Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Whole Wheat Orzo with Broccoli-Pine nut Pesto and Chicken

I love Orzo.
It's this crazy mix of pasta that is sized like giant rice.
It's delicious!

The original is from Whole Living, I adapted it a bit to use it as a meal...and simplify the prep process. Most the ingredients are the same...just prep is different. I cut out the creme frache and used milk instead....less fat!

I love that the pesto is made out of steamed broccoli.
It's actually pretty healthy...and totally delicious.
Oh yes...and it's the perfect shade of green for St. Patricks Day.

If you can't find whole wheat orzo...just use regular tastes equally delicious.


1 1/2 cups whole-wheat orzo
2 bags frozen broccoli
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2-2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup milk
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
2-3 seasoned and grilled chicken breasts....but into bite sized pieces.


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season generously with salt, add orzo, and cook according to package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain well again.

Meanwhile, cook broccoli according to package directions (I used 2 "steam able" bags) Drain well and set aside.

Make the pesto: Combine 2 cups of the cooked broccoli, garlic, three-quarters of the pine nuts, Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice in a food processor. Drizzle in olive oil and milk and pulse until smooth.

Toss orzo and remaining cooked broccoli florets with about two-thirds of the broccoli pesto and the lemon zest. Thin with a bit of warm water to desired consistency. Toss in grilled chicken. Adjust seasoning by adding more salt, lemon juice, or pesto as desired. Fold in avocado. Serve topped with remaining pine nuts.

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