Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Orzo with Tomatoes, Feta, and Green Onions

Orzo is fun if you want to have pasta, but if you want the look and feel of rice. The recipe that I have on my other site which is called ORZO WITH TOMATOES, FETA, AND GREEN ONIONS is for 8 servings and as is per serving is about 450 calories. So I've make some changes to it to make it for diet friendly.

First the stuff that I skip completely:
1. Pine nuts which brings down the calories to 385 per serving. Crazy eh?
2. Honey, not because of calories because per serving the difference is only 3 calories, but because it doesn't suit my taste buds.

Then I bring down the calories by:
1 cup of feta cheese instead of 1,5 cups and the amounts per serving becomes 360 calories.
I use 2 cups of chicken broth and the rest just regular water and per serving calories become 320

And the dish is still very tasty.

So here is the amended recipe:

ORZO WITH TOMATOES, FETA, AND GREEN ONIONS

Ingredients:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
1 pound orzo (or riso)
2 cups red and yellow teardrop or grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup chopped green onions

Directions:
Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, and honey in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)

Bring broth to boil in large heavy saucepan. Stir in orzo, reduce heat to medium, cover partially, and boil until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Transfer to large wide bowl, tossing frequently until cool.

Mix tomatoes, feta, basil, and green onions into orzo. Add vinaigrette; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Serve at room temperature.

Makes 8 servings.

And here are the tips:
To the sauce, add some garlic. You can also add about 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese which will bring the calorie count per serving to 335 calories.

Also use a little bit more lemon as the orzo really absorbs it. But don't add it to the dressing while you are preparing it. Adding it to the dressing doesn't make it sharp enough for the orzo. After you prepare the orzo see if you would like to add more lemon , and if you do add it directly to orzo.

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