I started out intending to make a completely different orzo salad but was lacking some of the ingredients. I changed to what I had on hand and made a very delicious and filling lunch or supper salad.
Orzo Chicken and Artichoke Salad
4 cups boiling water
1 cup dry orzo pasta
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 cup chopped, cooked chicken breast
7.5 oz marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
Red Wine Dressing:
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 Tblsp. honey
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp chili powder or cumin
¾ cup plus 2 Tblsp. light olive oil
Cook orzo in boiling water for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Drain and stir occasionally until pasta is slightly warm. Add tomatoes, chicken and artichoke hearts.
Place dressing ingredients in a one-pint jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to mix ingredients and pour over chicken/orzo mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Remove from refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving and stir.
In the 1980s-90s, my husband and I lived in a rural area called Blue Jay, located on the Ohio/Indiana border. My husband had a huge garden and every kind of berry bush and fruit tree that does well in our area. My favorites were the black raspberries and we got bumper crops year after year. I used them in every conceivable way, but regret that I found this recipe after we had to leave our country home and all the wonderful berries. It’s a quick, easy way to turn 1-½ cups of fresh raspberries into a delicious dessert with a little cake and lots of berries.
Butter is melted in the oven in a 9-inch pie plate. Then cake batter is poured over the butter (no stirring) and berries are scattered on top along with a sprinkling of sugar. The cake rises up over the berries to form a thin layer and is delicious warm from the oven or at room temperature.
¼ cup butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Dash of salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¾ tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. milk
1-½ cups fresh raspberries
Additional 1-1/2 Tblsp. granulated sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and melt butter in 9-inch pie plate Heat until butter is melted but not brown.
Meanwhile, mix flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, salt and baking powder in bowl.
Stir in milk. Pour this batter over the melted butter – DO NOT STIR.
Drop berries over top, scattering evenly over surface. DO NOT STIR.
Sprinkle 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar on top and bake for 30 minutes @ 350 F degrees.
The butter and batter rise to make a thin top crust that is buttery, sugary and crunchy at the edges.
Delicious plain or with a bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
I saw a recipe online for bell peppers stuffed with rice, ground chicken and an interesting blend of vegetables which sounded good, but I thought my family would like it better in casserole-form. I used chopped bell peppers along with chicken breast rather than ground chicken and substituted orzo for rice to make a very flavorful and satisfying meal. I used my favorite mixture of oregano and chili powder to give the dish a little kick and it was voted a winner by the family. I assembled the dish a day ahead of time and baked it for Sunday dinner. We had enough for everyone to have an extra serving for supper during the week. This dish would also freeze well.
Chicken, Spinach, Artichoke and Orzo Casserole
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
½ cup onion, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
15 oz. can of tomato sauce
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
15 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and coarsely chopped
1 cup orzo cooked al dente according to package directions
½ chicken breast, cooked and shredded
6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
Oiled 9×13 baking dish
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and cook bell pepper and onion until soft but not brown. Add minced garlic, oregano, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir in tomato sauce, thawed spinach, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes. Add cooked orzo and shredded chicken breast. Spoon mixture into oiled 9×13 baking dish. Dish can be covered and refrigerated at this point and baked later.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place covered casserole in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until mixture begins to bubble. Remove cover and sprinkle with crumbled Feta cheese. Bake for 10 minutes more. Serve hot.
6-8 generous servings
I found this recipe over 10 years ago online (sorry, I don’t remember the source) and adapted it to make a nice, light luncheon or supper dish. I would prefer fresh peaches, but canned ones also work fine and give a little pep to this low fat, low cal meal.
Tipsy Chicken with Peaches
3 medium chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 tsp. olive oil
Large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. smoked paprika
6 green onions with tops, chopped
¼ cup orange juice
2 Tblsp. Bourbon
1 cup sliced peaches
Grating of fresh nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Spray a 9 inch casserole dish
Place chicken cubes in prepared casserole and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat olive oil and cook onions over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add paprika and chopped green onions. Cook an additional 4 minutes.
Spread onion mixture over chicken; spoon orange juice and bourbon over the top and bake uncovered for @ 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, turning and stirring occasionally.
Remove chicken from oven and spoon peaches over the top. Grate nutmeg lightly over peaches and return to oven to bake for 15-20 minutes more until chicken is done.
Serve over hot rice.
Diet Power: ¼ of casserole with ½ cup rice = 278 calories, 3.7 g fat, 37.7 g carbohydrate, 1.99 g dietary fiber, 24.2 g protein.
This is an adaptation of a recipe I found in 2015 on a wonderful site called Natasha’s Palace. It’s worth a visit there to see all of the great and unusual recipes she has. The original recipe is here:
My daughters and I love this dish, especially if I can use some flavorful Honey Baked Ham leftovers.
Ham, Pear and Goat Cheese Pasta
¾ cup bowtie pasta
1 Tblsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 Tblsp. garlic, minced
2 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and sliced
One cup chopped cooked ham
1 tsp. oregano
Salt/Pepper to taste
1 Tblsp. butter
4 oz. goat cheese
Cook pasta in boiling, salted water to al dente, drain
In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion slices, sprinkle with salt/pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent but not brown.
Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Add pear slices and ham and cook until heated. Stir in oregano and salt/pepper to taste. Stir in butter and drained pasta. Add goat cheese in small lumps and stir gently until cheese has melted.
I found this recipe, adapted slightly here, on a cherry orchard web site in 2013 (page no longer available).
I just got around to making the wraps and they are really good, quick to make and have some vegetables included along with the tangy dried cherries. I’ll be making these again.
*Instead of tortillas, I used some great flatbread I found in the deli section of my grocery store.
Dried Cherry Wraps
1/2 cup non-fat lemon yogurt
1 tablespoon honey Dijon-style mustard or honey-mustard dressing
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1-1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (8 ounces)
1 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup sliced green onion
4 (8- to 10-inch) whole wheat flour tortillas, tomato-flavored flour tortillas*
Whisk together yogurt, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, curry powder, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Gently stir in chicken, cherries, carrot, cucumber and green onion. Mound about 3/4 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla or flatbread, leaving space all around for folding . Fold in top and bottom and fold over each side, placing wrap seam-side down on a plate. Cut into 3 portions. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Yield: 4 servings