Bytes to Bites


Lemon Chicken Orzo
April 2, 2017, 1:50 am
Filed under: Pasta, Uncategorized, Weekday Meals

Introduction:

We tried this new orzo recipe tonight, with success. Sort of. My 3yo wouldn’t even try it with a chocolate bribe. But, that’s not unusual for him. If you go back to the original recipe link (noted at the bottom), the author has the weight watchers points listed as well.

Ingredients:

4 tsps all purpose flour

1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, salt and black pepper

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp light butter

6 oz uncooked wheat orzo pasta

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups reduced sodium fat free chicken broth

1 cup fresh asparagus spears, cut into 1″ pieces

3 tbspns fresh lemon juice

1 cup halved grape tomatoes

additional salt to taste.

Instructions:

1. Combine the flour, garlic powder, pepper and salt in a small dish and stir to combine. Place the chicken pieces in a gallon zip-top bag and add the flour mixture. Seal the bag and shake/massage it around until the chicken pieces are coated.

2. In a large saute pan, bring the oil over medium heat and then add the chicken. Stir to coat with the oil and then cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken pieces are cooked through and begin to brown. Transfer the cooked chicken to a side plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Wipe out the inside of the skillet.

3. Place the skillet back over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the orzo to the pan and stir to coat. Spread the orzo across the surface of the pan and allow it to cook for 2 minutes until a few of the orzo pieces begin to brown. Add the garlic to the pan and stir. Allow to cook for another minute.

4. Add the chicken broth to the pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low to simmer and cover the pan. Simmer covered for 4-5 minutes and then add the asparagus. Stir and re-cover. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir. Add the lemon juice, tomatoes and basil along with salt to taste. Stir together and then add the reserved chicken to the pan. Stir to combine and serve.

Comments:

Alright, here’s what we did to this recipe. I did not have asparagus, so I threw peas into the pan. The did not need quite as much time as the asparagus might have, so put them in a bit later than the recipe indicates. Lemon isn’t our favorite flavor, so I should have gone easy on the lemon juice at first. Not sure if it was because I didn’t use fresh, but it seemed quite strong at first. It toned down in the cooking process, but I’d still probably start with 2 tbspns next time and see where that takes us. I think this would also be a great recipe with an alternate flavor (if I could figure out what that flavor would be). I didn’t use the entire cup of tomatoes either and this was enough for us. The last thing we added was some sliced black olives, always a favorite in our house and we liked them in this recipe too!

My husband said this was a 3.5 bits out of 5, but I downgraded it for the fact that one child only took a bit and the other one outright refused. Still, for a nice summer meal (with alternate kid choice), I would definitely make this again and look forward to trying it as leftovers!

Our Home Rating? 3/5 bites

Source: http://www.livinglou.com/2011/08/garlic-parmesan-orzo.html



Garlic Parmesan Orzo
September 12, 2016, 3:25 am
Filed under: Dinner, Pasta, Side Dishes

Introduction:

I love orzo and am always looking for new recipes. This one isn’t the favorite of the three or so I have on my blog now, but it’s pretty good and adds some variety into the orzo recipe mix.

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked orzo

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 cups spinach, finely chopped

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tbspn milk

salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions:

1. Cook orzo, following the directions on the package.

2. In a large pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic, cooking for 4 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat and add the chopped spinach and cook for a minute, allowing to wilt.

3. Next add the orzo, milk, parmesan, salt and pepper. I choose to add the parmesan last to allow it to melt into the other, already mixed ingredients.

Comments:

I rated it a 2 only because of my comments up front. Remember, this blog is recipes I want to keep. So, I 2 is pretty good. It was a bit bland compared to the other recipes I have, but really easy to make and next time I’d probably try adding mushrooms or veggies to the mix.

Our Home Rating? 2/5 bites

Source: http://www.livinglou.com/2011/08/garlic-parmesan-orzo.html



Cheddar and Broccoli Orzo
July 14, 2014, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Pasta, Side Dishes | Tags: , ,

Introduction:

I love orzo! This recipe caught my eye because it had veggies right in it. Saves me some cooking!

Ingredients:

1 cup orzo pasta

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/4 cup chick broth, divided

1 cup water

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup frozen broccoli florets, thawed and finely chopped

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tablespoon flour

 

Instructions:

1. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add orzo and stir until some of the pasta is brown.

2. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in. Pour in 1 cup broth. Stir until liquid is absorbed.

3. Pour in water in 1/2 cup intervals, stirring until water is absorbed and pasta becomes tender.

4. In a separate pan over low heat, add 1/4 cup broth, milk, and cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Spoon 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture into a small bowl and stir in flower until dissolved. Pour thickener into the pot of melted cheese.

5. Once the orzo is tender, add in chopped broccoli and melted cheese sauce.

6. Adjust seasoning if needed and add more broth to get desired consistency.

Comments:

I used fresh broccoli instead of frozen and put it into the pot a bit earlier so that it cooked while the rice was cooking. It turned out fine.

