Orzo with Caramelized Vegetables.

Coming off of the high from this past Thanksgiving weekend, the thought of eating brings some hesitation. Let's face it, I always want to eat, but at the same time, I am not completely certain that my body can handle anymore at the current moment. Between Thanksgiving dinner with my extended family, Oreos will doing photo shoots with my brother, and Thanksgiving leftovers, I may have been in a constant state of consumption. Did I ever stop eating this weekend?

Now here were are, November 28, just a few weeks away from the next big round of binge eating. I'm hungry as I am writing this article, so good recipes to get through the next few weeks is an absolute must. Soup? I like it, but I can only have it every once in a while. Pot roast? Yes, I would love pot roast, but not today. Pizza? No, I eat pizza way too often. 

I will admit that I made this recipe before Thanksgiving, but I have already purchased the ingredients again to make it this upcoming week. It is the perfect weekday recipe. Delicious. Easy. While there is no protein in this version, it is easily added. 

Try out the recipe and let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Tommy.


| Orzo with Caramelized Vegetables |

Ingredients:

kosher salt
1/2 pound orzo pasta
3 tablespoons grapeseed, divided
1 large sweet potato (about 3/4 pound), peeled + diced into 1/4″ cubes
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled + grated
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
3 cups finely-chopped kale (ribs/stems removed)
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish/topping

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pot of water to boiling and salt it generously. Cook the orzo until al dente — about 6 to 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  2. Heat a large pan — you want plenty of room and hot surface. Add 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil and heat. Add the diced sweet potatoes and cook at high heat, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown on all sides, about 7 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and push the sweet potatoes up in a pile against one side of the pan.

  3. Add the diced onions to the center of the pan and sprinkle them lightly with kosher salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and starting to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the minced garlic and grated ginger and stir them into the onions, cooking for 1 minute more. Push the onion mixture off to the side of the pan, next to the sweet potatoes, where they will continue to caramelize.

  4. Add the sliced cremini mushrooms to the center of the pan, sprinkle lightly with salt, and cook them for 7-8 minutes, stirring just a few times, until they are softened, browning, and fragrant. Add the chopped kale to the pan, and stir all of the pan vegetables together, cooking for 2-3 minutes, until the kale is wilted.

  5. Add the vinegar, soy sauce, herbs/italian seasoning, + remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the vegetables, and turn the heat up to high. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in the cooked orzo pasta, and cook for 2-3 minutes more, stirring constantly to get everything well-combined.

  6. Remove the pan from heat, stir in the grated Parmesan and add salt/pepper to taste. Serve immediately, topping with more Parmesan, if desired.