Beet & Goat Cheese Orzo Salad

Wes and I ventured down to our friend’s ranch this weekend.  While the guys were out shooting guns and doing other manly things, Meaghan and I spent our time relaxing on those lovely wooden rocking chairs. It was incredibly relaxing.

Thankfully Lizzie and Suzie were able to accompany us.  I think I forgot to mention that Suzie is now a permanent member of the Cook-Crabbe family.  
She was my foster dog for the last several months but really wasn’t having much luck with the families she was meeting. Probably because I was downplaying how awesome she was. 🙂 
And for the first time ever, or at least the first time that we know about, Suzie got to go swimming.  I was a tad bit apprehensive about letting Lizzie and Suzie loose in the ponds, but after seeing how excited they were, my fears fell to the wayside. 
I was mainly concerned that one of them would get attacked by some kind of pond monster. But after I saw the amount of splashing and noise they created, I quickly realized that the pond monsters were probably more afraid of them.  
Wes picked up these handy dog life-jackets prior to our trip.  Now Lizzie may look like a prissy little dog, but the second she gets outside in the country, she turns into a defiant little dog. Wes refers to her alter-ego as “Rosco the hunting dog.” She is convinced that she can take on anything and absolutely refuses to listen to us. And while it is funny for a little bit, it is not funny when you are trying to get her out of the pond after twenty minutes of swimming. Lizzie has a tendency to swim to the middle, staying far away from shore and out of our reach.  The life jacket has a spot were you can attach a leash on the back to help reel your dog back in. We had to take advantage of this multiple times with little “Rosco.”  
To our astonishment, Suzie did great. She listened to us and came every time we called. Lizzie could learn a little something from her new sister.
Also joining us this weekend was sweet Walle, Wes’ little brothers dog.  Walle and Suzie became fast friends and spent hours playing. I know she was a little bit disappointed to come home without him.
After a fun weekend away from home, I was really glad to have some leftover beet and goat cheese orzo to come home too. I made this salad last week before we left. 

The beets turned everything a lovely shade of pink, making this salad ideal for a ladies luncheon.  Regardless of the less than masculine color, Wes loved the salad.  It is full of fresh summer veggies and a handful of tangy goat cheese.

Beet & Goat Cheese Orzo Salad

1 cup dry Orzo
4 cups water
2 large whole beets, cooked and chopped
2 zucchinis, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 cup goat cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice from one large lemon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Dash of garlic salt

Bring water to a boil. Add in orzo, let cook for about ten minutes. Drain water and place orzo in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Stir together and adjust seasoning to taste. Refrigerate for an hour and serve.

This was an easy and healthy summer dish that I know we will be revisiting soon. Beets are one of my absolute favorite vegetables and remind me of my childhood.  Buying them fresh may be a little daunting because lets face it, they look a little scary. But, I promise they are so easy to prepare. I just remove the skin and the root portion, and boil them in water until they are tender. Add a little salt and pepper and they are delicious. Are you a beet lover like me? 

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