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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Slimmed-Down Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Craving pasta? No problem! This recipe uses lean ground beef (95% fat free) and whole wheat pasta, so you can fuel up without filling out! I slimmed down this classic and pumped it up with some extra nutrition, including a hefty serving of fiber and protein, with only a modest amount of fat. Another secret? Use whole-wheat breadcrumbs to hold the meatballs together, instead of the refined stuff. Make this dish even healthier by using unseasoned whole-wheat breadcrumbs and adding your own spices and herbs (garlic powder, onion powder, salt, parsley, etc.). Remember the fundamental values of nutrition: moderation, balance and variety. Enjoy this favorite as part of a balanced diet and keep fueling your body with whole, real, nutritious foods!

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Ingredients (serves 4):

16 oz (1 lb.) lean ground beef (95% lean, 5% fat)

8 oz whole wheat thin spaghetti

2 C tomato sauce (look for a low sodium brand, or make your own!)

1/3 C whole wheat breadcrumbs, seasoned (note: if using unseasoned, season them up yourself with whichever spices and herbs you’d like)

2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp fresh parsley

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 large egg, scrambled, raw

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or you can use another oil, such as canola oil)

IMG_0538Directions:

1. Pour oil into large skillet and warm over medium heat.

2. Boil water in large pot over high heat.

3. Combine ground beef, scrambled egg, breadcrumbs, spices (garlic powder, ground black pepper), parsley, and parmesan cheese in large mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix ingredients well. Form small meatballs and place in skillet. (note: this recipe should yield approximately 20-25 meatballs)

4. Add pasta to rapidly boiling water and cook approximately 7-10 minutes. Continue to turn the meatballs in the skillet so they brown.

5. Drain water from pasta in colander. Place pasta back in pot (with no water) and add sauce. Warm over low-medium heat. Remove meatballs from skillet once cooked (they should be brown in color throughout) and place on paper towel over a plate to drain excess oil. Add meatballs to pasta, mix and warm another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot. 

The Goods: What’s Inside?IMG_0541

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 488 calories, Fat 23 g, Saturated Fat 7 g, Cholesterol 150 mg, Carbohydrates 32 g, Fiber 5 g, Sugars 7 g, Protein 42 g, Sodium 617 mg, Calcium 130 mg

*note: the sodium content is analyzed using seasoned breadcrumbs and a tomato sauce that is not low-sodium. 

A Pasta Dish With Pumped Up Nutrition

Craving pasta? Have no fear! This pasta dish will fill you up without weighing you down! The whole wheat pasta offers fiber and nutrients that aren’t naturally present in refined, white pasta. This will help to pump up the nutrition of this dish and may keep you fuller, longer. Also, this pasta dish isn’t loaded with fat – instead, it contains a ton of veggies, with a modest amount of healthy fat (mostly monounsaturated fat from the olive oil). The fat aids in the absorption of vitamins A and K, both present in this dish from hefty amounts of tomatoes and spinach! The best part about this dish? It can be ready in about 25 minutes! Easy dinners just got a whole lot healthier!

Ingredients (serves 6):

6 oz whole wheat thin spaghetti or angel hair

3 C spinach, raw

1.5 C grape tomatoes

1 container (3.5 oz) low-fat feta cheese, crumbled

2 large cloves garlic

1 small onion

8 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Boil water in large pot for pasta.

2. While pasta is boiling, chop onion, and tomatoes and mince garlic. Tomatoes should be cut into quarters.

3. Pour 2 Tbsp olive oil in medium skillet and heat over medium heat.

4. Place onion in skillet and heat approximately 5-7 minutes, until soft and translucent. Stir occasionally.

5. Add garlic to skillet. Continue cooking 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. If the water is boiling at this point (it most likely will be) then add pasta. If you’d like, break pasta in half before adding to water. Stir pasta occasionally.

7. Add tomatoes to skillet. Continue cooking 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and black pepper. Allow spinach to wilt (about 2-3 minutes).

8. When pasta is done cooking (approximately 7-9 minutes), drain. Place remaining 6 Tbsp olive oil in pot and lower to low-medium heat.

9. Add pasta to large pot with olive oil and mix ingredients. Add veggie mixture from skillet to pasta and stir. Heat approximately 2 minutes.

10. Add feta cheese and stir. Heat approximately 2 minutes. Divide into 6 portions and serve.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 319 calories, Fat 22 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 5 mg, Carbohydrates 26 g, Fiber 4 g, Sugars 3 g, Protein 8 g, Sodium 248 mg, Calcium 83 mg