Tag Archives: orzo

Italian Chicken Sausage, Spinach and Orzo Skillet

So the slacker blogger is back. I thought I would have posted long before now but being a slacker I didn’t. But the dish I made for dinner last night prompted me to get my butt in gear and post something! I had found this recipe about a month or so ago and kept saying I’d make it. Finally made it! I had to change a couple things from the original recipe 5 Ingredient Chicken Sausage and Orzo Skillet.

Original recipe called for arugula which I did not have, and I added halved grape/cherry tomatoes. I also subsituted grated parmesan cheese for the shaved and I cut down the amount they called for. You can always add more later!

I also cut the recipe in half as it’s just me and the hubby and even though we definitely LOVE leftovers we decided it was best to cut back a bit. I used Wellsley Farms Italian chicken sausage with tomato, mozzarella and basil. Delish! But feel free to use any kind you like.

The recipe is so easy and I just love using 1 pan to cook. Less to clean later!

Ingredients:

6 Italian style chicken sausages, sliced into rounds

2 cups dried orzo

8 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups chicken broth

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

6-8 oz. fresh spinach (remember it shrinks down to almost nothing.)

1 cup or more slice grape tomatoes

2 TBS olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

red pepper flakes to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken sausage and cook for 2 minutes each side, or just keep mixing till all sides are nice and golden.
  2. Add garlic, orzo and red pepper flakes. Toss for 1-2 minutes until orzo is slightly toasted and garlic is really fragrant.
  3. Pour in chicken broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is cooked. Keep stirring every so often so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the spinach and tomatoes just before the orzo is almost cooked and mix well. Cover for a minute or so and let the spinach reduced.
  5. Add the parmesan cheese and serve!
  6. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.

This makes 4-6 servings.

Veggies Au Gratin

Welcome back and welcome to 2011! A new year to begin new resolutions and start fresh. I already started my exercise resolution today. I didn’t go to the gym but I did walk for an hour which was about 3 miles. Don’t want my body to freak out all at once. Must ease into it…

Well today’s recipe is something I threw together last week. I was looking for something different as a side dish. I think we were having a pork tenderloin or something. I actually don’t remember. Anyway, I came up with this recipe and there was enough leftover to “reinvent” it again for another night. I think it was even better the second time around! The flavors melded together much better. It is actually lower in fat and calories if you can believe it! I used fat-free half-and-half, Light Laughing Cow cheese and low-fat mozzarella. Also the flour I used to thicken it was soy flour but you can also use whole wheat or regular. The butter I used was a butter substitute also. Saving calories all over the place!!! When I “reinvented” it the second time I added cooked orzo and some leftover green beans I found in the fridge. Added a little more half-and-half and just heated it all up! Voila! Two nights! (and actually there was still a little leftover for a 3rd night for us to have a little more!)

When I made this I didn’t measure so I am guessing on the measurements here. If you need to adjust it for yourself, please do! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

1 (16 ounce) package frozen broccoli and cauliflower

1 cup fat-free half-and-half

½ stick (4 tbsp) butter substitute

1½ cup soy flour

2 wedges Light Laughing Cow cheese (any flavor you like)

1 cup grated parmesan/pecorino cheese

½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

garlic powder

DAY 2 INGREDIENTS:

½ cup uncooked orzo (cook according to package directions)

any leftover veggies in fridge

fat-free half-and-half as needed

DIRECTIONS:

1. Cook the frozen broccoli/cauliflower in microwave on High for about 7 minutes. Drain and put into a small casserole dish. Sprinkle with garlic powder, mix and set aside.

2. Meanwhile in a medium sauce pot add butter and half-and-half and stir until butter is melted. Add the flour and continue cooking on medium-heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and there are no lumps in the flour, about 10-15 minutes.

3. Add the Laughing Cow cheese and stir until melted completely. If it’s chopped into small pieces it will melt faster. Add the grated cheese and mozzarella cheese and stir until melted.

4. Add cheese mixture to the vegetables in the casserole dish and mix well until all vegetables are covered.

5. Place in preheated 350º oven and bake until cheese is bubbly and browned. This should be about 30 minutes or so. Check after 30 minutes to be sure.

DAY 2:

1. Cook the orzo according to package, drain and add to leftover Au Gratin mix. Add a little more half-and-half and cheese as needed to make it a little more creamy. Heat in medium saucepan stirring occasionally. Make sure it doesn’t stick to pan.

Quick & Easy Minestrone Soup

No matter where you have minestrone soup it probably won’t be the same twice. It’s one of those soups that have little variations. This version is a quick and easy version. If you’re running late or just want a quick soup to warm up this is it. It’s semi-homemade. It uses a can of vegetable soup. I like Progresso soups but you can use whichever you prefer. The can size is approximate also. Whatever is closest if you can’t find the exact size will work.

INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup orzo or other small pasta

salt

1 can of Progresso Vegetable Soup (19 oz. can)

1 can Canellini (white) or Red Kidney Beans (15 oz. can)

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the orzo and salt to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is tender (al dente). Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the water.

2. In the meantime, heat the soup and beans to a simmer in a medium saucepan.

3. Stir in the cooked pasta. Add a little of the reserved cooking water if the soup is too thick. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.

Serve immediately

Serves 2

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