Lemon & Parsley Orzo with Chick Peas

As summer is nearing it’s end this year, I’ve been looking for ways to use up the parsley in my garden before it yellows and is no longer producing. I had some orzo on hand so why not put the two together and see what we can come up with? This recipe is very light and crisp, perfect for those dog days of summer that we experience in Ohio in August. Most of these ingredients were chosen because they were on hand in my kitchen, so don’t be afraid to change it up if you don’t have everything in the ingredient list.

Orzo

 

Ingredients:

1 cup dry orzo, cooked according to package

1 large bunch of fresh parsley (a good handful)

Fresh basil leaves, about 8, if available

1 cup + orange grape tomatoes, quartered

1 cup peas (I used frozen)

1 can organic chick peas, drained and well rinsed

1/2 green pepper

Dressing:

White wine vinegar

Olive oil

1/2 lemon juice

1 tsp. lemon zest

1/2 tsp each of granulated onion, dried shallot, black pepper, sea salt, garlic powder

1/2 TBS Honey

Directions:

1. Cook the orzo according to the package interactions, which would typically be boiling the orzo in 3-4 cups of water (for 1 cup dry orzo) for about 16 minutes.

2. Add the frozen peas into the boiling orzo for the last 6 minutes of the cooking time (who needs to dirty up extra pots?)

3. Chop tomatoes and herbs and dice green peppers. Put into a mixing bowl large enough for entire dish. (the green peppers add a great crisp bite to this dish, so I recommend using them or something that will give you a similar snap!)

4. Add cooked orzo and peas into mixing bowl.

5. Mix together ingredients for dressing. I prefer equal amount of olive oil to my vinegar so I only used about 1/3 cup of each or less.

6. Pour 3/4 of the dressing into the orzo mixture, the rest will be tossed with the chick peas to cook.

7. Using the same pot you cooked your orzo in, add the remaining amount of dressing along with your chick peas. Bring to a simmer, stirring for about 10 minutes. (if you prefer uncooked chick peas this step may not be necessary. I tend to prefer warming mine to soften them a bit. If you have a little extra time on your hand, put them in the oven instead for a brown crispness).

8. Add chick peas to your orzo mixture, toss and serve or refrigerate for later!

 

Quinoa with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

photo 1

 

Craving something fresh, tasty and good for you? This Cilantro Lime Quinoa recipe is easy and healthy and can be prepared in just about 20 minutes. Here is what you are going to need:

  • 1 cup quinoa (I used a blend of red and white quinoa)
  • 2 cups water
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • green onion (approx. 1 cup chopped)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 banana pepper
  • 1/2 cup garlic infused olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime (1/4 cup)

Make sure you rinse the quinoa before cooking. My strainer really doesn’t have a fine enough mesh, so the little bits of quinoa escape while rinsing. So, I usually put my dry quinoa in a big bowl and fill it with water and swish it around. You will notice right away that the water starts to turn a brownish pink color. Then pour the mixture through a fine mesh spoon of some kind, into the strainer below. This helped from losing too much of the quinoa. I repeat this until the water is mostly clear when I’m swishing it around in the bowl.

Meanwhile, bring your water to a boil and add your clearly rinsed quinoa. Cover and reduce to the lowest simmer you can for 20 minutes. This next tip is IMPORTANT to keep the quinoa from getting to sticky and overdone. Take the lid off of the pot immediately after it cooks for 20 minutes, fluff with a fork and let it cool without the lid. I tend to forget to to do this and it often gets overcooked and sticky.

Dice up the banana pepper (or sub a jalapeño for more heat), green onion and tomatoes. Put them all together in a large bowl.

Add cooled quinoa into large bowl.

In a separate container or food processor, add cilantro, cider vinegar, lime juice, olive oil (if using regular EVOO, add minced garlic here too), salt and pepper. Blend for a nice green color and consistency.

Add dressing into quinoa mixture and refrigerate for flavors to settle.

I hope you enjoy!