I doubt anyone in attendance at our July 4th cookout would challenge the claim that I ate my weight in grilled corn, hamburgers, hot dogs and potato salad. Those competitive eaters had nothing on me this past weekend. As always, a feeling of guilt washed over me the next day and the only way to feel better was to eat light for the next few meals, so I skipped the meat aisle at the grocery store and went right to the produce section. So today I bring you a great recipe that is both healthy and satisfying. Orzo with grilled vegetables is a great meat-free recipe that can be served as either the main meal or as a side. If you had a gluttonous weekend like me, get back in the gym, stop by the produce stand on the way home and let’s go veggie for a night.
Orzo with Grilled Vegetables
- 2 cups orzo pasta
- 2 zucchini squash
- 1 package asparagus
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms whole
- 1/2 lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (feta works as well)
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the orzo according to the package to al dente (in other words, not mushy, with a little "bite" left in the pasta). Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, heat the grill to medium high.
- Cut off the ends of the asparagus (not the leafy looking part, the other end!) and then slice the zucchini into long slices about 1/4 - 1/8 inch thick for easy grilling.
- Place the zucchini and asparagus in a bowl and toss with Olive Oil, salt and pepper.
- Place the baby bella mushrooms on a skewer, brush with Olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Move all of the veggies to the the grill and grill over medium-high heat, turning often until you have some nice grill marks. The asparagus and zucchini should only take about 2 - 3 minutes per side, longer if you like them really soft.
- Remove the vegetables from the grill and place on a cutting board, allow to cool slightly.
- Slice all of the vegetables into bite-sized pieces, as small as you care to go and then add the vegetable to the bowl of orzo.
- Add the zest of one half lemon and a half cup of the Parmesan cheese (more to taste if you like) to the bowl of orzo and grilled vegetables and toss well to coat.