Orzo With Eggplant and Red Pepper Sauce

14 10 2014

This tasty dish comes together in less than a half hour, perfect for weeknight dinners and meatless Mondays. Comfort food can be healthy, and it doesn’t have to take all day either!

Orzo With Eggplant and Red Pepper Sauce

The following serves 4 (compliments of Cuisine Light and This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 heaping cup of dry whole wheat orzo
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • Kosher salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium, reduced-fat chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Lemon zest
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Grated parmesan

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Season liberally with salt and cook orzo to al dente, according to package directions. Reserve a little of the pasta water, then drain the orzo.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute a few minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 1 minute. Add bell pepper and saute another few minutes. Season with salt to taste and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Next add the eggplant and cook until eggplant begins to soften, about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add wine to eggplant and simmer until liquid is almost evaporated. Stir in the broth and tomato paste and mix well. Add chickpeas and  simmer until mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and season with salt to taste.

Next add the orzo and a little of the pasta water, mix well to combine and cook on low for another minute or so. Stir in a good dusting of lemon zest and some of the chopped parsley. Mix to combine and taste, adjusting seasoning if needed.

Dish out the orzo and garnish with more parsley and parmesan.

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Grilled Veggie Naan Pizza With Cauliflower-White Bean Spread and Balsamic Glaze

1 07 2014

I love making pizza out of Naan, healthy and still delicious! Last week’s CSA grab bag from Fresh Fork Market brought us beautiful green cauliflower and squash, which I knew would be tasty grilled and on a pizza. I turned half the grilled cauliflower along with beans into the spread to create the “sauce” for this pizza, then put the rest on top. Prep and grill your veggies over the weekend to save time during the week, say, for meatless Monday!

Grilled Veggie Naan Pizza With Cauliflower-White Bean Spread and Balsamic Glaze

The following makes 2 pizzas (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat, with inspiration from Martha Stewart and Better Homes and Gardens):

  • 2 whole wheat naan
  • 2 small yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 small head green cauliflower (or any color you like), cut in half down the center
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • Fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat grill to medium. Drizzle squash and cauliflower with a little olive oil and salt to taste. Grill, flipping occasionally, until beginning to char. Remove from the grill and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, grill the red pepper whole until charred well all over. Remove from the grill to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. This will trap the steam and help to peel the skin. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin and remove the seeds from the pepper – do not run under water. Slice into bite-size strips.

Place half of the grilled cauliflower in a food processor along with the beans, garlic, chicken broth, lemon zest and juice.  Pulse to combine. Stream in 1 Tbsp of oil or so. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add additional oil if needed.

Preheat oven to 425.

Place naan on a pizza stone. Spread some the cauliflower-bean dip on the naan, as if it were a sauce. Top with the remaining grilled cauliflower, squash and red pepper (if you have leftover veggies that won’t fit, no worries, enjoy on a salad for lunch the next day!). Top with cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

While the pizza bakes, heat balsamic vinegar over low heat in a small saute pan, stirring often, until reduced by half. Remove from heat and allow to cool, it will turn into a syrupy consistency.

Remove pizza from the oven and garnish with red pepper flakes and the balsamic glaze.

Store leftover cauliflower-bean dip in a covered container in the fridge. Enjoy as a snack with veggies, whole grain chips or use as a sandwich spread.