Buon Appetito !

If you are in the mood for pasta but want something different, try orzo. Orzo, also called risoni, is shaped like rice but it is Italian pasta. Traditionally made from white flour, orzo can be used in soup recipes, salads and casseroles. It is also a great compliment to vegetables and grilled meats.

Recipe by Kim Beavers

Orzo with Tomatoes and Zucchini
The rich flavor of this recipe makes it a wonderful accompaniment to any grilled meat, or you can just add beans for a main course.  

½ cup dry whole wheat orzo
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil; divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large zucchini, chopped (1 ½ cup)
2 yellow squash, chopped (1 ½ cup)
3 tomatoes, chopped (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons basil minced

Add 1 ½ teaspoon olive oil to a medium saucepan and place over medium heat, add orzo and sauté until lightly toasted. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 6-8 minutes until al dente.

Meanwhile, place a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add remaining olive oil. Once hot add zucchini, and squash, cook for about 6 to 7 minutes until just beginning to brown. Add in the tomatoes and garlic, cook until tomatoes are fragrant and begin to break down. Toss in basil at the very end of cooking or top with basil to serve. Serve vegetables over orzo and enjoy.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
Nutrition Breakdown: Calories 120, Fat 4.5g (0.5g saturated fat), Cholesterol 0mg, Carbohydrate 17g, Fiber 3g, Protein 4g, Potassium 466mg, Phosphorus 23g.
Percent Daily Value: 20% Vitamin A, 45% Vitamin C, 6% Iron, 2% Calcium
Diabetes Exchange Values: 1 Vegetable, 1 Starch, 1 Fat

Kim’s note: If the pan with the zucchini gets a little dry before you add the tomatoes you can take some of the liquid from the orzo and add to that pan. This is a technique used for cooking with less oil. Olive oil is healthy (of course) but it is high in calories— a little is good, but more is not always better.