; 16 mg cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 6 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams protein; 0.36 gram fiber.