Roasted Vegetable Orzo

This meal came together one night when I got home late and had no idea what to make for dinner (a week I had not done my menu planning).  I looked to see what was in the refrigerator and what pantry staples I had on hand. This is what I came up with.  Amazingly, my rosemary is still going strong outside (a hearty herb!) so I was excited to use it.  You can throw the vegetables together and while they are roasting, cook the orzo. The roasted rosemary will make your home smell yummy!  If there are vegetables you would like to add or ones you don’t like and want to leave out – go ahead this is a versatile recipe!

Ingredients: Roasted Vegetables

8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and quartered (I used baby bellas – mini portabella mushrooms)
1 can quartered artichoke hearts (14 ounces), drained and rinsed
1 can (large) small, black, pitted olives, drained and rinsed
1 cup sweet peppers, chopped (about 7 small)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (about 4 inches each)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil


Directions for Roasted Vegetables
1.  Preheat   oven to 450F
2.  Mix all ingredients and place on a sheet pan or roasting pan
3.  Roast vegetables 20-30 minutes (stirring half-way through cooking time) or until vegetables are cooked but not mushy. Start on orzo (see below)
4.  Remove rosemary stems (the leaves will probably fall off and are edible so I just leave them in).  Add to orzo when it is finished.

Ingredients for Orzo

1 1/2 tablespoon butter
2 cups orzo
3 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
1/8 teaspoon salt (I used truffle salt but this is optional – I was feeling gourmet 😉

Directions for Orzo
1.  Add butter to medium-sized sauce pan and melt.
2.  Add orzo, stirring to coat with butter and add chicken stock.
3.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook orzo 20 minutes or until water is absorbed but orzo is still creamy.  (I check on it occasionally and stir it).
4.  Add grated Parmesan and salt, stir.
5.  Add roasted vegetables.

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Source: Lindsay Lou Original

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Braised Chicken in Sun Dried Tomato Cream Sauce



My Mom emailed me this recipe excited for me to try it as it was a big hit with my stepdad. I was eager to try it and put it on the menu almost immediately – I LOVE sun dried tomatoes. Don’t skip the whipping cream or use light – you can splurge every once in awhile–I did 🙂 I’ve actually made this recipe about 4 times since my mom sent it to me. I altered it each time to see how I could get more sauce as that was my mom’s only complaint (the sauce was so good but there wasn’t enough). I think this is my favorite version (I doubled the wine and cream). If you are looking for a healthy meal – keep on looking 😉

Ingredients
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (pound out to make thinner – I place each breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap on a cutting board, then pound with a meat mallet until thin. You could also use a heavy pan if you don’t have a meat mallet)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1 cup whipping cream
1 jar (8.5oz) Sun Dried Tomatoes – Julienne cut in olive oil and herbs, drained but reserve oil (I could not find sun dried tomatoes julienne cut, so I just cut them)

Directions
1. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of the reserved olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium/high heat
2. Add chicken to the skillet and saute until golden brown, approximately 4-6 minutes on each side, When I put the chicken in I move it around slightly to make sure it won’t stick
3. Remove chicken and set aside
4. Add garlic and stir
5. Add wine, cream, and sun dried tomatoes and stir
6. Return chicken to pan and bring to a boil.
7. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer until chicken is done, approx 3-5 minutes
8. Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm while finishing the cream sauce
9. Increase the heat to make the cream/sun dried tomato sauce in the skillet boil until it thickens (about 8-10 minutes).

Serve with pasta, spoon sauce over chicken before serving or cut chicken and toss sauce, chicken and pasta.

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou
Source: Adapted from Bella Sun Luci Savory Sun Dried Tomato via Mrs. V.

Stuffed Eggplant


I couldn’t resist the beautiful eggplants at the farm stand. This is a really versatile meal, you can add other vegetables to the stuffing or you could add meat. I have also made the stuffing with rice instead of couscous. You can serve the extra stuffing on the side if your family wants more stuffing, serve it as a side with another meal, or make it a meal by itself.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups couscous
2 3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup peppers, chopped
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups zucchini, chopped (about 2 zucchinis)
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 cup dried tomatoes chopped (you can usually purchase these in the tomato section of your produce area packaged and they are nice and soft. I had ones that were dried and not soft they needed some life put back into them. You can do this by covering the tomatoes with boiling water for about 10 minutes).
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggplants, cut in half lengthwise, inside scraped out and chopped (reserve outside of eggplant to be filled)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.
2. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and couscous, remove from heat.
3. Let sit 5 minutes, fluff with fork and set aside until vegetables are ready.
4. Heat a large pan and add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add onions and cook until carmelized (about 10 minutes)
5. Add peppers and zucchini, cook about 5 -1o minutes or until browned.
6. Add eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper to taste
7. Cook until vegetables are tender
8. Add cooked couscous, mix well.
9. Drizzle olive oil on eggplant and make sure to coat the outside. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
10. Fill eggplant with stuffing and top with cheese.
11. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou
Source: Lindsay Lou Original

Greek Couscous Salad


I have another version of couscous salad I have blogged about here. I love couscous because it is versatile. Couscous can be used as a main dish, a side dish, or as a dessert. In fact, my first experience with couscous was probably when I was a little girl and our friends from Africa made a fantastic dessert with it. I have a love of salads too, including pasta salads. I like to experiment with ingredients and different dressings. This week as I was planning out our menu I thought about making a Greek Salad and thought how good it would be with couscous for a change. The Greek dressing recipe I found this summer and have been using since.

Ingredients:

For the Salad:
1 8oz container grape tomatoes
1 can small black olives, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup red onion, diced
8 0unces feta cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon course sea salt
Cooked couscous (see ingredients and instructions below).

For the Couscous:
1 1/2 cups CousCous
2 3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup red wine vinegar

Instructions:
1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.
2. Add salt and Couscous, remove from heat.
3. Let sit 5 minutes, fluff with fork.
4. While Couscous is cooling mix all of the other salad ingredients together (except the salad dressing ingredients). When couscous is cooled, add to the salad and mix.
5. For the dressing: Mix all ingredients except the olive oil. Add a little olive oil and whisk (about 2 tablespoons), while whisking the dressing slowly add the rest of the olive oil in a stream. Whisk until mixed.
6. Pour dressing over salad and stir.

Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. This salad was still holding up and tasty after a few days in the refrigerator.

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Source: Greek Dressing recipe adapted from Allrecipes

Peanut Noodles


This dish is simple and a favorite in our house. I usually have all the ingredients on hand for a quick weeknight meal. You probably have most if not all the ingredients on hand. I use Udon noodles (I find them in our Asian section at the grocery store) but you could use other noodles you have on hand. Although I highly recommend the Udon noodles- they are wonderful! If you don’t have rice vinegar on hand you should pick some up at the store the next time you are there. Rice vinegar is a staple in our pantry, I use it in this recipe and also for salad dressings as a change from other types of vinegar.

Ingredients
1 package Udon Noodles (about 12.8 oz)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
3/4 cup boiling water
4 sliced scallions
4 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Cayenne pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. Cook pasta according to instructions on package (reserve 3/4 cup of boiling water). Drain pasta and set aside. Do not rinse pasta when finished.
2. Whisk reserved boiling water with peanut butter until smooth.
3. Stir in scallions, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, sugar and cayenne.
4. Toss peanut butter sauce with pasta.

Source: Adapted from Real Age