Tag Archives: peas

Orzo Salad with Peas and Feta

My 4th of July plans are pretty low key this year and I plan on curling up with a good book, a turkey burger and a cocktail. But so many people will be heading to the beach, the lake, the park, the pool or a friend’s house for fireworks and that means needing food. Maybe you’ll be having a burger like me or something else grilled. Maybe you’ll take this holiday weekend to consume as much ice cream as you can. Or maybe it’s the time to eat salads and I don’t mean the leafy green kind. I mean the potato-y, mayonnaise-y, pasta-y kind. This Orzo Salad has been a long time staple of mine which is my go-to dish whenever there is a potluck at work, a picnic or any impromptu get-together.

Quick-cooking orzo, frozen peas, and feta cheese are mixed together with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. That’s it. This pasta salad is so fast to make and easy to throw together at the last minute. This salad doesn’t have a lot of ingredients so the vinegar comes through nicely without being too overpowering and the peas add a subtle sweetness which pairs so well with the pasta. I used basil instead of parsley because I had it on hand but any herb would work here. The herbs provide a bold freshness which only complements this pasta. Orzo cooks in about nine minutes so if you have a box on hand, this is something that you can pull together quickly. Give this a try anytime you need a quick side whether it’s a holiday weekend or not. I bet it’ll become your go-to recipe too.

If you like this, also check out Orzo Salad with Corn, Tomatoes, and Basil.


Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, and toss well to coat.


Cover bowl and chill for 1 hour.


Additions: None

Omissions: None


  • White balsamic vinegar
  • Reduced-fat feta cheese

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Spring Green Fried Rice

I have to say I’m really enjoying our Spring in Philadelphia lately.  Normally, Spring lasts all of 3 days before it either gets cold again or boiling hot.  But we’ve had so many crystal clear blue skies and moderate temperatures that I’m just beside myself.  Having nicer weather not only puts me in a better mood but it tends to make me eat better also.  This Spring Green Fried Rice is a perfect Spring meal.  Sure, fried rice doesn’t sound like the healthiest thing but this version is flavorful, packed with veggies and not at all fattening.

Crunchy cabbage, sweet peas, crisp edamame and fresh ginger are mixed with brown rice and soy sauce.  Lightly fried, this rice is also mixed with eggs to give it the typical eggy addition commonly found in fried rice.  If you don’t like ginger, you can leave it out but I think the flavor of the ginger in this dish is really the best part.  Instead of running to get take out fried rice next time, consider making this.  You’ll save calories and money and you be happy with the results.


The ingredients:


In a small bowl beat egg and 1 tsp. soy sauce; set aside.


In a wok or large skillet heat toasted sesame oil over medium heat.  Add egg mixture; stir gently until set.  Remove egg; cool slightly.  Using your hands to roll the cooked egg into a log.  Use a sharp knife, slice the egg into strips; set aside.


In the same skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and ginger, cook 30 seconds.  Add cabbage; cook and stir 2 minutes.


Add edamame and peas; cook for 2 minutes.


Add rice and 2 Tbsp. soy sauce.  Cook and stir for 2 to 4 minutes or until heated through.  Add egg mixture and green onion; cook and stir about 1 minute or until heated through.


Top with crushed red pepper, if desired.


Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Better Homes & Gardens magazine

Chicken Fried Rice

I’ve mentioned before certain foods that I would want to have if I was stuck on a deserted island:  s’mores and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are just a few.  Yes, you know I have a sweet tooth.  I could probably add deviled eggs to that list too.  But another food that I never tire of and could eat every single day is fried rice.  And I mean every. single. day.  I normally eat vegetable fried rice (a habit going back to my vegetarian days) but as much as I love it, I don’t ever try to make it at home.  After all, the Chinese food restaurant is right around the corner and can have my fried rice ready for me in 15 minutes, right?  Well, the problem we all know is that fried rice isn’t exactly healthy and shouldn’t be eaten often, if ever.  But I can’t give it up so why not give in and try to make it, when I can control the oil and the ingredients myself?  This recipe for Chicken Fried Rice seems like a good place to start.

Chicken, scrambled egg, peas, and rice are combined with a mixture of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar and lime juice.  Fresh garlic and grated ginger provide additional layers of flavor to this rich dish.  The lime juice really provides an additional unexpected freshness and the chili sauce gives it a slight kick, which I love.  I used precooked chicken strips since I had them on hand but thin-cut chicken would work well here too since it cooks quickly.  Since I try to eat brown rice as much as possible, I also used ready-made whole grain brown rice in place of the boil-in-bag rice but any kind of rice will work here.  While this isn’t restaurant-style fried rice, this was a tasty and satisfying fried rice dish that isn’t as oily and doesn’t leave you feeling guilty after eating it.  What’s also great about this is you can add adapt it to your own taste by adding other vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, baby corn, grean beans or bean sprouts.  I’ll definitely make this again, maybe even leaving out the chicken, to satisfy that vegetable fried rice craving I get oh-so often.

The ingredients:

Combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, cornstarch, and chicken in a bowl; toss well.  Combine remaining 4 teaspoons soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice and chili paste in a small bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken mixture and stir-fry 4 minutes or until lightly browned. (If using pre-cooked chicken like I did, stir-fry just until heated through.)

Push chicken to one side of skillet and add eggs to open side of pan.  Cook 45 seconds, stirring constantly.  Stir eggs and chicken mixture together.

Remove chicken mixture from pan and keep warm.  Return pan to medium-high heat.  Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan.  Add onion, ginger, and garlic and cook 2 minutes or until fragrant.  Add rice and cook 1 minute.

Add peas and cook 1 minute.

Add chicken mixture and soy sauce mixture.  Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Stir in green onions.

Additions:  None

Omissions:   None


  • Pre-cooked chicken strips
  • Ready-made brown rice

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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