Recipe: Parmesan Garlic Orzo (Vegetarian + Gluten-Free)

Orzo is my favorite pasta. I learned that today after looking for it in the grain section at the grocery store… where I found out it’s a grain-shaped pasta! Of course this means that traditional orzo is made with wheat, but I found a highly rated gluten-free option here.

This recipe is fast and delicious to even the most selective of palates (see: Rick). While I don’t have kids to test recipes on, Rick… kind of… counts in terms of food.

Ingredients

1 c orzo pasta
1/4 c butter (I used organic Earth Balance)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 T milk (I used organic coconut milk)
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t fresh black pepper, ground

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, bring lightly salted water to boil. Add orzo to boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through, about ten minutes. Drain orzo and set aside.
  2. In a skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic and sauté until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir orzo, Parmesan cheese, milk, parsley, sea salt, and pepper into garlic mixture.
  4. If desired, top servings with more fresh grated Parmesan.

I made it and it was eaten immediately. No leftovers for the fridge, folks! Although this would make a really good lunch at work, hot or cold.

Serves two for a main dish, four as a side.

Adapted from Parmesan Garlic Orzo.


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Recipe: Red Cabbage Salad

Ingredients

1/2 c sugar
4 T grated yellow onion
1/2 t caraway seeds
1 t sea salt
1 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
1/3 c olive oil
t t black pepper
1 c crumbled blue cheese
1 c sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Combine sugar, onion, caraway seeds, and sea salt in a large bowl and let sit for one hour.
  2. Add cabbage to marinade and stir to combine.
  3. Add vinegar, oil, and black pepper and mix well.
  4. Top with blue cheese and almonds.

Adapted from The Best Red Cabbage Salad.


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Recipe: Stuffed Mushroom Eyeballs

I come alive in Q4, especially October. I’ve celebrated Halloween all month by doing one spooky activity per day, and today I made creepy eyeball hors d’oeuvres. Halloween is on a Wednesday this year, which is a good opportunity to have some loved ones over for a spooky movie and an All Hallows’ Eve themed spread with these EYEBALLS.

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Ingredients

16 oz button mushrooms*
1 block extra firm tofu, drained**
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t lemon juice
3/4 t sea salt
1/2 t Italian seasoning
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t black pepper
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T sun-dried tomatoes (from bag, not packed in oil), julienned
1 small can of sliced black olives

*This recipe yields a lot of tofu ricotta, so feel free to double your mushrooms for more eyeballs or keep the ricotta for another recipe.
**If you prefer to avoid tofu, this recipe would be great with a store-bought or homemade cashew cheese.

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Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Rinse mushrooms, pull out stems, and set aside on a baking sheet.
  3. Puree tofu, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt, Italian seasoning, onion powder and pepper together in a food processor until completely smooth. Set aside.
  4. Using a teaspoon, drip a few drops of balsamic vinegar into each mushroom cap.
  5. Make a piping bag by scooping tofu ricotta mixture into a Ziploc and trimming off a corner. Pipe mixture into each cap so that it creates a small mound.
  6. Place sun-dried tomato pieces on stuffed mushrooms, and top each one with one slice of olive. Press down gently.
  7. Bake the mushrooms for 15 minutes, until the caps begin to wrinkle slightly.

Serve warm or room temperature.

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Rick Aldrich: Spooky Mushroom Eyeball Model and General Good Sport

Serves eight.

Adapted from Stuffed Mushroom Eyeballs.

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Recipe: Corn Risotto

Nothin’ says fall like throwing some corn into a comforting dish.

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bonus: eating leeks makes you look like you have your life together

Ingredients

2 T organic Earth Balance
1 leek, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
1 t sea salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 c arborio rice
1/4 c white wine vinegar
1/4 c water
6 c vegetable stock
2 corn ears, kernels cut off (about 1 1/2 c corn)
1 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c rice milk

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If you’re gonna eat dairy, eat organic. This way you know the animals and food have been treated as ethically as possible.

  1. Melt Earth Balance in a high-sided sauté pan over medium-low. Add leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about six minutes. Season with sea salt and pepper.
  2. Add rice and cook, stirring, until grains look slightly translucent.
  3. Pour in vinegar and water and cook, stirring, until it has all been absorbed, about two minutes.
  4. Add a cup of stock to the rice mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until rice has absorbed all of the stock. Continue cooking, adding one cup of stock at a time when rice mixture looks dry. Stir continuously.
  5. When half the stock has been added, stir in corn.
  6. Continue cooking until all stock is mixed in, corn is tender, and rice is creamy, about 40 minutes total.
  7. Remove risotto from heat and stir in Parmesan and remaining tablespoon of Earth Balance. Cover and let stand for five minutes.
  8. Uncover risotto, stir in milk, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve topped with shaved Parmesan, if desired.

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Serves eight.

Adapted from Corn Risotto.

Recipe: Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Sweet potatoes are fabulous for you, and gnocchi is delicious and can easily be made vegan. If you’re intimidated by the idea of making your own gnocchi, well, so was I. Fear not! I was delighted by the ease of this recipe. Also, orange food makes for a good October dish. #spooky

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Ingredients

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 T ground flax
3 T water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t sea salt plus a pinch
1/2 t nutmeg
2 c flour

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Pierce each sweet potato several times with a fork and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Combine ground flax and water and allow a few minutes to congeal. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Once cool enough to work with, remove potato peels and mash potatoes in a large bowl.
  5. Mix garlic, sea salt, nutmeg, and flax egg into the potatoes. Finally, mix in the flour a little at a time until you have soft dough. I recommend the dough blade in a food processor for this part.
  6. Bring a large pot of  water and pinch of sea salt to boil.
  7. Roll dough out on a floured surface and cut into pieces, roughly 1″ (see photos).
  8. Drop pieces into boiling water, allowing them to cook until they float to the surface. Remove floating pieces with a slotted spoon.
  9. Serve with organic Earth Balance or a vegan cream sauce.

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Serves 4-6.

Adapted from Sweet Potato Gnocchi.