Make risotto with orzo and add shredded carrots for delicious sweetness. Serve this Orzo Risotto with Carrots for dinner tonight.
I’ve been making Carrot Orzo Risotto for years. I can’t believe I haven’t shared it with you until now. This recipe falls into a category I like to call bonus vegetables. If there are some vegetables in a side dish we are eating, it doesn’t count as the vegetable with dinner. It’s an extra bonus that my daughter does not complain about. Yes, I love extra bonus vegetable dishes.
Carrots happen to be paired with one of my favorite carbohydrates, orzo. Ok, I know it is really just a little teeny shaped pasta but it brings me back to my childhood. I have a soft spot for orzo. For some reason, it tastes better than regular pasta. I know it is probably all in my head. However, if it makes me happy to eat this healthy dish, than I am going with it. Eating healthy is all a “mental” game for me anyway. I have to play little mind games with myself to stop that evil “unhealthy” food loving part of my brain from taking over.
I feel like I am off to a good start with eating healthy and exercising. It is all part of my resolution to put myself first. Oh, there have been little slips already. Overall I feel like I am in control of food instead of food controlling me. There are still very trying times. My husband came home early yesterday, because he was feeling some pain in his left arm and top of his head.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you know he had a heart attack 1 1/2 years ago and had a mitro valve repair last year. His health seems to be my big “hot button” for eating. This, of course, freaked him out a little, although he was keeping it in check. I have to stay calm for him which usually means chocolate or a cookie to calm my nerves. This time I made a cup of tea for both of us. It actually worked!
He felt fine the rest of the day and night. The fact that he had just had a regular check up with his cardiologist the day before, helped to keep both of us calm. Learning not to “freak” out with every little ache or pain is hard to do. It takes a huge toll to be mentally tough all the time. That is why I would usually “soothe” myself with food. It’s hard to diet and exercise when you are mentally and emotionally exhausted. We were both very happy with the way we handled the situation and that it appeared to be nothing. (Big sigh of relief) Little “wins” like that help to keep me motivated and feel good about my progress. What is working for you?
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Carrot Orzo Risotto
- ½ medium onion cut into thirds
- 6 oz peeled carrots
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tbsp light stick butter such as Land O Lakes Light Butter Salted or regular butter
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup orzo if you can find whole wheat, use that
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped green onion
- 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp lemon zest
Place onion, carrots and garlic in food processor and pulse on and off until carrots are finely chopped.
Melt butter and olive oil in large non-stick saucepan over medium heat.
Add the carrot mixture and cook stirring occasionally for 1 minute.
Add the orzo and cook until orzo is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add water and broth to saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Stir frequently. This will take about 15-20 minutes.
Take off the heat and add the remaining ingredients.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serving size about 1/2 cup
I calculated 5 Weight Watcher Smartpoints.
Adapted from Bon Appetit Happy Healthy Eating,
But wait, there’s more. Check out these healthy side dishes: