Summer is here and with the heat comes the need for lighter meals. Cold pasta salads and soups are a great option when it is 90+ degrees outside. Orzo (orso) is a great recipe base because of its versatility. Orzo, also risoni, is a form of short-cut pasta, shaped like a large grain of rice. It tends to take on the flavor of whatever you put it with and doesn’t try to be the star of the show. The recipe I am sharing today is one of my favorites and could be made with any pasta or rice. You can control the portion size as well so it is perfect for a large party or dinner for two.
Lemony Greek Orzo Salad (Serves 6)
*I substituted 4 drops of doTERRA Lemon Oil for the fresh lemons. I love cooking with essential oils because unlike fresh produce, I do not have to worry about them spoiling before I can use them!
- 1/2 cup orzo cooked and cooled (follow instructions on the box)
- 1/2 – 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil drizzled on cooked orzo to prevent sticking
- juice from 1/2 half lemon or 4 drops doTERRA Lemon Oil
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 roma tomato, seeded and diced
- 10 kalamata olives, chopped
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in large bowl and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
Serve and Enjoy!
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This may be one of the easiest dishes I have ever made and according to my husband, one of the best! My friends at Skinnytaste.com knocked it out of the park yet once again. Their website has become my go-to for healthy, delicious recipes. Over the last couple of years, I have tried a ton and have not had one disappointing experience. If you have not discovered the website yet, stop reading and go there now please. My feelings will not be hurt one bit!
Rarely do I cook a dish for which I do not readily have the ingredients available. I work from home so it is not convenient for me to run out to the store during the day. You would think it would be the other way around but Bogey (my dog) and I have a nice little routine and I only get an hour for lunch. When I choose a recipe, it is usually because I have the ingredients in stock and this dish was not any different. The only semi-time-consuming part of this dish is dicing the vegetables so I did that ahead of time. According to the recipe, you can use only egg whites but I followed the original and left the whole eggs since I like the protein and vitamins in the yolk. If you are watching your cholesterol, stick to egg whites!
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 157.7 • Fat: 9.3 g • Protein: 14.6 g • Carb: 5.7 g • Fiber: 1.6 g • Sugar: 0.8 g
Sodium: 243 mg (without salt)
- 1 white onion, thinly sliced rings
- 1 medium red pepper, diced
- 1 1/2 cups zucchini, diced into matchsticks
- 4 large eggs
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tsp olive oil
- salt and fresh pepper
Over medium-low heat, heat oil in a 10-inch skillet. Stir in onion and cook until slightly brown, about 10 minutes. Add peppers and cook 5 more minutes, then add zucchini.Season with salt and pepper and cook 3 more minutes stirring occasionally.
In a medium bowl whisk eggs, egg whites, parmesan, salt and pepper.
Add eggs to the skillet making sure eggs cover all the vegetables. When the edges begin to set (about 2 minutes) move skillet to oven. Cook about 10-15 minutes, or until frittata is completely cooked. Serve warm, cut into 4 pieces.
This recipe from Money Saving Mom was one that I had planned to make for my friend who recently had a baby. I ran out of chicken so I didn’t get to it. We had ground chicken in the freezer so I thought I tried the recipe with that instead. WRONG! There is a reason they use chicken breasts. At the end of the recipe, you remove the chicken and the soup is blended. Ground meat does not blend well. In hindsight, I should have added the meat at the end and it would have been fine. The flavor of the soup was still wonderful in spite of the texture!
Nutrition Info per Serving (without condiments)
Calories 116, Fat 4g, Cholesterol 35mg, Sodium 489mg, Carbs 7g, Sugar 3g, Protein 13g
- 1 ½ – 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 (24 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
- 1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chile peppers
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Crumbled tortilla chips
- cream (sour or Mexican)
- shredded cheese (cheddar or Mexican mix)
- Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, garlic, water, chicken bouillon, and spices into slow cooker.
- Cover, and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours
- When it’s done remove chicken and shred with 2 forks. The smaller the better since you can’t really cut up your soup.
- Tip – once you remove the chicken place the chunky stuff into a blender and blend until smooth.
- To serve, mix in some cream, cheese and tortilla chips.
This was the first week of our Summer Slim-Down Challenge so I cooked A LOT! I wanted to be sure there was healthy food readily available throughout the week. My husband complained he could not find his lunch the other morning because the refrigerator was too full I was thinking that is not a bad issue to have! Zucchini is one of my favorite summer staples because they are always on sale and they are very versatile. They are high in Vitamin A & C and are also a great source of Potassium and Calcium.
