Springtime orzo

This is my first adventure with whole wheat orzo. Orzo is a seed shaped pasta that can easily stand-in for rice in hot or cold dishes. The whole wheat version is very flavorful!

I have a huge bag of haricot verts that needed to be used (a huge stretch for me, being a previous poopoo’er of green beans for years – but I was tempted to retry them by a ridiculous deal at Costco) and orzo that had been sitting in my cupboard for ages, taunting me.

* Haricot verts is just a fancy name for green beans – but these are young and thin and very tender. I still don’t think I’d like green beans, but I do like these!

  • 2 cups whole wheat orzo
  • 2 cups haricot verts, cut in half
  • 2 large carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal (I used a mandoline)
  • 1 large yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 package tempeh, cubed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • olive oil
  • sesame oil
  • seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • soy sauce (or tamari)
  • cilantro and green onion, chopped, for garnish

Put a large stock pot full of salted water on the stove to boil. Blanch haricot verts by dropping in boiling water for 3 minutes (until they turn bright green but are still quite crisp). Scoop them out of the boiling water and drop them in to a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking immediately. Crispness and color are key!

Drop orzo into boiling water and cook approximately 9 minutes. Start checking regularly after about 7 minutes. It needs to be taken out while it is still al dente – if it is overcooked it’s a mushy mess.

Pan fry tempeh with a few drops of olive oil until tempeh is slightly browned.  Set tempeh aside and add a few more drops of olive oil to the pan and saute garlic, peppers and carrots until they are just starting to soften. Add 2 tbsp water and ginger and stir well. Toss in cooked orzo, a good drizzle of sesame oil (approx 2 tbsp) and a splash of seasoned rice wine vinegar. Saute a minute longer.

Plate orzo and vegetables. Top with tempeh, cilantro and onions and a drizzle of soy sauce.

Serves 6

  • 280 calories
  • 40 g carbs
  • 8 g fat
  • 13 g protein
  • 8 g fiber

8 responses

    • If your kids eat any veg at all, this is a super good kid dish! If tempeh isn’t your thing, this would be a good side dish for sure. I am just lazy and often make one-dish meals.

  1. Wow looks really good. I will try this one this week. I use the whole wheat Orzo a lot. I just paired it with Black Quinoa… super yummy little poppy tidbits and veggie broth for an interesting risotto.

    As for the …Green Beans… try them with crasins, pine nuts (or slivered almonds, cashews etc…) and butter substitute and wrap in tinfoil and either toss on the grill or throw in the oven. Really great on asparagus also. My favorite way to have them (this week anyway)

      • You should see the neighbors get twitchy when I bust out the curry… I toss the quinoa in with the coconut milk and rice or whatever whole grain I have hanging out… delish!
        There is a huge hippy-ish green-living community here. I just orderd my farm share this week so I should have farm fresh veggies every week for the summer… sooooper!

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