Orzo with Everything

This is a no-recipe. Add as much or little of these as you like. For ideas of other ingredients to add, see Ina Garten’s wonderful recipe for Orzo with Roasted Vegetables.

Ingredients

  • Half a package of orzo
  • Dash of cayenne or pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Pine nuts, pan toasted in a bit of butter (until butter and pine nuts are browned)
  • Golden raisins, chopped into pieces
  • Garbanzo beans (start with 1/2 cup)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • Sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • Black olives, chopped
  • Feta cheese, crumbled
    Dressing:
  • Lemon juice to taste (start with 2 tablespoons)
  • Olive oil to taste (start with 4 tablespoons)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (start with 1 teaspoon salt)

Directions

  1. Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain and cool.
  2. Toss the orzo with dressing and taste to adjust.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss well. Add more lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper as needed.
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Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Za’atar Oil

Recipe adapted from Milk Street’s Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper Oil

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon salted butter (I use 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 medium yellow onion cut into 1/2 inch-dice (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup red lentils (picked over and rinsed)
  • 2 tablespoons long-grain white rice
  • 5 cups water
  • kosher salt

For Serving

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper (I use za’atar)
  • Chopped fresh mint leaves, to serve (optional)
  • Lemon wedges, to serve (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan over medium, melt the butter. Once it has stopped foaming, add the onion then sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, paprika and cumin, then sauté for 1 minute.
  2. Add the lentils, rice, water and 2 teaspoons salt, then bring to a boil. Adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer, cover and cook until the lentils and rice are tender and broken down, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. I like to use an immersion blender to puree the soup. I also like to boil it down until it is thickened a bit.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium, heat the olive oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the Aleppo pepper or Za’atar and cook until a few bubbles appear and the oil is bright red. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  4. Serve the soup with Aleppo pepper or za’atar oil drizzled over each serving. Serve with mint and lemon wedges.

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DIRECTIONS

In a large saucepan over medium, melt the butter. Once it has stopped foaming, add the onion then sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, paprika and cumin, then sauté for 1 minute.

Add the lentils, rice, water and 2 teaspoons salt, then bring to a boil. Adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer, cover and cook until the lentils and rice are tender and broken down, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium, heat the olive oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the Aleppo pepper and cook until a few bubbles appear and the oil is bright red. Remove from heat and set aside. Serve the soup with Aleppo pepper oil drizzled over each serving. Serve with mint and lemon wedges.


White Beans in Tomato Sauce

This is a very simple dish that comes together in 10 minutes. It’s my son’s absolute favorite meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, diced (3/4 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce (preferably Hunts)
  • 2 cans cannellini, great northern, or navy beans (or 1.5 cups dried beans soaked overnight in a brine of 1.5 tablespoons kosher salt to 3 quarts water)

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a medium pot, Dutch oven or stovetop pressure cooker.
  2. Add onions, salt, and pepper and cook, partially covered, until the onions are completely soft, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add tomato sauce and beans and bring to a boil. Cover and let cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you prefer the sauce to be thicker, uncover and simmer until desired consistency is reached. We like ours pretty saucy.
  5. Pressure cooker instructions: Sometimes, rather than using a regular pot, I’ll prepare this in my stovetop pressure cooker. I let it come to pressure for about 5 seconds and do a quick release. It’s amazing how much of an impact that makes on the final result.

Serve over rice.


Dr. Weil’s Tuscan Kale Salad

Recipe from Dr. Weil

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch Lacinato or dinosaur kale (the flat leaves), chopped into small pieces
  • Juice of 1 lemon (I use 2 tablespoons)
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed (I use half of a clove)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2/3 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese (I use 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs from lightly toasted bread (I use Panko)
  • I like to add currants or cranberries

Directions

  1. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a generous pinch (or more to taste) of hot red pepper flakes.
  2. Pour over kale in serving bowl and toss well, using your hands, gently massage the dressing into the leaves. This step is very important as it tenderizes the leaves.
  3. Add most of the cheese and toss again.
  4. Add bread crumbs, toss again, and top with remaining cheese.

Quinoa Salad with Feta, Grapes & Walnuts

This nutritious salad is a meal in itself. I love all the different textures and flavors. This salad is great in a packed lunch and holds up really well in the fridge. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (or use sliced or slivered almonds)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins or currants
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Cook quinoa (great directions here). For roasted quinoa see here.
  2. Put all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and shake well.
  3. Mix together all the ingredients for the salad in a bowl. Add dressing and toss well.


Bulgar & Feta Salad (low-fat)

Because of this hearty, nutrient dense grain, this salad is a meal in itself. Bulgar is a great source of manganese, fiber and protein. This salad is bursting with flavor and will hold up great for leftovers. 
Original recipe from Nutrition Action.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups water
  • ¾ cup bulgur
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (I think it needs 2 tablespoons)
  • ½ hothouse cucumber, diced
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, more to taste (I prefer 3 tablespoons)
  • I like to add 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In a small pot, bring 1½ cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil.
  2. Stir in the bulgur, turn off the burner, and cover the pot. Allow the bulgur to steep for 10 minutes, then drain and put into a large bowl.
  3. Toss the bulgur with the oil and aloe to cool for a few minutes.
  4. Stir in the cucumber, sun-dried tomatoes, scallions, and feta. Season with the lemon juice and plenty of pepper.

Nutrition Information:
Per Serving—
Calories: 180
Sodium: 260 mg
Total Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Carbohydrates: 24 g
Protein: 8 g
Fiber: 6 g