I pulled five recipes from Skinny Taste (which you all should know by now is my favorite recipe website). I have not met a recipe on their website that I didn’t like! My husband raved about the Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats so I will share those with you. I made the mistake of preparing three recipes at once, so I was a bit overwhelmed while I cooked this dish. The dish itself is simple to make and it would easy to double if you have a large group of guests. I used ground chicken in place of the turkey because that was what I purchased this week 🙂 Enjoy!
Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Servings: 4 • Size: 2 halves • Old Points: 6 pts • Weight Watcher Points+: 7 pt
Calories: 286 • Fat: 12 g • Carb: 18 g • Fiber: 5 g • Protein: 28 g • Sugar: 6 g
Cholest: 8 mg
- 4 medium (32 ounces) zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup mild salsa
- 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 small onion, minced
- 2 tbsp bell pepper, minced
- 4 oz can tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup reduced fat Mexican blend shredded cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions or cilantro, for topping
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place 1/4 cup of salsa in the bottom of a large baking dish.
Using a small spoon or melon baller, hollow out the center of the zucchini halves, leaving 1/4-inch thick shell on each half. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside 3/4 of a cup to add to the taco filling, (squeeze excess water with a paper towel) discarding the rest or save to use in another recipe. Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water.
Brown turkey in a large skillet, breaking up while it cooks. When no longer pink add the spices and mix well. Add the onion, bell pepper, reserved zucchini, tomato sauce and water. Stir and cover, simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
Using a spoon, fill the hollowed zucchini boats dividing the taco meat equally, about 1/3 cup in each, pressing firmly. Top each with 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through. Top with scallions and serve with salsa on the side.
I purchased the most adorable sweet dumpling squash at the produce stand. Unfortunately, I had no clue what to do with them. After a couple of days of brainstorming, I came up with a really delicious recipe I think you will enjoy! The combination of the Italian sausage, spices and sweetness of the squash gives the dish a nice balance.
Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash
Nutrition info per serving
Calories 233/Sugar 4g/ Fat 10g/Carbs 26g/Cholesterol 23mg
- 2 medium sweet dumpling squash (halved and cored)
- 2 links of sweet Italian turkey sausage
- 1 cup cooked purple sticky rice (you can substitute different types of rice)
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1 stalk of celery including leaves, finely diced
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- 2 tsp savory
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a shallow baking dish, add an inch of water. Lay squash halves in pan flesh side up.
- Brush the squash with olive oil and lightly salt and pepper. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
- While oven is heating, cook the rice according to the package.
- Once oven reaches 350 degrees, put the squash in and cook for 30 minutes.
- In a small frying pan, cook the sweet Italian sausage through until no longer pink.
- While pan is still hot, add diced onion, celery, garlic, savory and salt and pepper.
- Once rice is cooked, add the sausage mixture to the cooked rice and mix well.
- After the squash is finished cooking, pull out of the oven and test with a fork for tenderness.
- Fill the squash with the rice mixture (it can be overflowing).
- Top with the toasted walnuts and serve.
I have been a lazy blogger this month. Maybe it is the time change or the weather change. My creative juices have been more like a stagnant puddle. On an exciting note; my presentation at the gym went great! I even managed to bring on a new client 🙂 I am so excited! I love helping people find joy through healthy living!
I plan to cook a bunch this week, so I will share an awesome recipe I tried from my favorite site (SkinnyTaste.com). This is a great choice for a busy week because it calls for the use of the beloved crock pot! I don’t think I have shared my affinity for slow cooking. It is like having someone (or something) cook for you! Enjoy!
Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken
Servings: 8 servings • Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 190 • Fat: 1.5 g • Fiber: 5.6 g • Carbs: 23.1 g • Protein: 21 g
- 24 oz (1 1/2) lbs chicken breast
- 14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
- 15 oz can black beans
- 8 oz frozen corn
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
- salt to taste
Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the crock pot. Season chicken breast with salt and lay on top.
Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning to taste. Serve over rice or tortillas and your favorite toppings.
I am so excited! I was asked to speak at my gym this Saturday. This is my first presentation and I am really looking forward to sharing what I have learned over the last year. My goal with the talk is to help people understand that healthy living can be fun! It is not the same as dieting since it is something we incorporate everyday. A healthy life doesn’t mean eating bran every morning and salads every night. I want people to understand that food can be an adventure. Every ingredient brings about new opportunity!
I see that excitement in many of the the blogs I read. Many of you truly enjoy food and have a passion to share your creations with others! I want to encourage you to keep blogging! You are an inspiration to me and others to get out there and try new things!