Part of my New Year’s Resolutions this year is to actually start actively cooking from the myriad of cooking magazines and cookbooks I own. This will necessitate some advance menu planning to make sure I have the necessary ingredients (which is the primary reason I don’t tend to cook things despite the oodles of sticky flags marking “oo that looks interesting). To kick off this resolution, I made a variation of Sauce Italian Orzo from Taste of Home’s Simple and Delicious (Jan/Feb 2010 issue, page 12). I had to change it up a bit because hubby is definitely not a fan of cooked spinach. So I traded out for mushrooms and roasted red peppers to create a dish that I really enjoyed. Hubby wasn’t nuts and declared it too tomato heavy, but we’ve decided he simply isn’t a fan of seriously tomato-based sauces. In any event, this makes 6 servings at 300 calories and 5 grams of fat per serving, which makes this a dieters delight (Note: The calories and fat are calculated without the addition of any sort of cheese for garnish).
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 large onion, finely minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes (original recipe calls for 2-14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, and garlic)
- 2 cups beef broth (original recipe calls for 1 14.5 oz. can of beef broth, but I buy the quarts and I used more orzo)
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 cup uncooked orzo (original recipe calls for 3/4 cup)
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (original recipe calls for 1 but my tomatoes weren’t seasoned)
- 1 teaspooon garlic powder (my addition)
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, diced
- 4 oz. mushrooms, diced
- Brown, drain and rinse the beef. The original recipe calls for cooking the onions and garlic in with the beef, but I prefer to remove as much of the fat as possible.
- Add back to Dutch oven and add the onions and garlic, sauteing briefly.
- Add the peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, orzo, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Stir until well combined.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.
- Serve with freshly grated parmesan.