Friday, February 25, 2011

Toasted Orzo with Lime and Sauteed Peppers and Snow Peas

GOD MAKES GOOD FOOD. Really, God is a good cook.  There's nothing better than a big bowl of fresh veggies, or biting into a juicy summer peach.  Fresh fruits and veggies require minimal prep.  I like them cold or simply steamed.  I prefer to keep it simple.  The grilled mushrooms were a great example, and the peppers and snow peas in a simple saute is right up my alley.  (Don't over cook them, just warm them through so there's still a good crunch.)  I think too many cooks tend to over-cook, over-season, or over-sauce fresh foods. Try to resist the temptation to add to the dish!

Tonight's menu was Toasted Orzo with Lime and Sauteed Peppers and Snow Peas.  Both dishes got big thumbs up from the whole family.  The orzo recipe was taken from and the peppers and snow peas recipe was from the Williams-Sonoma cookbook "Healthy Side Dishes."  I used the list of ingredients just as they were listed, so I can't take credit for either one.  I did chop the veggies big (instead of shredding as was recommended) and I didn't cook them as long because I like crisp-tender veggies.  Both recipes were really good and the orzo was so filling.  Toasting it gave a great color and nutty flavor.   

1 1/2 T. olive oil
3 sweet/bell peppers (red, green, orange and/or yellow), seeded and cut into strips
3/4 lb. snow peas
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
2 t. finely chopped chives (or dried chives)

Warm oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Add the peppers and saute, stirring, about 1-2 minutes.  Add snow peas and saute another 1-2 minutes. Add salt and pepper and toss to mix well.  Serve garnished with chives.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups orzo pasta
2 zucchini, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes with liquid
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
1-2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1-2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
½ cup chopped green onions
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and uncooked orzo pasta; cook and stir until pasta turns a light, golden color, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini and carrots; cook about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, vegetable broth, Italian seasoning, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir in the green onions, parsley, lime zest, and lime juice. Remove from heat and serve hot.  

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