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Recipe Tuesday: Mediterranean Chicken and Rosemary Orzo

June 23, 2009

Today was awesome. Not that anything out of the ordinary happened, but I felt incredible. I woke up around 7am feeling rested, energized and determined to put in a rockstar workout. Before I headed out, I toasted two halves of a 100-calorie sandwich thin and spread one 35-calorie wedge of Light Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese over them. Having just read the “egg-in-a mug” issue of Hungry Girl’s newsletter, I poured 1/3 cup of egg whites (60 cals) into a lightly greased mug and sprinkled in some garlic powder and pepper. After microwaving the egg whites for about a minute and a half, I put the egg white mini-omelette in between the sandwich thins and had a delicious mini-breakfast for under 200 calories.

I decided to try a new route along one of Nashville’s greenways and ended up having a GREAT run: 433 calories burned and 3 miles in 40 minutes. Not my best time, but I’ll take it! For the amount of endurance I was convinced I’d lost, I surprised myself and kept the walking to a minimum.

When I got back, I blended up some frozen berries (70 cals) with some Diet Cranberry Juice (5 cals). I also added in a raspberry flavored All-Bran fiber pack for an additional 15 calories. I was surprised at how sweet it was. Ick, too much for me. For lunch, I had a Boca cheeseburger with lots of romaine and a sliced roma tomato and a baked potato, as well.

berrydrink boca

After I wrapped up my work, I was able to put in some pool time before the sun went down… the perfect end to a great day! And now, for the first time in a long time… I’m cooking on a Tuesday! So without further ado:

RECIPE TUESDAY: Mediterranean Chicken and Rosemary Orzo.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 zucchini squash
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 1 1/3 cup of orzo pasta
  • 1 can of low-fat chicken stock
  • 4+ chicken tenderloins (This recipe originally calls for 1lb of chicken, but it really depends on how many you’re feeding – this dish is very versatile and can act as a side if you want to add more chicken for more people. When I’m cooking for two – where I get one serving, have one leftover and give the man two servings – I usually add in 4 chicken tenderloins. Also, it’s worth noting that you can leave the tenders whole, but I prefer cutting them up.)
  • 1-2 tbsp of rosemary
  • 1 clove of garlic (or you can sprinkle garlic powder)
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

P1020688I like to do all my prep work first as there is quite a bit of cutting and chopping to do. In one bowl, combine chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, chopped zucchini and chopped tomato.

P1020693Next, heat a large skillet and lightly coat with cooking spray. Over medium heat, cook the chicken enough (this is where I like to sprinkle garlic powder and pepper) so that it’s white on the outside. This will continue cooking as the rest of the ingredients are added in, so don’t cook so long that the chicken browns.

Empty the can of chicken stock and 1 1/3 cup of orzo pasta. Sprinkle 1tbsp of rosemary over the pan, stir, and bring to a boil.

P1020694 P1020697

P1020700Cover and let cook for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, the orzo will have mostly soaked up the stock. Give it a quick stir and toss in your bowl of veggies. (I threw in another tbsp of rosemary here.) Mix together very well and cover again.

This is where it’s still trial and error for me. Tonight, I let the veggies cook with the orzo for 20 minutes and they were very tender. I’d start with 10 minutes and taste every 5 minutes or so until your veggies reach desired tenderness.

Serves 4. 364 calories a serving – based on including 1lb of chicken.

That’s it… enjoy!

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