I’ve been slipping in my meal planning. My mind has been on other things, like preparing for another cross-country move. Honestly, there isn’t much I really need to do another couple months, but it’s easy to get distracted looking at apartment listings and adding restaurants to an already unwieldy spreadsheet. And so, after spending who knows how long getting lost on Google street view, obsessively checking Walkscore, and reading Yelp reviews for grocery stores (yeah, I’m a very cool lady), I feel a rumbling in my stomach and realize oh yeah, what’s for lunch?
I long for spring, you know real spring. Not the kind of spring where it still snows, but the return of bountiful produce — fiddlehead ferns, fava beans, watercress, and fresh peas. Until then, I’ll continue stocking up on frozen vegetables. Which is still pretty okay, because this was orzo dish was really tasty. And it lasted us three lunches, which gave me time to go back to reading Yelp reviews… and playing 2048.
Orzo with Mixed Vegetables
1 pound orzo
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth, or water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 1/2 cups mixed vegetables (I used a mix of corn, carrots, peas, green beans, and edamame)
1 tablespoon mix of dried herbs of your choice (basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, etc.)
cayenne pepper, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons pine nuts
In a large stockpot, cook orzo according to package directions. Drain, and set aside.
Melt butter in the stockpot over medium low heat. Once melted, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Add the broth and mix in the tomato paste. Toss in the vegetables and cook until heated through. This should only take a few minutes. Once the vegetables are ready, add the herbs, spices, salt, pepper, and parmesan and mix. Now add the orzo to the pot and mix thoroughly. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and the pine nuts. Keep on the stove a few minutes longer until heated through, stirring frequently. Add more salt and pepper to taste, and serve.