Lemon Garlic Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

Today’s Earth Day and I’m excited to participate in a fun blogger challenge. In honor of today, a group of bloggers is sharing vegetarian recipes and/or sustainable food. My kids have been on a little boycott of all vegetables. Not sure why now, but I’m starting to work on them again. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone shares today! Make sure you check out everyone’s recipes below.

I really enjoyed this orzo salad. You can eat in hot, room temperature or cold. I tried it all three ways and preferred it at room temperature. It was easy to make and you can easily switch out any of the veggies to use what you have on hand. The original recipe called for pine nuts and feta, but I omitted those.

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Dijon Balsamic Orzo Salad

I’m always looking for different type of salads to bring to picnics and parties. I wanted to try this one because it was different and not something I’ve made before. I wasn’t 100% ¬†sold on it, it’s really tangy from the Dijon and balsamic vinegar. It was good, but not sure I would make it again. Neither of the kids like and it ended up making a lot, so after three days of eating it, I was done too. So while this recipe wasn’t a hit, I think there’s potential and with adjusting some things, I might be able to get make something that we all enjoy.

This is one of the reason that I love food blogging, it gives me an opportunity to try different things and share them. If any of you have suggestions on what you would do to make the dressing of the salad not as tangy, share them! I’m all up for trying it again, but not sure where to start.

1 lb orzo pasta
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber, diced
15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Cook orzo according to package directions. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, olive oil, water, oregano, basil, and garlic. Drain orzo and place in a large mixing bowl. Add in the tomatoes, cucumber, and chickpeas. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and combine. This salad can be enjoyed warm, cold or at room temperature.

Shrimp Orzo Skillet

This was the first time I’ve made orzo and it was so good. I’ll definitely be using it more often!

INGREDIENTS

8 oz large uncooked shrimp (21-25 per pound)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/8 tsp sugar (promotes caramelization in the short time it takes to cook the shrimp)
8 oz orzo pasta
1 garlic cloved, pressed
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup clam juice
1 lemon
1 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh mint (I didn’t use)
1 cup frozen peas
1 Tbsp butter

DIRECTIONS

Peel and devein shrimp. Add oil to skillet, heat over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes or until shimmering. As skillet heats, combine salt, black pepper and sugar in a small bowl. Add shrimp and toss.

Arrange shrimp in a single layer over bottom of skillet and cook about 1 minute or until one side is browned and edges are pink. Remove skillet from heat and turn shrimp and let stand an additional 30 seconds or until centers are opaque and shrimp is cooked through. Remove shrimp from skillet, set aside.

For orzo, in same skillet, combine orzo, pressed garlic, broth and clam juice. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 10-12 minutes or until orzo is cooked through.

As orzo cooks, zest lemon to measure 1 Tbsp, juice lemon to measure 1 Tbsp juice. Thinly slice mint (if used).

Remove skillet from heat and stir in peas, butter and lemon juice. Arrange shrimp over orzo, cover and let stand 3-5 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with lemon zest and mint before serving.