Whole Wheat Orzo Risotto with Shrimp and Artichoke Hearts (low-fat)

Inspired by Ellie Krieger’s Herbed Salmon and Orzo Casserole with Feta. The way the orzo is cooked in minimal liquid, adds a yummy, creaminess.

Ingredients

  • 1 (12oz) package frozen artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup whole wheat orzo
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 3/4 cups water or broth (for orzo)
  • 1/4 cup water (for artichokes)
  • 1 pound large raw shrimp (21-30 count)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 cups greens (kale, Swiss chard, spinach)
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Spices – Whatever you like – my preference for this dish is lemon pepper, celery salt, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided), more for drizzling 
  • Parmesan or feta cheese for serving

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. 
  2. Place fresh or frozen pieces of shrimp in a single layer. Sprinkle each piece with spices of choice.
  3. Cook for a minute or two and then flip the shrimp. Cook on the second side until pink and no longer translucent. Remove to a plate.
  4. To the skillet add orzo, water/broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer; cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove lid and stir; continue to cook 3 more minutes or until tender and all liquid is absorbed. If the orzo is still firm, add a bit more water.
  6. Turn off heat, squeeze some lemon juice on top and taste for salt.
  7. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, and artichoke hearts. Allow artichokes to brown slightly.
  8. Add 1/4 cup water and cover for a few minutes until artichokes are tender.
  9. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and greens, and toss until the greens are wilted. Remove from heat.
  10. To the pot with orzo, add the artichokes, greens, and shrimp. Sprinkle with feta or parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

Blueberry Banana Chunk Muffins

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or more all-purpose)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (these are less sweet than typical muffins – add 1/4 cup more to make them sweeter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup any type of oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 bananas, cut into chunks

Crumb Topping (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 400 and grease muffin tins or line with muffin liners.
  2. In a small bowl combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
  3. In another bowl make the topping: Mix all the ingredients together and use a fork to smash and incorporate the butter or use your fingers to smash it all together.
  4. In a measuring cup for wet ingredients — First add the oil and then add the egg. Next, add only enough milk to fill the cup, (approximately 1/3 cup milk – the idea is to add only one cup of liquid to the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  5. Fold in the blueberries and bananas. Pour into the muffin tins all the way to the top.
  6. Sprinkle with topping.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes. If they appear to be done, insert a toothpick into the center. If it doesn’t come out clean, check again in 5 minutes.

Bulgar Pilaf

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • Heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 .5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup bulgar, any size (in photo I used size 1)
  • 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup bulgar
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  1. Heat olive oil in a small pot. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. While the onion is cooking, add the salt and cumin. 
  2. Add the tomato paste to the softened onions and stir to combine. 
  3. Add the chicken broth and the bulgar and turn off the heat. 
  4. Allow the bulgar to soak up the broth, fluffing occasionally with a fork, until all the water is absorbed. If you like your bulgar more moist, add a bit more water.
  5. Serve hot or cold.

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


Ultimate Pumpkin Bread or Muffins

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (I use 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon flour (I use 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour and 3/4 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I use 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions

  1. Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, water, oil, salt, and eggs. Beat until well mixed.
  3. Place a sieve over the bowl and sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves. Mix until smooth.
  4. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan and dust with flour.
  5. Bread: Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Muffins: Bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Serve plain, buttered or with cream cheese.