Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Issa Cooks: Sauteed Brussel Sprout Orzo

Following my pasta + veggie + protein format, I combined a few of my favorite ingredients to make a new dish that's quickly become one of my favorites.


6oz Orzo
1 lb Brussel Sprouts
1/2 C Marcona Almonds or Pine Nuts
4 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Tbs Butter
1 tsp Vegetable Bouillon (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil.

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan.  Heat and add in orzo.  Stir constantly for 2 minutes, or until the orzo has turned golden, and reserve the pasta in a bowl.

Julienne the brussel sprouts.  I find it easiest to cut them in half, put the flat side down and then slice vertically.

Chop the almonds. If you don't want to use a knife, pulse them in a food processor for a few seconds until the pieces are similar size to the orzo. Add nuts to sliced brussel sprouts.

When the water boils, add the vegetable bouillon and the pasta.  Cook according to directions on package.

Heat remaining 3 tbs of olive oil in the frying pan and add the brussel sprout mixture.  Keep stove on high and stir about 7 minutes until the vegetables have turned a dark shade of green.  Do not overcook or the veggies will be soggy and not crispy!  Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the orzo and reserve the pasta water.  Stir the butter into the orzo until melted.

Add the orzo slowly to the brussel sprouts and mix throughly.  Add olive oil and remaining pasta liquid to achieve a saucier consistency.  

Sprinkle with parmesan (if desired) and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Issa Cooks: Pasta with Kale and Roasted Tomatoes

Quick, healthy, cheap, and delicious, you simply can't ask for more out of a dish!  (Excuse the iPhone photos- this meal was so quick to make I didn't have time to grab my camera...)


1lb of Pasta (I used Multigrain Fusilli)
2 large tomatoes
1 Bunch of Kale
1 Can Cannelloni Beans
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic (pre-chopped is perfect)
Red Chili Flakes
Black Pepper
Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt for flavor.

Slice the tomatoes in thin rounds.  Put a thin layer of olive oil on the baking sheet and lay tomatoes flat on top.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on top to taste. Add 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic on top. Sprinkle olive oil on top and put the tray in the oven for 30 minutes.

When the water is boiling, add pasta and cook al dente from the directions on the package.

Rinse the kale and trim off the stems.  Chop the leaves into one inch segments.  Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan.  Add the kale and stir until all the leaves are covered in olive oil, add more EVOO if necessary.  Sprinkle with a tablespoon of salt.

Drain and rinse the Cannelloni beans and add them to the kale once it has turned a deep green color. Add 2 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in the beans and add a sprinkle of chili flakes, (more than a tablespoon will make the dish noticeably spicy).  Cook for three more minutes and then remove from heat before kale can get soggy.

Drain the pasta.  Add to kale and bean mixture.  Add olive oil to taste.

Remove tomatoes from oven.  Plate a single serving of pasta, layer a roasted tomato or two on top, and sprinkle with parmesan!

And that's it!  My friends were impressed, I spent under $10 on groceries, and I was full and satisfied for the rest of the night.