I attended a birthday dinner that included both kids and adults. Many adults were counting calories, or on a healthy eating plan. I wasn’t sure what food dish to bring with such a mixed crowd. This orzo vegetable medley seemed to fit the bill. It is healthy and has enough cheese to make little peeps happy. One serving is a mere 159 calories. Add chopped chicken and you’re still under 200 calories.
I had no recipe to follow. It’s what I call a “seek and find” dish. Seek out ingredients you have on hand and find a way to use them. The dish received rave reviews from the party-goers. The apples give a hint of sweetness to the vegetable medley.
- 3/4 cup cooked orzo (it will make about 1 3/4 cups once cooked)
- 1 can low fat cream of chicken soup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup 2% milk, or skim milk
- 2 tablespoons diced onion
- 1 1/2 medium size apples, roughly chopped
- 2 cups broccoli, chopped
- 1 cup snow peas, chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise and chopped
- 4 ounces reduced fat Velvetta cheese
- 1/4 cup low fat cheddar cheese, shredded
Spray a 9 x 11 inch baking dish with non-sticking cooking spray. Add broccoli, pea pods, onion and zucchini to pan.
In a medium size sauce pan add soup, milk and water. Blend until smooth. Incorporate the cooked orzo and reduced-fat Velvetta cheese. Heat on stove top until cheese in melted. Remove from heat.
Pour the soup mixture over the vegetables. Using a spoon, gently coat all the veggies. Evenly distribute the apples on the top and finish off the dish by sprinkling the cheddar cheese over apples.
Baked in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Best served warm, but leftover portions can be reheated in microwave. Makes 10 side dish portions. In the neighborhood of 159 calories per serving. If you add canned chicken breast meat, you add 20 additional calories. A six-ounce boneless chicken breast (cooked and chopped) adds 25 calories to each serving.
Cream of mushroom soup can be substituted for cream of chicken.
For an “all-in-one” dinner, add pre-cooked chicken pieces to top of medley once removed from oven.