Blog of the Belly Biter:

Some plant-based, some unhealthy, some super healthy but ALL good. Kid tested and mother approved!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Orzo Stuffed Peppers

a Giada recipe, ya really can't go wrong with her!

1 lb. italian sausage {I added this}
1 (28-ounce) can Italian tomatoes
2 zucchini, grated
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves {i omitted, i save mint for my gum & desserts}
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cups orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
6 sweet bell peppers (red or yellow)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

{Cook sausage.} Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and break apart using a pair of kitchen shears or your finger tips. Add the zucchini, mint, cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the orzo and cook for 4 minutes. The orzo should be only partially cooked. Use a fine mesh sieve to transfer the orzo to the large bowl with the other vegetables. Stir the orzo into the vegetable mix to combine. Transfer the warm chicken broth to a 3-quart baking dish.

Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all ribs and seeds. Cut a very thin slice from the base to help the peppers stand up. Place the peppers in the baking dish with the warm chicken broth. Spoon the orzo mixture into the peppers. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the top of each pepper with cheese and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, carefully transfer the orzo stuffed pepper to a serving plate.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tex-Mex Fried Rice.

I love this rachael ray side! It's so good with anything mexican food related. To use as a side or to put in burritos. Love the hominy! When I make it I usually cook the rice sometime during the day or use any leftovers.

extra virgin olive oil
1 14-ounce can hominy or 2 ears of corn, kernels removed
1 small red onion, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
2 cups cooked short grain brown rice
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 to 3 small tomatoes, seeded and diced
A few dashes hot sauce (more if you like it spicy!)
Salt and ground black pepper

Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of oil, about a tablespoon. Add the hominy, onion, jalapeño and garlic to the pan, and cook until the veggies are golden brown, 5-6 minutes.

Add the rice to the pan and continue cooking until the rice is light golden and crispy, 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro, tomatoes and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos

This recipe is from a family friend...who is the healthiest eater that I know. Sounds like a crazy combination, but they're awesome together and amazingly healthy... which makes them even better to me. I added some cheese on top before I baked them. And then topped with some guacamole.

3 cup peeled, cubed sweet potatoes
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 ½ cup diced onions
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh green chile
4 teaspoon ground cumin
4 teaspoon ground coriander

4 ½ cup cooked black beans (3 - 15oz cans)
2/3 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
8 tortillas
Fresh Salsa
{I topped with 1/4 c. pepper jack cheese before I baked them}
Guacamole/Avocado {I did this instead of the salsa}

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sweet potatoes in medium saucepan with the salt and water to cover. Cover & bring to boil, simmer till tender, roughly 10 minutes. Drain, set aside.

While these cook, warm the oil in a skillet and add onions, garlic, and chile. Cover, cook on med-low, stirring a bit, for about 5-8 minutes. Add cumin, coriander and cook for 3 minutes more, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside.

In food processor add black beans, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and cooked sweet potatoes; puree until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, and mix in cooked onions and spices.

Put your burritos together, and then put them seam side down in a lightly oiled baking dish or tray, and cover with foil, bake for 30 minutes. Serve with Salsa.

{Pictured with Rachael Ray's Tex-Mex Fried Rice... yummy!}