Sign up

Asian Chicken Orzo Salad & Falling into a New Routine


One thing I’ve loved about my new job (other than being around my daughter) is being able to finally work out consistently. I’ve always been good about getting my exercise in… but when I was working, I was always in such a scramble to get out the door. And by the time I got home I wanted to spend time with my baby instead of going for a run.

Even though I have a teething baby… I’ve actually been able to get more sleep and even better… I’m falling into a consistent routine. I’m still trying to fall into a consistent groove… but everything is slowly falling into place. And more importantly… I’m happier!

OK… moving on…

I’ve mentioned before how much I love meals/dishes that contain all three major food groups in one shot.

Sandwiches are on the top of my list. I love them! Whole grains, protein, veggies… plus all the yummy add ons!


This meal is my “sandwich.”

It’s got it all! Carbs, Protein, Veggies, some healthy fat… and FLAVOR!

I’ve never made any type of Asian inspired dish before… meaning… I’ve never cooked with Hoisin sauce before 😉

This dish can also be made vegan by switching out the chicken for tofu!


This recipe make A LOT of food! It’s great to eat all week, or make when you know you’re having guests over.

Adapted from Paula Deen


  • 2 cups orzo cooked according to box instructions.
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped.
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup edamame
  • 1 cup asparagus, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1 small can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted


Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once water is at a rolling boil, add bell pepper, snap peas, edamame, asparagus, and broccoli. Boil for just a few minutes to blanch the veggies. Quickly remove from boiling water and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine orzo, chicken, and all veggies. Gently toss to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together sesame oil, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Pour sauce over pasta mixture and gently toss to mix through. Top with toasted almonds. Cover and chill until ready to serve.


Random Question of the Day?

Are you a breakfast person? I’ve noticed since I’ve been home that I’m almost never hungry for breakfast anymore… and I don’t eat late at night either. Maybe because I’m less stressed?

23 Responses

  1. Jessica @ How Sweet said on March 30, 2010 at 10:10 am

    So glad that you are loving being at home! I’m sure it is a wonderful feeling. I am a breakfast person, but when I wake up, I worked out right away. After working out, my hunger diminishes a bit, so it takes a while.

  2. Ameena said on March 30, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I’m glad that you are enjoying being at home. Since for some people stress=eating maybe you aren’t hungry because the stress factor in your life is so much better!

    Delicious looking recipe…I bet this would taste great with quinoa (can’t eat pasta). Thanks for the fabulous idea!

  3. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman said on March 30, 2010 at 10:38 am

    This sounds delicious. I’ve never cooked with hoisin sauce either, but I love the veggies plus chicken plus orzo (which is automatically fun because it’s so teensy). I’m totally a breakfast person. If I don’t eat in the morning I feel like my stomach is revolting inside me. I’ve always been like this though. My husband, on the other hand, is never hungry for breakfast. So glad you’re loving your new life!

  4. carolyn said on March 30, 2010 at 10:57 am

    i too love dishes like this. one stop shops. makes packing lunches a breeze. glad to hear you’re finding your happy routine!

  5. Christie {Honoring Health} said on March 30, 2010 at 11:05 am

    SO glad you hear that you are settling into a routine that works for you!

    I am a breakfast person for sure, I typically wake up and feel ready to eat within and hour or so.

  6. Lu said on March 30, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    1) Congrats on the new job. I’m in deep envy. 🙂
    2) I need that salad fedex’d to me in a cold pac asap.
    3) I can’t wait to hear how it goes being at home with the little one. I know you’ll figure it out.

  7. Nicole, RD said on March 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    YUM! That orzo looks fantastic! I have some hoisin sauce — added this recipe to next week’s menu! And if not next week, the following week. LOVE your recipes!!

    I’m so glad you’re falling into a new routine and loving it! 🙂

    When I’m at home I’m not hungry for breakfast, either. I think I just don’t move as much so I don’t rev up the engine at the same pace. I also drink more coffee which suppresses my appetite 🙂

  8. Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly said on March 30, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I am a HUGE breakfast person! As soon as my eyes open I am ready for food! haha! My mom used to say that I would want breakfast before going to the bathroom first thing in the morning when I was a kid. Now that is some breakfast love!

  9. Michelle said on March 30, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I LOVE breakfast! I could eat breakfast food all day, and I def have to it pretty soon after I wake up. I like to workout in the mornings, but I can’t do that until I eat.

  10. said on March 30, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    yum this recipe looks great! i am a breakfast person for sure….glad you like your new routine 🙂

  11. Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) said on March 30, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Totally agree with the 3-in-1 meals, especially for lunch!

  12. Beth @ DiningAndDishing said on March 30, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I am a TOTAL breakfast person! It is easily my fave meal of the day. I always enjoy it more though when I’ve worked out or slept in and built up an appetite!

  13. Gelareh @ Nutritious Foodie said on March 30, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    That’s so nice that you get to spend time with your daughter. I do worry how i will balance work/family/workout when we have a baby.

    I wake up hungry… Raymond always jokes that I wake up and say Feed me 🙂

  14. Danielle (Coffee Run) said on March 30, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    The orzo salad sounds reallyyyy good 😀
    I’ve actually never been a breakfast person. No matter how much/little I ate the day before, I’m never hungry in the morning. But once I eat it, I enjoy it 🙂

  15. Fit Chick in the City said on March 31, 2010 at 7:20 am

    I absolutely cannot survive without breakfast. For me it’s the most important day of the meal. For whatever reason, my brain just doesn’t fully function without it.

  16. Joanna Sutter (Fitness & Spice) said on March 31, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I love the sound of this salad…maybe because I’m a bit obsessed with asparagus at the moment. And, to answer your question…yes, I’m a breakfast person. I wake up hungry. Every. Single. Day.;0)

  17. kate said on March 31, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    This recipe looks perfect for the gorgeous weather we have been having!

  18. Sues said on March 31, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Wow, that soup really is like a meal! And a beautiful one at that 🙂

    I LOVE breakfast but usually don’t end up eating it until later in the morning and it’s generally cereal and fruit. But on Sundays? I like to go all out! And sometimes I have breakfast for dinner, too.

  19. Gracie @ Girl Meets Health said on March 31, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    What a gorgeous dish! It’s so colorful and looks quite refreshing.

    I am definitely a breakfast person. Sometimes I don’t have *much* of an appetite, but I make sure to eat something anyway. I often eat breakfast food for lunch and dinner too…simply because breakfast foods (eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, etc.) are pretty much my favorite 🙂

  20. Jessie said on March 31, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    I love it when I have a complete meal, too 🙂 Bonus if I can take a picture of all of it at once!

    I’m definitely a breakfast person. I almost always wake up starving! Even so, there are occasional days when I don’t feel like breakfast – I guess bodies and appetites change over time 🙂

    Love your orzo salad!

  21. The Candid RD said on March 31, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Mmm, this dish looks fantastic!! I love orzo. I haven’t had it in years though.
    I’m so glad to hear the new job, and the new schedule is working better for you. Being happier is ALWAYS a good thing.
    Regarding breakfast, I’m not always hungry when I wake up either, but I still always eat breakfast, no matter what. If I skip breakfast it’s much harder for me to get all my fruits, veggies, and whole grains in for the day.

  22. lynn @ the actors diet said on April 1, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    some days (like right now) i’m just not hungry for breakfast. but that’s probably b/c i’m eating dessert at like midnight.

  23. Mo@MommyRD said on April 1, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I’m always hungry for breakfast; even though I have a snack before I go to bed.
    I’m so glad you’re enjoying your new job. I love it, and like you, love that working out is easier too.