July 6, 2012
Pasta Salad: good on the side or perfect for a light meal.
There are so many different types of pasta salad, how do you choose just one!?
This Mexican Pasta Salad is delicious enough to count as a light summertime meal while still being healthy (and vegetarian). Often you see pasta salad made with big chunky pastas but this version switches it up a little allowing the other fresh summer flavors a chance to shine!
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August 8, 2011
Stuffed Peppers – I am sure that many of you have a go-to recipe for these. How many of you have a Stuffed Pepper recipe that would help you use up some of the over-abundance of Zucchini you are now faced with!? Well, this recipe is a lighter version and also nice & healthy because some of your filling is a super healthy zucchini.
Feel free to adapt this as needed – I really think that this is one of those recipes where the ingredient amounts (and even what you put in) are totally up to you!
So its time to get creative with Stuffed Peppers… Make this vegetarian by leaving out the sausage. No Orzo – no problem, use brown rice. Want it more spicy: add it. You get the idea. Get out in the garden & then get into the kitchen!
Zucchini, Orzo & Sausage Stuffed Peppers
(Adapted from Pure & Organic – makes 2 pepper halves, I made a total of 4 peppers halved when I made this and doubled (?) the recipe)
- 1/2 cup of orzo
- 2 sausage links, squeezed out of the casings (OR about 1/4 lb ground sausage)
- 1/4 an onion, minced
- 1 – 2 cloves minced garlic
- pinch of red chili flakes
- splash of wine (red, white, whatever’s open)
- 1 medium zucchini, grated
- 1/2 cup of tomato sauce OR small can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup Asiago OR Parmesan cheese,(fresh from a block – microplaned)
- 1 peppers, halved, ribs and seeds removed
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cook your orzo about a minute shy of the package directions. Drain and set aside. Begin to brown your sausage in a large saute pan with a drizzle of olive oil. When the sausage is just about cooked through, add the onion and chili flakes. Allow the onion to soften and become translucent, just a couple of minutes. Then deglaze the pan with a good splash of wine, making sure to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom. Add the zucchini and tomato sauce and let cook for another minute or two, until the zucchini starts to soften. Turn off the heat and stir the cooked orzo your grated cheese. Taste & adjust seasoning as necessary.
When you set your peppers into a pan, make sure they are setting flat (either in a loaf pan OR by slicing a tiny bit off of the bottom [being sure to not leave a hole in the bottom of your pepper]) OR set the peppers into their own little foil beds in the pan. Arrange the pepper halves upon the oven-bound vessel of your choosing and sprinkle the insides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stuff (tightly) the sausage and orzo mixture into each pepper half. Feel free to pile it up. Once your peppers are stuffed, put some more grated cheese atop the peppers and pop them in the oven for anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on your desired level of pepper doneness. It was perfect for us at about 20 minutes – the peppers still have a crispness to them, if you like them softer – feel free to do it that way!
* Any extra stuffing is great the next day on its own or even over some pasta!
And I leave you with this, today’s Question of the Day… What is your favorite food to stuff (shells, peppers, tomatoes, etc) AND what do you love to stuff them with?
August 26, 2010
The other night we went out for wings at a local bar that has a million (ok, maybe like 100+) different beers from around the world. I love going there for wings, but unfortunately it is very close to the college & therefor during the school year we almost never go because there are too many college kids (and at age 27, I already can not deal with that type of bar crowd – I’ve always been such an “old lady” at heart!) BUT – I am not posting about wings, I’m posting about eating before wings. I don’t know about anyone else, but I always eat before going for wings so I don’t eat too many wings & then get sick and things like that.
Tomato, Orzo, & Garbanzo bean Salad
We had a ton of fresh cherry tomatoes & I was browsing my favorite site: www.foodgawker.com when I came across a beautiful picture for Orzo Tomato Salad from “The Hazel Bloom” who has a very real and down to earth approach to her blog which I like – so check out my inspiration for tonight at her blog and was sold! I had to run out to the store (the poor puppy had eaten the last of her dog food that morning) so while I was out I bought my first ever box of orzo (I know I have eaten it out before – just never grew up having it or cooking it, I’m now quite pleased with it though). Came home & mixed it up – cut up those fresh tomatoes, mixed in the 2 cups of cooked orzo, fresh basil & mint from outside, a can of garbanzo beans and our light dinner was ready. I let it sit out for much of the afternoon just because I wanted it room temperature & it was fabulous. Thinking I’m gonna try it again with our big tomatoes we have right now: the flavors and textures and everything in this dish just worked (entree, lunch, side, whatever) – just enjoy it!