Orzo Pasta Salad

DSC_0056I spent the first 10 years of my life steadfastly avoiding beans because of that stupid rhyme from when we were all kids. I spent the next 15 avoiding beans because I genuinely couldn’t handle the texture. But I’ve learned that if I disguise it in enough other textures, I’m on board.

Dice 1/2 of a red onion and marinate in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. While that’s marinating, cook 1 cup of orzo according to package directions. Rinse. Add to red onion mixture. Drain and rinse two cans of pinto beans, then add to mixture. Add 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 peeled, seeded and diced English cucumber, 1/2 cup of quartered cherry tomatoes, the zest of one small lemon, 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, and 1/2 cup of kalamata olives (optional). Mix all this together. Finally, fold in one cup of crumbled feta.

Serve over spinach and/or arugula if you need more green in this dish. Serve with shredded chicken if you don’t partake in Meatless Mondays!

 

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Chicken Dumpling Soup

Chicken Dumpling Soup

For the soup:

Heat 4 tablespoons of EVOO in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 3 minced garlic cloves, 3 cups cubed butternut squash, 3 medium carrots thinly sliced into rounds, 2 ribs chopped celery, and 2 leeks (halved and the whites cut into thin slices). Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp ground pepper and 1/4 tsp salt. Nestle in 3 bay leaves and a bundle of parsley, sage, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary among the vegetables. Partially cover and cook about ten minutes, stirring once about half way through. Deglaze your pan with 1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock. Reduce until almost dry, remove bay leaves and herb bundle. Add 3 cups chicken broth, bring to boil, reduce to simmer.

In a sauce pan, melt 3 Tbs salted butter over medium heat. Whisk in 3 Tbs flour until combined. Whisk in 3 cups of milk (unflavored almond or otherwise), 1/8 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp of salt, and 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg. Cook until thick enough to coat a spoon then add to simmering broth mixture. Add 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken. Zest 1 lemon into mixture. Keep simmering for approximately 40 minutes.

For the dumplings:

Combine 2 1/4 cup Bisquick and 2/3 cup milk. Drop dough by spoonfuls into simmering soup. Cook 10 minutes uncovered then 10 minutes covered. If there isn’t enough space in the Dutch oven, you can cook the dumplings in another pot with 5 cups of chicken broth.

Serves 4-6.

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