Tag Archives: Marine Corps Marathon

Orzo with Brie & Cauliflower

I apologize for the disappearing act (again!), but this past weekend I ran the Marine Corps Marathon!  So this week was a bit of a recovery week, and it allowed me to catch up on my social life- yes, Saturday long runs don’t allow for many crazy Friday nights!

But since I was running the marathon, the week prior I was looking for savory, carb-filled dishes.  I came across this recipe during the summer, but kept this little gem hidden until the weather allowed for it.  Yes, it’s coat weather here in DC.  This recipe satisfied us with its rich, warm taste on a chilly Wednesday night.

The orzo with Brie and cauliflower not only made us want seconds, but we wished we had made more of it!  And as many cheesy recipes, this was even better the next day.  I wish the picture came out a little better- it does look a bit color bland- but you can’t judge a book by its cover, right?

One change I did make from the original recipe was add mushroom bouillons, if you don’t have those on hand you can do this with a veggie broth (or beef).  If you would like the mushroom flavor, just sauté mushrooms and toss them into the dish when adding the cauliflower.  But that could be another recipe post!

Orzo with Brie & Cauliflower
Adapted from: Vivek’s Epicurean Adventures

1 1/2 cups orzo
6 cups of water
2 mushroom bouillons
4 tbsp thyme leaves, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 head of cauliflower, florets cut
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup of white wine (we used Pinot Grigio)
5 oz creamy Brie, chopped
1 tsp salt (depending on taste)
1 tsp pepper (depending on taste)
2 tbsp chives, minced

Heat a small non-stick pan, then add the orzo.  Toast the orzo and roast for about 3 minutes  This will give the orzo a roasted, nutty smell and taste.  Turn off the heat once the orzo is lightly browned.

Bring water, bouillon cubes and 2 tbsps of thyme leaves to a simmer in a saucepan.  Keep this liquid at a simmer until you use it all up.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan heat up 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Add the cauliflower  and sauté it for about 5 minutes or until the florets start to get golden brown.  For the last minute add the garlic and 2 tbsp of chopped thyme.  Transfer all of the ingredients to a bowl.

Add the rest of the butter and olive oil (1 tbsp of each) into the saucepan.  Add the chopped onion and sauté for about 5 minutes- the onion should become translucent.  Then add the orzo, stir the mixture for about 30 seconds.  Then add the wine, and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed.

From the broth/thyme liquid, take out 2 ladles (about 1/2 cup) and pour it into the saucepan which has the onion and orzo.  Stir it slowly until the broth has been absorbed.  Continue simmering, stirring and adding the hot broth until you have used up all of the broth.  Allow for the broth to be absorbed before adding another ladle.

Lastly, stir in the cauliflower/garlic mixture into the saucepan with orzo.  Then add the Brie pieces- keep stirring so the cheese can melt into the orzo.  Add salt and pepper to taste (we only had about 1 tsp of each- the bouillons and cheese were salty).

You can sprinkle the top with some leftover Brie pieces and chives.

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Southwest Pasta Salad

Marathon training has started, only 118 days until the Marine Corps Marathon!  Which means Saturday’s start early, and lunch becomes significant.  During the rest of the year, on the weekends, we tend to have a bigger breakfast, which then leads to a skipped lunch and early dinner…or something along the lines of that.

Since we ignore weekend lunches, I need some quick and healthy ideas.  It’s probably not a good idea to do a long run, and then fill my tummy with some greasy stuff, right?  This salad was great: easy to make, delicious to eat and nutritious.  And when you’re like me, the Mexican flavors are always welcome in my tummy.

Since it is 4th of July weekend, some of you might be picnicking- well this would be a great addition.  This can be made a day ahead and takes almost no time.  In addition, pasta salads are always liked by many.

Southwest Pasta Salad
Adapted from: Aggie’s Kitchen

1/2 box spiral pasta (or other fun shapes)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
1 15-oz can of black beans, rinsed
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Cook pasta according to directions on the box.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then add the onion and garlic.  Cook for a couple of minutes until the onion turns translucent.  Add the chili powder and dried cilantro, stir well.  Then add the red bell pepper and jalapeño.  Cook for another couple of minutes.  Finally, add the black beans- cook and stir this mixture for 3-4 minutes.

Finally, add the pasta and vegetable mixture into a bowl.  Add the tomatoes, cilantro, salt and pepper.  Toss the salad well.  You can serve it warm, or you can put it in the fridge for some time to cool it off.