Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Asparagus, Bacon and Cheese Orzo

Sometimes I have no time to cook. Okay, usually I have no time to cook. There are a lot of things going on around here that need my attention! The chemicals need to be mixed together in flasks. The Amazing Race needs to be watched, otherwise Phil will be sad. No one else is using the brand new fitness equipment in my building, so I just have to break them in. These are all very important things that must be done, and cooking sometimes falls by the wayside.



Sure, you’re looking at the posts thinking “but you must eat like a queen! Look at all these tasty dishes!” Most of these dishes are prepared between eleven and five on Sunday. After I’ve had time to break in those treadmills and before the sun sets. This is the only time of the week that my kitchen sees action. I prepare all my food for the week in six hours. I'm a multitasking machine.  It’s fantastically fulfilling. You finish cooking and baking and you are left with a fridge full of prepared meals. It’s like I’m running my own nutrisystem center, except my food tastes like food.


However, every once and a while, I make it home before eight o’clock, there are the necessary ingredients in the fridge and I worked out in the morning. On these days, I actually cook dinner. I’m not talking a five course meal, I’m talking pasta. Simple asparagus and orzo pasta. You cook the bacon in the same pot that you make the orzo. This whole dish can be finished in twenty minutes. That way you can sit down in front of your DVR and catch up on what Phil has been up to.


Asparagus, Bacon and Cheese Orzo

This meal is super simple, you probably already have half of the ingredients in your house.  Be sure to allow the orzo to cook for a few minutes in the bacon grease/butter.  This will give the whole dish a little extra flavor, plus it's super healthy...

1 bunch asparagus, cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
4 oz bacon
1 tbsp butter
1 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 ¼ cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 ¼ cup water
¼ cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp fresh basil
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
4 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

In a medium pot, cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon and add butter. Once melted, add orzo and heat for about 3 minutes, constantly stirring. Add stock and water and bring to a boil. Orzo is done once all of the liquid is absorbed.

While pasta is cooking, bring a large bowl of water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook for 5-7 minutes, until tender crisp. Drain asparagus and run under cool water for a minute.

Once orzo is done, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve with some garlic toast. You’ve just made dinner in 20 minutes.
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