Shrimp and Lemon Orzo
Orzo is one of those foods that I often overlook. Honestly, I think a lot of folks overlook it. Orzo, like any other pasta, is versatile. It goes well with just about any other food; some better than others. Last summer, when I was helping my friend out and making her copious amounts of freezer meals, there was the Mediterranean Orzo Salad which I really rather liked. Orzo isn’t something that requires an adjusted palate or is something you only eat once in a blue moon because it’s expensive. Like I said, it’s just like any other pasta. It’s relatively inexpensive (dependent on where you shop), it plays well with a thousand other ingredients, and it’s filling. And again, like other pasta, the calories are there, as are the carbs, but matched with an abundance of lean meats and veggies, you can manage a single serving and not be left wanting.
We keep many things constantly stocked in our home. Our “always available” meats/proteins are chicken and shrimp, and usually some kind of pork. I have a frozen bag of ground beef down in the basement free and perhaps a steak or two somewhere, but they aren’t things we normally have on hand. If we want steak or burgers or similar, I throw it on the grocery list and buy enough for that meal. As far as constantly stocked vegetables go, we’ve always got carrots, onions, potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, bell peppers, and zucchini. Right now, we have an over abundance of spinach and romaine lettuce thanks to our garden. So much so, I’m now trying to come up with creative ways to use the spinach especially, as there’s much, much more.
Tonight’s dinner was a product of wanting something light on the stomach, light on the salt, and healthy. We’ve been eating out far more than we should, and I know I have more so, especially since I’m not stuck in the office and stuck eating leftovers. I’ve honestly only been eating leftovers on the days I’m at the bakery, mainly because I need to eat and as delicious as our baked goods are, I can’t make my only food intake sugar-heavy sweets and butter-heavy scones.
The night thing about this meal is that if you don’t have asparagus on hand, anything else can be substituted in. Broccoli would be great with this mix. So would eggplant, cherry tomatoes, avocado chunks, citrus chunks, celery, carrots… Basically whatever your stomach desires.
Shrimp and Lemon Orzo
1 pound shrimp, deveined and de-tailed
1 cup orzo
2 cups spinach
6 asparagus spears, thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, quartered
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 1/2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
the juice of 1 medium lemon
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1. Cook the orzo per package instructions. Boil water on high, add orzo, and let cook until soft. Drain water and set aside.
2. In a large skillet, add olive oil and heat on medium. Add chopped onion and garlic and let cook until the garlic begins to brown and is fragrant. Add the sliced asparagus spears and stir together. When the asparagus turns bright green, add the shrimp.
3. When shrimp is starting to turn pink, add the juice of the lemon to the skillet. When completely cooked, add zucchini.
4. Add the butter, the cooked orzo, and the spinach and stir together quickly, careful that the orzo doesn’t stick to the pan and that everything is mixed well with the melting butter and remainder of lemon that has not been cooked up. Stir until the spinach begins to wilt and turn dark green.