Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Spanish Orzo with Olives

Spanish Orzo with OlivesI have a love/hate relationship with Spanish rice. I love the idea of it, but at most restaurants it's too bland for me and the rice rarely seems to be done right. Even when I made it at home and I can add all the spice in the world, there's something about it that is just boring to me.

Recently, we were having some of our cousins over and I was doing Mexican because there were 6 adults and 10 children. In my experience, Mexican or pizzas are the best way to please that many children! I was getting ready to make Spanish rice and I realized I didn't have any rice. I was going back and forth about if I should even make it or not since after all, it is Spanish Rice ... blah blah blah ... but then I came across a box of tricolored orzo pasta. Could there be a better substitute for rice?! Okay, I'll keep making it!

As I started prepping, I remembered a Spanish Rice recipe that I have made in the past with Spanish olives. Now, the wheels were really turning!

It was a successful day in the PractiGanic kitchen. My new recipe not only worked out and was enjoyed by all (even me), but it was also made in one pot which cuts down on my pre-party dishes!

Spanish Orzo with Olives

Makes 6 cups

1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz orzo pasta**
2 c veggie broth
1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can green chiles, drained
Juice of 1 lemon
2 T tomato paste
1 t oregano
3/4 t salt
3/4 t pepper
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1/2 c black olives, sliced
1/2 c Spanish olives, sliced

**I do realize that orzo pasta is not a great rice substitute for all my gluten free friends out there. If you want it gluten free, use 1 1/2 cups of quinoa and up the veggie broth to 2 1/2 cups.

In a pot, sauté your onion and garlic in a little olive oil. After about 5 minutes it will become translucent. Add pasta, broth, tomatoes, chiles, lemon juice, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients together. Keep on medium heat and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 8-10 minutes. There shouldn't be any extra liquid in the pot. Remove from heat and add in cilantro, black olives and green olives. Enjoy!

Spanish Orzo with Olives

Since I made this for a party, I wanted to make it ahead of time. I prepared it during nap time and stored it in the refrigerator in the pot I cooked it in. About 10 minutes before we ate, I returned the pot to the stove, added 1/4 cup of water so it wouldn't be to dry heating it up again and mixed it until it was warm.

Spanish Orzo with Olives

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