Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mediterranean Pasta

Ok, so this recipe was really an experiment. Last weekend I enjoyed dinner at a friend's house. She made a delicious pasta dish- and I messed around trying to create something similar until I got my hands on the real recipe.
It turned out pretty yummy- although a teeny bit on the dry side. So I think next time I would add either a little more dressing, or maybe even a bit of fat free sour cream...
Anyhow, gather these ingredients:
olive oil
chopped onion (about 1 cup or so)
1 container grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
whole wheat penne noodles
fat free feta cheese
fat free Greek dressing
Parmesan cheese
a pinch of red pepper flakes

Start by putting on a pot of water to boil. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a pan and heat on medium. Toss in the onions and cook for a couple minutes.

 Then add the tomatoes and garlic. Cook until softened.

Drain the cooked noodles and put back in pan. Add in the softened veggies, and about 3/4 cup of fat free Feta.

Add in about 1/2-3/4 cup of fat free Greek dressing and a pinch of red pepper flakes and mix well.
Pour into a 9x13 dish and spread about 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.
Serve with a yummy salad and some bread. So good-I was very happy with how it turned out!
try it and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo

Sorry for the belated post- we have had several rounds of sickness through our house, and I've been a bit behind!
So here is the promised Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo recipe!
4 tsp olive oil
8oz boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into small chunks
pinch of salt
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup orzo, preferably whole wheat
2 large eggs (I used egg whites, which may change the texture of the soup a bit)
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with the salt, add it to the pot, and cook, stirring a few times, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a dish and set aside.
Add the remaining 2 tsp of oil to the pot. Add the onion, celery, carrot and thyme and cook, stirring over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

 Add 5 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and let simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and keep the soup hot but not boiling.
Warm the remaining 1 cup broth in a small saucepan until it is hot but not boiling. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Gradually whisk the lemon juice into the eggs. Then gradually add the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture, whisking all the while. Add the mixture to the soup, stirring well until the soup is thickened. Do not let the soup come to a boil. Add the cooked chicken to the soup.

Season with pepper and serve.
The perfect meal for a cold, snowy evening! Add some yummy crusty bread on the side, like a French baguette and you are good to go!
Be sure to swing back by this week for my newest creation, Mediterranean Chicken. It was an experiment to try to recreate something a friend made, but it turned out different, and pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself!
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