Our Home Rating? 4/5 bites

Source: Pinterest via http://www.petitfoodie.com/cheddar-and-broccoli-orzo/



Tuna & Vegetable Pasta Cheddar Melt
May 1, 2014, 1:47 am
Filed under: Dinner, Pasta, Weekday Meals | Tags: ,

Introduction:

A quick an easy Tuna Casserole meal from Campbell’s.

Ingredients:

1/2 tbsp oil

1 1/2 cups small broccoli florets

1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 clove garlic, minced

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

3 cups uncooked whole grain rotini

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

1/2 cup milk

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

2 cans low sodium tuna in water, drained and flaked

1/2 cup shredded light cheddar cheese

 

Instructions:

1. Cook broccoli, mushrooms and garlic in heated oil in a large non-stick skillet at medium-high heat for 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove vegetables and set aside.

2. Add broth to skillet and heat to a boil. Add rotini, reduce heat and cook at gentle boil until tender – about 15 minutes – stirring often. Do not drain.

3. Stir in soup, milk and pepper. Gently stir in tuna and reserved vegetables. Heat just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with cheese.

 

Comments:

Pretty good! Nobody complained about it. I like that it cooked in one pot, didn’t need to bake and had some veggies in the recipe, rather than needing the side.

Our Home Rating? 3/5 bites

Source: http://www.cookwithcampbells.ca/en-ca/Recipes/tunavegetablepastacheddarmelt.aspx



Cheese Bacon Chicken Casserole
March 24, 2014, 4:35 am
Filed under: Dinner, Pasta, Weekday Meals

Introduction:

This was a Pinterest recipe. It looked quick and easy, and lived up to it’s expectations!

Ingredients:

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breats

6 stripes of quality bacon – cooked and crumbled

2 – 10 oz cans of cream of chicken soup

2 cups shredded Monteray Jack cheese

16 oz dried spiral pasta

2 tsp garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Cook and crumble bacon. While bacon is cooking, cut chicken into bite-sized chunks. Set cooked bacon aside for later use. In the same pan, cook chicken in bacon drippings. Add garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.

2. While chicken is cooking, prepare pasta according to the directions. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400.

3. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add chicken, both cans of cream of chicken soup, 1 cup of Monteray Jack cheese. Stir to mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish.

4. Top with crumbled bacon. Top with remaining cup of Monteray Jack cheese.

5. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, just until cheese is melted and beginning to brown on top.

Comments:

The recipe suggests a number of ways to change it up and different flavors – add a packet of ranch dressing mix, green chilies, a favorite vegetable.

I used one can cream of mushroom and one can cream of chicken, just because like the flavor better and also added fresh mushrooms. The mushrooms were added to the meat just before it finished to give them a quick saute before baking. I’d also consider mixing the bacon in with the pasta and sauce, as it had a tendency to clump on top of the dish amongst the cheese (easy pickings for a toddler….and husband!). But, very good!

Our Home Rating? 5/5 bites

Source: http://www.thecoersfamily.com/cheesy-bacon-chicken-casserole-recipe/?crlt.pid=camp.AWfUyJq1WmEc (via Pinterest)



Orzo Pilaf with Mushrooms
May 20, 2012, 4:54 am
Filed under: Pasta, Side Dishes | Tags: , ,

Introduction:

I love orzo!! This is a good, easy recipe.

Ingredients:

2 tbspns olive oil

1 onion, chopped

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth

1 cup orzo

3 tbspns pinenuts, toasted

Instructions:

1. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

2. Add broth and bring to boil. Stir in orzo. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until orzo is tender and has absorbed all liquid, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Comments:

I like to add a 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese as well and stir it in about the same time as the pine nuts.

Our Home Rating? 3.5/5 bites

Source: http://www.epicurious.com



Pasta with the Works
January 15, 2012, 10:00 am
Filed under: Dinner, Pasta, Weekday Meals | Tags: ,

Introduction:

At first glance, this seems like a very strange recipe. The recipe is designed to be pizza in pasta form. It doesn’t quite accomplish that, but it’s not bad. I wonder if it might be a bigger hit with kids who would be intrigued by the pizza similarity.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup thinly sliced pepperoni

1 medium green pepper, diced

2 cups pasta sauce (Traditional Italian or Mushroom Italian)

1/3 cups pitted black olives, cut in half (can also use sliced olives)

4 cups corkscrew-shaped pasta, cooked and drained

4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)

grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

1. Cook the pepperoni and pepper in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat until pepper is tender crisp, stirring often.

2. Stir the sauce and olives in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

3. Stir the pasta and mozzarella cheese in the skillet. Serve with the Parmesan cheese.

Comments:

I would make this again, but not often. It’s different, breaks up the monotony of weekday meals and is kind of a novelty.

Our Home Rating? 1/5 bites

Source: Campbell’s Kitchen