Not Your Average Pasta Dish: Whole Wheat Orzo With Veggies And Feta Cheese

Whole Wheat Orzo With Roasted Veggies And Feta Cheese

This whole wheat orzo salad is delicious hot or cold and is a great dish to make ahead for the busy week or for entertaining. At under 250 calories per serving and chock full of  fiber and so many vitamins and minerals, this colorful side dish is a perfect way to enjoy  the season’s best veggies while they’re still available!

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Ingredients (serves 6):

8 oz whole wheat orzo

1 medium zucchini

1 medium yellow squash

1/2 medium onion (I like to use vidalia onions)

1 clove garlic, minced

10-15 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil

1/2 Tbsp olive oil

3 oz reduced-fat feta cheese

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Roasted veggies!

Roasted veggies!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick vegetable oil cooking spray
  2. Dice zucchini, yellow squash and onion. Place on baking sheet and add minced garlic, canola oil, cayenne pepper, ground black pepper and salt. Bake in oven for about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Boil water and cook orzo according to directions on package.
  4. Add tomatoes to roasted vegetables, stir and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are slightly browned and tomatoes are softened.
  5. Drain orzo once cooked. Add olive oil to clean pot and add orzo and vegetables. Add feta cheese and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutrient Analysis Per Serving

Calories 214 calories, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 4 mg, Carbohydrates 32 g, Fiber 5 g, Protein 10 g, Sodium 397 mg, Calcium 72 mg

I served seared scallops over my orzo salad! That recipe will be posted on FuelMyFIt, too!

I served seared scallops over my orzo salad! That recipe will be posted on FuelMyFIt, too!

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A Squash-Filled Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce with Summer Squash, Eggplant and Mushrooms

This homemade, chunky, vegetable sauce is a cinch to whip up and combines all the best flavors of summer. This sauce is loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin C and fiber, and skimps on fat and salt, so you can feel good about taking a few heaping spoonfuls. Use it as a topping for pasta, chicken, fish or toss with a whole grain (such as brown rice or quinoa) and enjoy a lower-sodium, fresher tasting sauce than store-bought varieties.

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Ingredients (serves 6):

1 large zucchini, sliced into quarters

1 large yellow squash, sliced into quarters

1 small eggplant (about 5″ in diameter), diced

1 medium onion, diced (try to find visalia onions if you can – they’re sweeter and are only available in the spring and summer!)

1 C chopped mushrooms (I like white button mushrooms)

Roasted veggies - ready to mix into the sauce!

Roasted veggies – ready to mix into the sauce!

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped

10 roma tomatoes, cut into eighths

3 basil leaves, chopped

1 tsp ground black pepper

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp onion powder

3/4 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp olive oil

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Sauce one way: I poured my sauce over chicken and served it with broccoli - yum!

Sauce one way: I poured my sauce over chicken and served it with broccoli – yum!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray baking sheet with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Transfer vegetables to baking sheet. (*Note: You may want to use 2 baking sheets)

3. Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over vegetables. Add spices. Combine well with hands and spread vegetables in a thin, even layer. Place baking sheet in oven and bake until vegetables are slightly browned and soft (about 20 minutes), mixing occasionally.

4. After vegetables have been baking for about 10 minutes, warm remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and cook for about 7-8 minutes, until chunky sauce forms. Reduce to low heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are in oven are cooked.

5. Add vegetables and basil to saucepan and stir. Cook another 10 minutes over low-medium heat. Serve over your favorite dish!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 107 calories, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 10 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 3 g, Sodium 302 mg, Calcium 32 mg

Sauce another way: I mixed it in with whole wheat pasta!

Sauce another way: I mixed it in with whole wheat pasta!

Shredded Balsamic Sprouts

Shredded Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Okay, I promise after this I will post something about a food that is not in the cruciferous veggie family – but why not try one more recipe involving a member of this nutritious family?! These shredded sprouts take less than 15 minutes to prepare and are a sweet and tangy way to enjoy this vegetable. Also, onions, with their sulfur-containing compounds, boast some impressive health benefits as well and, paired with the sprouts and the balsamic, make for a tasty side dish that can be enjoyed hot or cold!

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Ingredients (serves 4)

3 C shredded Brussels sprouts (you can look for bags of shredded sprouts at your grocery store – I like Trader Joe’s! Or, if you prefer, you can cut your own sprouts!)

1/2 large yellow onion

1.5 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 C balsamic vinegar

1/8 C water

1/8 tsp garlic powder

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

ready to add the balsamic vinegar, water and spices!

ready to add the balsamic vinegar, water and spices!

Directions:

1. Warm olive oil over medium heat in large saucepan.

2. Chop onion. Add onion to olive oil. Cook approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add shredded Brussels sprouts to onion and olive oil. Cook approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add water, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper to Brussels sprouts. Cover and cook 5-7 minutes, until liquid has mostly been absorbed.

5. Remove from saucepan – if there is a large amount of excess liquid then drain. Enjoy hot, or cold the next day!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 91 calories, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 10 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 60 mg, Calcium 31 mg

 

Quinoa with Lentils and Veggies

Quinoa with Lentils and Veggies

This dish is packed with protein and fiber, so you can feel full while loading up on some plant-based foods, like veggies, lentils and grains. Using zucchini, bell pepper, spinach, mushrooms, onions and garlic, this staple packs in flavor, along with a ton of vitamins and minerals. Also, this dish is amazing to have as leftovers – serve it hot the first time and then serve it cold days later with some crumbled feta cheese. Craving some extra protein? I’ve also made this dish using tofu in combination with the lentils, for a heartier meal.

shown with tofu

shown with tofu

Ingredients (serves 5):

1 C quinoa, uncooked

3/4 C lentils, cooked (I like to use lentils that are pre-cooked and vacuum packed. These usually just require 2 minutes in the microwave, or can even be eaten out of the package, cold – just watch out for the sodium content!)

1 medium zucchini squash

1 red bell pepper

2 C spinach, raw

1 small onion (about 1 C chopped)

2 C mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

dash salt (depending on how much salt you prefer)

dash cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp butter (or Smart Balance or other butter alternative)

1.5 Tbsp olive oil

I added yellow squash this time!

I added yellow squash this time!

Directions:

1. Cook quinoa according to instructions on box (*note: you may choose to replace the water with low-sodium vegetable broth, which also tastes really good! If you do this, you do not need to add the 1 Tbsp butter – this is used to enhance the flavor when the quinoa is cooked with water)

2. Warm olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat.

3. Chop onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and mince garlic. Add onion to saucepan and cook for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper, mushrooms and spices (black pepper, salt, cayenne and garlic powder) and cook another 8-10 minutes. Add garlic.

4. Microwave lentils in microwave-safe bowl according to directions -usually about 2-4 minutes. (*note if you are soaking your own lentils you can omit this step).

5. Add spinach and sauté  until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add cooked quinoa and lentils to saucepan and cook another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot (or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold!)

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The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

Calories 320, Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 51 g, Fiber 12 g, Protein 13 g, Calcium 42, Sodium 70 mg

me leftover lunch - served cold with feta!

my leftover lunch – served cold with feta!