Tuesday, April 24, 2012

20 Minute Meal : Orzo, Kale, Shroom Sauté

My hubby called me from work yesterday afternoon requesting some kind of “chicken and rice” dish for dinner. Seeing as he is the most indecisive person when it comes to food (99% of his cravings are “whatever you want, sweetie”), this special request was a welcome surprise! The majority of my cooking leans towards vegetarian, but we have a strict policy in my house that you listen to your body - so if you are craving chicken, then chicken you will eat! While I was not in the mood for meat last night, I added extra kale and mushrooms to this dish to make it hearty. Orzo, meaning “barley” in Italiano is a lighter version of a risotto-style rice and in addition to using it in a sauté like mine, can also be used to add substance to a soup or salad.
Any time I try out a recipe for the first time, I budget at least an hour of total cook time. But, I was surprised to find that this meal went from boiling water to plated in about 20 minutes – which is why I’m so excited to share this with you!
20 Minute Mid-Week Meal:  Orzo, Kale, Shroom Sauté
1 lb. Orzo (I used “DeLallo Orzo No.65” from Sprouts)
10oz. Kale (I cook with Trader Joe’s “Cut, cleaned and ready to cook” Kale)
5 oz. Mushrooms (I used Trader Joe’s “Sliced Cremini Mushrooms”)
*4oz. Grilled chicken breast optional
½ yellow onion
1 tablespoon Smart Balance (non-dairy butter like spread)
4 cloves of garlic, chopped

10 cherry tomatoes
6 cups of water
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Black Peppercorns
Crushed Red Pepper flakes

Bring water to boil in saucepan, add Orzo, sprinkle a bit of Turmeric on top of boiling water, and cover. Let cook for 9 minutes, stirring occasionally and then let sit.
In a separate pan, fill with ½ cup of water, cover and bring to boil. Once boiling, add Kale and cover for 1 minute. Once Kale is tender, drain water and put kale in a bowl to the side. Return pan to burner, coat bottom with olive oil and place chopped garlic and chopped onion in pan. Sauté until both are golden brown, then add mushrooms and Smart Balance. Cook to your desired texture, and then add kale. Add cherry tomatoes whole, letting them cook down on their own. The best part is squishing them at the end! Drizzle Sriracha on top of sauté to your preferred level of spiciness.  
If you are adding meat, include chicken breast in the sauté here. Now is the time to add the Orzo, so spoon it out of the saucepan in to the sauté, separating any bits that have become stuck together. Gently work all the ingredients together in the pan for 3 mintues, adding salt, pepper, red pepper and any other herbs or spices to your taste.
Makes 3-4 servings, with leftovers : )

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