Healthy Recipe: Roasted Veggie Orzo

Roasted Vegetable Orzo is a tasty alternative to traditional holiday starchy foods to add variety to the festive season. This recipe features smoky roasted vegetables and toasty whole wheat orzo. It’s best served hot or at room temperature and is easy to prepare ahead of time.

This dish is a great way to bring a wide selection of vegetables into the meal. Roasting broccoli and cauliflower in a hot oven caramelizes them and gives them a great texture. Butternut squash, zucchini, eggplant or any other seasonal vegetable of your choice can be substituted. Lemons preserved in vinaigrette add a nice citrusy brightness to pasta dishes. If you can’t find preserved lemon, don’t worry it can be omitted or replaced with lemon zest.

We recommend making a double vinaigrette recipe. This homemade vinaigrette keeps for up to a week, making it easy to make a fresh salad anytime.

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 small head of cauliflower, broken into florets

1 small broccoli head, broken into florets

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced ​​in half

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 pound (453 gram) package whole wheat orzo pasta

vinaigrette ((makes ½ cup or 10 servings)

1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar

4 teaspoons cup fresh lemon juice

⅔ teaspoon honey

⅔ teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ a preserved lemon, pith removed and zested

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425˚F (220℃). Chop the vegetables and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss them with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on a large baking sheet in an even layer. Roast the vegetables for 35 to 40 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown. Check them halfway through and carefully shake the pan to toss the vegetables.

While the vegetables are roasting, make the vinaigrette by tossing the ingredients together in the bottom of a large salad bowl.

Meanwhile, bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil. Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and add directly to salad bowl with vinaigrette. Toss to combine. Tossing the dressing while the pasta is hot is essential to absorb the flavor.

When the roast vegetables are done, let them cool for a few minutes before carefully adding them to the orzo and tossing to combine.

Makes 10 servings.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories 320 KCal

9 grams of protein

16 grams of total fat

2.5 grams of saturated fat

Cholesterol 0 mg

Carbohydrates 36 grams

5 grams of fiber

Total sugars are 4 grams

0 grams of added sugars

Sodium 470 mg

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