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Healthy Recipe: Roasted Veggie Orzo

Roasted vegetable orzo is a tasty alternative to the traditional holiday starchy dishes to bring variety over the festive season. This recipe features an array of smoky roasted veggies and toasty whole-wheat orzo. It is great served warm or at room temperature and easy to prepare ahead of time. 

This dish is a great way to bring a broad selection of vegetables to the meal. Roasting the broccoli and cauliflower in a hot oven caramelizes them and gives them a great texture. Butternut squash, zucchini, eggplant or any of your other favorite seasonal vegetables can be substituted. Preserved lemons in the vinaigrette adds a wonderful citrusy brightness to the pasta dish. Don’t worry if you are unable to find preserved lemons it can be omitted or replaced with lemon zest. 

We recommend you make a double recipe of the vinaigrette. This homemade vinaigrette saves for up to a week, making it easy to prepare a fresh salad anytime. 

INGREDIENTS: 

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 small cauliflower head, broken into florets

1 small broccoli head, broken into florets 

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup of cherry tomatoes, slides in half 

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoons kosher salt 

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 lb (453 g) package whole wheat orzo pasta

Vinaigrette (makes ½  cup or 10 servings)

1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar

4 teaspoons cup fresh lemon juice

⅔  teaspoons honey

⅔  teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼  a preserved lemon, pith removed and masarated 

INSTRUCTIONS: 

Preheat the oven to 425˚F (220℃). Chop the vegetables and place them in a large mixing bowl. Toss them with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on a large baking sheet in an even layer. Roast the veggies for 35 to 40 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown. Check them halfway and carefully shake the pan to toss the vegetables. 

While the vegetables are roasting, make the vinaigrette at the bottom of a large salad bowl by whisking the ingredients together. 

Meanwhile, bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil. Cook the orzo according to package instructions. Drain and add directly to the salad bowl with the vinaigrette. Toss to combine. Tossing the pasta in the dressing while hot is essential to absorbing the flavors. 

When the roast vegetables are finished, let them cool for a few minutes before carefully adding them to the orzo and tossing to combine. 

Makes 10 servings. 

NUTRITION FACTS (PER SERVING): 

Calories 320 KCal

Protein 9 g

Total fat 16 g

Saturated fat 2.5 g

Cholesterol 0 mg

Carbs 36 g

Fiber 5 g

Total sugars 4 g

Added sugars 0 g

Sodium 470 mg

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