This is my easy substitute for Risotto. I love risotto but I don’t like the time and care it takes to make it. I find that orzo can give you the same rich texture of the risotto in a lot less time and effort.
1 cup wheat orzo
3 cups chicken stock, 1 cup reserved
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
In a medium pot over medium high heat place the orzo and 2 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. When all the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is soft but chewy place the orzo in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in a little of the reserved chicken stock stirring until it is absorbed.. Continue to do this until the orzo is aldente. Season the orzo with the pepper Add the butter and Parmesan cheese stirring until you have a creamy texture. Remove from heat and serve.
Swiss chard and Beet Greens
The Swish chard comes from my garden as do the beet greens. When you have your own garden you will always know that you are getting the freshest ingredients that have no chemicals that can harm you.
You have to clean your leeks very carefully. I slice the leeks and then separate into rings and put them in a bowl of water. Let them stay in the water for about ten minutes. Swish the leeks around a few times. This allows the dirt on the leeks to fall to the bottom of the bowl. Remove the leeks from the water and let them dry on a paper towel.
2 slices of bacon cut into small pieces
1 leek, sliced
1 large bunch of Swiss chard, remove the rib and chop (from my garden)
1 bunch of beet greens, chopped (I used the tops from my golden beets)
Salt and pepper
Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until the bacon is brown and crunchy. Set aside on a paper towel. Remove all but 1 tbs. of the bacon fat. Over medium heat add the leeks to your skillet and cook until the leeks are soft.
Add the swish chard and beet greens, season with salt and pepper. Stir often to combine and cook until the greens begin to wilt. Top with the bacon and serve.
Brown Rice with Figs and Golden Beets
The golden beets came from my garden and are slightly sweet and have a great texture. I have to say that this dish is one of the tastiest dishes I have ever made. This is one of those dishes that is created by looking in the fridge, pantry, garden and anywhere else you have food. I really love how the dish came together. The photo does not do it justice.
2 golden beets
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup brown rice
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. olive oil
4 dried figs, chopped into small pieces
2 green onions, minced
1 handful of cilantro, chopped
Bake beets, wrapped in foil, in a 400 oven until they are tender. Allow the beets to cool before peeling and chopping in small pieces.
Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan until it reaches boil. Add the brown rice and stir. Bring back to a boil, stir and reduce to simmer. Cook covered until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is tender. Season the rice with black pepper.
Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and figs and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft.
Combine the rice, beets, figs and onions in a serving bowl and top with the chopped cilantro
Sautéed Apples and Onions
This dish goes fantastic with any type of pork. The sweetness of the apples goes very well with the onions. Cooking the onions and apples in a mixture of olive oil and butter works best to get a rich flavor. If you are like me, a little chili pepper helps heat the dish up just a little. I love the taste of sweet and heat together.
2 Apple, peeled and sliced (I used Gala)
1 Medium yellow onion, sliced
Salt and pepper
½ Chili pepper (optional)
Heat the skillet over medium heat and add the onions.
Cook until they start to get soft.
Add the apples and the chili if you are using one.
Saute until the onion and apple are soft.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Sautéed Zucchini and Yellow Squash
This is a very simply dish to prepare and it goes well with so many other ingredients. I like to cut the squash in half down the middle then again across. This gives you a large piece to cook. The large piece is less likely to get overcooked. I don’t like mushy squash.
2 Yellow Squash
Salt and pepper
In a large skillet heat the olive oil until it is hot over a medium heat. Place the squash cut side down and don’t turn until they begin to brown. Turn and season with salt and pepper, remove to a serving dish and top with chopped cilantro.