Time to Cook!

Inspiration for wholesome weeknight & weekend cooking.

Posts tagged ‘orzo’

I love the Orzo and Spinach Salad that Whole Foods makes and thought about replicating it at home.  A quick search on the internet brought me to one that sounded promising, and I made a few modifications.  This salad can be served cold or at room temperature and would be great to bring to your next BBQ.

Orzo & Spinach Salad

Recipe adapted from Food.com


  • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked orzo pasta (can be whole wheat)
  • 1 (10 ounce) package baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb crumbled feta cheese (2 cups)
  • 1/2 small red onion, very finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in spinach, feta, onion, pine nuts,olives, basil, salt and pepper. Toss with olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate and serve cold or at room temperature.
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My goal is to serve seafood once (or even twice) a week, but it requires me to get to Whole Foods or the fish market the day of … and life seems to get in the way of that.  I do think extra large raw frozen shrimp is great to have on hand for a last-minute dinner.  After all, many times when I buy raw shrimp, it’s already been previously frozen anyway.  I simply defrost it in a bowl filled with slightly cool water in the sink, peel and devein it … and I’m ready for our recipe!  This one is nice and simple and tastes great.

Shrimp Scampi

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi

Serves 4.


1 pound uncooked orzo

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

7 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided

1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp

2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Place orzo in a medium bowl. Stir in parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and olive oil; cover and keep warm.

2. While orzo cooks, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add half of shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in pan. Add remaining shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer to plate.

3. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in pan. Add garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in shrimp, juice, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until shrimp are done.

4. Toss shrimp and butter-lemon sauce with orzo and serve.

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