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Dinner and dessert

August 26, 2009

I don’t know when it happened, but I somehow developed a green thumb over the past few months. Not only that… but I actually enjoy tending to the herbs and flowers I’m trying to grow in my backyard. It’s the kind of thing that sometimes causes me to put my own hand to my forehand and ask myself if I’m feeling alright.

At the moment, I have two healthy growing herb plants of basil and parsley and tonight I thought I’d cut some sprigs of parsley to spice up my dinner.

basil parsley

Trader Joe’s has this amazing blend of Israeli couscous, red and green orzo, split dried garbanzo beans, and red quinoa packaged under the name Harvest Grains Blend. I’ve only cooked it once before and mixed it with chicken, but tonight I had no chicken on hand, only fresh Farmer’s Market veggies.Β  Given the circumstances, I decided to try a different mix. And now that I have, it’s my new fave!

dinnaIntroducing… Harvest Grains Fresco!

  • 1.5 cups TJ’s Harvest Grains Blend
  • .75 cups Chicken Broth (herbivores can sub veggie broth)
  • .5 zucchini squash, sliced
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • .5 green bell pepper, chopped
  • dash of pepper
  • dash of garlic powder
  • whole fresh sprigs of parsley (or any other available herb, really… dill and/or basil would work, too!)

Bring broth to a boil and stir in Harvest Grains Blend, zucchini, and bell pepper. Stir in garlic powder and pepper and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 1-2 minutes. Once you’ve chopped your tomato, toss that in with the parsley leaves. Stir, cover and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Stir every once in awhile.

Note: The blend will not be as soft as plain orzo pasta. Bites will have a harder texture, but should NOT be crunchy.

fruit and yogurtFor dessert, I tried a variation on an old childhood favorite… don’t judge me. It tasted much better than it looked! When I was a kid, my mom used to bake apples with cinnamon and sweetener for me after dinner. It was a great healthy sweet-treat that made me forget about cupcakes or candy. Tonight, I sliced up a small apple and two small plums and sprinkled them with cinnamon and Splenda. I gave the bowl a little shake to mix it all up and microwaved the contents for 5 minutes. The fruit cooked down together and the plums gave it a syrup-like consistency. I topped the combination with some Dannon Light & Fit Strawberry yogurt that I’d had in the freezer for an hour (tho, it probably could’ve sat in there longer).

Dinner and dessert ran a little heavier than my usual evening meal at 573 calories, but my breakfast and lunch were light and sometimes you gotta splurge.

I still have half a zucchini and green pepper leftover from tonight that I’ll need to use tomorrow… I just need to figure out how. πŸ˜‰

Happy chowing down!


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Fran permalink
    August 27, 2009 10:22 am

    Usually I have herbs in my garden every year but this year I kind of forgot it. But I like it, it’s easy to grap some to spice up your food.

    I love your dessert, going to remember it because I think I might like it too!


    • Amanda permalink*
      August 28, 2009 9:27 am

      Yeah! Try it out and let me know what you think!

  2. August 28, 2009 7:21 am

    Your plants look great!!! As do your meals!! I’d have to pick out the zucchini (Only like it in baked goods, how bad is that? lol!!) Going to have to try your dessert.. YUM!!

    • Amanda permalink*
      August 28, 2009 9:26 am

      Oh, I’m with you. I LOVELOVELOVE zucchini bread. πŸ™‚

      Do you like squash? I honestly only chose zucchini over squash for this dish because of the color… I thought green would be prettier – ha! Yellow squash would be just as good, in my opinion.

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