I found a real beauty online the other day: Roasted Vegetable Orzo Salad with Hummus Dressing. And I came upon it by accident. I had mistakenly bought a giant container of orzo, and then realized I have used it exactly once before, in a chicken soup. This recipe presented a way for me to eat the tiny pasta without feeling like I was eating a bowlful of bad carbs. Sometimes I’d rather search for recipes that make me feel good, versus recipes that might taste good. I love roasted veggies and I love hummus, so this one stood apart for me.
I found the recipe on healthygirlkitchen.com, and as usual I made some substitutions that made it even better — in my book anyway. My son Dan still thinks every zucchini cut into cubes is really a cucumber in disguise, so he will not eat anything containing diced zucchini. The recipe also called for diced carrots; my carrots were questionable, and I happened to have half a butternut squash that looked spectacular, so I diced it and substituted that for the carrots and zucchini. I bet you could roast just about anything and it would taste incredible with the hummus dressing. Everyone loved this so much that I made it again a couple of days later, but instead of orzo, I used packaged precooked quinoa and brown rice that I warmed in the microwave. I think it was even tastier than the orzo version. They didn’t provide measurements for the salt and pepper or the garlic powder, so I used as much as I liked. Give it a try; I think you’ll like it.
Roasted Vegetable Orzo Salad with Hummus Dressing
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 large carrots, diced
½ head of cauliflower, chopped
1 zucchini, cubed
1 red onion, diced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cups cooked orzo
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup vegan feta (I used regular)
½ cup hummus
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Preheat oven to 425°.
Chop the veggies and put them on a baking sheet; mix in olive oil, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 30 minutes. While the veggies are in the oven, cook the orzo according to the package directions. Warm up the chickpeas in a microwave-safe bowl for one minute, with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper mixed in.
Once the orzo is finished, strain and add a little bit of olive oil to keep it from clumping.
In a large bowl, add the roasted veggies, chickpeas, and orzo.
Make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together. Pour the dressing into the bowl with all of the ingredients. Mix it all up and garnish with parsley (I skipped this step because I didn’t have any in the fridge). Enjoy!