Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 10 of 2010! plus, Chickpeas and Orzo

Happy New Years Eve, everyone!! I'd thought I'd wrap up the year by choosing my Top 10 meals of 2010....and share with you a new recipe that easily made the top 10, even in the last week of the year! :) Now, these are in no particular order since it is hard enough to pick my favorite recipes let alone rank them!

Pasta with Brie, Mushrooms & Arugula - a grown-up Mac & Cheese that we loved so much, it's been made at least three times since then!

Homemade Tiramisu - this was A LOT of work. Everything was made from scratch. However, the end result was beyond words. Sooo good.

Veggie Sausage Bake - one of my best original creations...It even got chosen by the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) for Aetna's Healthy Food Fight! I was sad that I wasn't able to participate but still an honor!

Chocolate Mint Bars - easily one of my favorite desserts of the year. But that may be because I'm a little obsessed with the mint & chocolate combo. 

Overnight French Toast - so easy, tasty, and just plain perfect. 

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto with Feta - such great flavor! And I'm starting to see that we really like pasta... ;)

Strawberry Sherbet - my first attempt with my ice cream maker was a complete success. This sherbet was addictive...and healthy?! whaaat? :)

"Boozy Bars" - last year's NYE dessert definitely deserves a spot on here....delicious and booozy ;)

BBQ Tofu Sandwiches - I'm ridiculously picky when it comes to tofu dishes. Seriously. But this one, was phenomenal. There's something about the combination of the BBQ tofu and the coleslaw that's just out. of. this. world. 

The last addition was made just this past week. But it was more than fabulous. This was based on a Peas and Thank You recipe, one of my favorite blogs! I used orzo instead of farro...the result was an easier, risotto-like meal that's refreshing and comforting at the same time. YUM. 

Chickpeas and Orzo
serves 2
  • 1 can (14.5oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1-2 Tb. lemon juice*
  • 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup orzo
  • 2 carrots, medium-sized, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tb. non-hydrogenated margarine or butter

Preheat oven to 400&degrees; F. Spread drained chickpeas onto a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Season with salt and pepper. Roast chickpeas for 10-12 minutes on each side. 

Bring broth, juice (*depends on how lemony you want it), tarragon, and thyme to a boil in a small saucepan. Add orzo and carrots; cook until pasta is al dente, carrots are fork tender, and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Mix 1 Tb. of broth with the cornstarch and add to the orzo mixture. Stir and let simmer for 2-3 minutes, until thickened. 

Season with salt and pepper. Stir in margarine (or butter) and chickpeas. If you like the texture of the roasted chickpeas, you can just serve the chickpeas on top of the orzo mixture instead of stirring it in since stirring them in softens them a bit. 

Nutritional Information (for 1/2): 468 calories, 8g fat (2g sat), 84g carbs, 12g fiber, 15g protein

I use a non-hydrogenated margarine called Earth Balance. It has no trans fat and is a dairy-free (vegan!) butter alternative. While we are vegetarians, not vegans, I am trying to lessen some of my dependence on high fat dairy products. It has about the same amount of calories as butter but it does have less saturated fat, so be sure to adjust the number if you use butter. 

I loooved this meal. I have been craving it again ever since I made it last week. 

Have a Happy New Year everyone!


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