Orzo, Spinach and Tomatoes

Orzo with tomatoes, (but not the spinach).

Orzo with tomatoes, (but not the spinach).

Every once in a while you need a dinner that’s especially man-pleasing without going the whole steak and potatoes route.  This is it!

Grilled steak and green  beans with orzo mixture.

Grilled steak and green beans with orzo mixture.

If you’re queen in your kitchen, as I am,  give yourself the smaller steak and load up on the orzo mixture and green beans.  Everyone will be well pleased.  Guaranteed!!   And if there should be any leftover steak,  slice it up and and serve it over the remains of this orzo side dish for the next day’s lunch or a deja-vue dinner.

I’m well-known for making a big pot of something-or-other and eating it (sometimes begrudgingly) for several days.   Usually it’s soups—they’re always good for on-going consumption, especially if you keep adding a little something like an extra pat of butter or a few left over veggies after each reheating.  Soups can get more delicious the longer they last.  Did you know this?

Since Monday is staring us in the face, I thought I’d start off the week with this last-all-week staple.  Something savory and healthy to help us get through the week with a smiley face.    This dish will taste best if the spinach and tomatoes are on sale!!!

 

ORZO, SPINACH AND TOMATOES

Please note:   I decided to make this dish without the spinach this timeIMG_8113

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound orzo, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach, or larger-leafed spinach, torn into smaller pieces
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • fine kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  In a large sauce pan, melt the butter.  Add the shallot and sauté to soften.  Add the tomatoes and continue to sauté them until they start to release their liquid, and they soften.

Saute the shallots and tomatoes till they soften.

Saute the shallots and tomatoes till they soften.

2.  Add the cooked orzo to the pan along with the spinach, and toss to coat and integrate all the ingredients.   Transfer to a large serving bowl.

Add the cooked orzo and stir to combine.

Add the cooked orzo and stir to combine.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and minced garlic, plus salt and pepper to taste.  Pour over the orzo mixture and stir to mix well.  Crumble the feta cheese over the top.

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TIP:   Double the batch of orzo and serve as a cold side dish later in the week.  Just toss with a little additional olive oil before storing in the refrigerator in an airtight container.   Adding some chopped kalamata olives really perks up this dish also.   This is delicious hot or cold.

SOURCE:   Week Night Grilling with the BBQ Queens

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Summer Couscous Salad with Grilled Squash and Feta

Couscous Salad with Grilled Squash and Feta.

Couscous Salad with Grilled Squash and Feta.

Sometimes I spend so much time doing something (like manicuring my own nails), that by the time it’s complete, I’m entirely disenchanted with the finished product.

The same goes for some recipes.  The longer I spend peeling, slicing, dicing, stirring, cooking and cooling, the less I want to eat it in the end.  Sad story, right?

Laundry is another example.  Gathering, washing, drying, folding, ironing (really?, who irons?)  and putting away….AAHHHH.  Laundry is boring, not fun, not delicious!

Oh, but this salad though….in and out.  No  exorbitant amount of time spent slicing and dicing.  Just enough to get some veggies ready for the grill.  Just enough time to boil water for couscous.  Just enough time to put it all together with some tangy feta cheese and create a pretty salad.  Let’s carry the bowl over to the table, pull out a chair, sit down and enjoy our efforts.  This salad  is the perfect balance of  veggies, health and kitchen time.

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I hope the start of your week is feeling great!

Let’s put some healthy salad in the mix!

 

SUMMER COUSCOUS SALAD WITH GRILLED SQUASH AND FETA

Yield:  6 – 8 servingsIMG_7908

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini squash
  • 2 medium yellow summer squash
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (optional)
  • 2 cups pearl couscous, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves, garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped or 1 tbsp. dried
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese  (or substitute goat cheese, crumbled )

Instructions:

1.  Preheat grill.

2  Slice both kinds of squash lengthwise.  Baste with olive oil and garlic.

3.  Grill until tender, about 6 – 8 minutes per side.

4.  Remove squash from grill and cut into bite-sized pieces.

5.  In a large bowl, mix cooked couscous with squash and remaining ingredients.  Garnish with feta.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

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SOURCE:   Eating Well

Greek-Style Chicken Breasts

Greek-Style Chicken Breasts

Greek-Style Chicken Breasts

Do you like to buy olives from the olive bar in the supermarket?  I love them, and frequently buy an assortment to have on hand.  I like to include olives in a mixed green salad, or add them to the salads I prepare for our lunches.  As luck would have it,  I had just returned from my grocery shopping on the very day that I came across this recipe for Greek-Style Chicken that called for kalamata olives.  With the olives on hand I knew I had everything necessary to prepare this fantastic entree.

Grilled Chicken goes Greek!

Grilled Chicken goes Greek!

Besides being very tasty, this meal can be prepared in just about 30 minutes.  The recipe as it was printed contained a recipe for herbed potatoes, and when I cooked the chicken, I prepared the herbed potatoes as well.  So I’m including them here for you also.  This meal goes together so easily and is really good.  I would not hesitate to serve this to guests, who would think you spent longer on its preparation than you actually did.  Many of you may be grilling now that summer has officially arrived, and the chicken would be lovely cooked out on the grill, then topped with the onion-tomato-olive mixture.

GREEK-STYLE CHICKEN BREASTS

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:IMG_7168

  • 4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1  3/4 cups vertically sliced onion
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 12 – 14 pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, halved and sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano  (or 3/4 tsp. dried)
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
Tomatoes and olives ready for the pan.

Tomatoes and olives ready for the pan.

Directions:

1.  Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.

Grilling the chicken

Grilling the chicken

2.  Heat a large skillet per medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion and garlic, sauté 4 minutes.

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Add olives and tomatoes;  cook 3 minutes or until tomato begins to break down, stirring occasionally.

 

This smells fantastic!!

This smells fantastic!!

Remove pan from heat; stir in parsley, oregano and lemon juice.  Top chicken with tomato and olive mixture; sprinkle feta evenly over chicken.

Spoon sauce over chicken and sprinkle with feta cheese.

Spoon sauce over chicken and sprinkle with feta cheese.

 

HERBED POTATOES

Place  1 1/4 pounds baby gold potatoes – or medium yukon gold potatoes, quartered – in a large saucepan.  Cover with water and cook 14 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain.

Combine 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl, storing with a whisk.  Add potatoes and toss to coat.  Garnish with parsley or oregano leaves, if desired.

If you have extra time you can roast rather than boil the potatoes.  Toss them in the vinaigrette mixture, and bake at 400*F for 30 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes.  This is what I did to get the version you see below.

Oven Roasted Potatoes

Oven Roasted Potatoes

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SOURCE:   Cooking Light