This is one of my “Oh my gosh it’s 5PM and I don’t know what to make for dinner” meals. It’s simple, easy and from start to finish takes about 20 minutes. I usually keep some shrimp in the freezer for moments like this, but if you have the chance to grab them fresh, even better. My mom cooks with shells on, I’m a shells off gal (Q prefers the mess-free kind of shrimp), but either one works. The nice part about this recipe is that it is a one pot wonder. You cook the orzo, then add the shrimp to the same pot, easy peezy!
This recipe makes enough for about 6 portions, so Q and I have it for dinner, and then usually lunch for the next two days. The only thing I do is add the avocado each day, so for dinner I add it directly to our plates and do the same for lunch, otherwise it tends to get a little mushy and brown. Feel free to add/remove anything you like to the mix! I’m an artichoke gal, so I load them up. I think olives would work, or eating it alongside some hummus and pita!
Greek Shrimp and Orzo Salad
Makes 6 servings
- 8 ounces dried orzo pasta (about half a box, eyeballing works)
- 1 1/4 pounds raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
- 1 cup peeled and roughly chopped cucumber
- 1 cup quartered artichoke hearts
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/8 cup chopped fresh dill (a few pinches work for us)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Fill a large pot with water and a pinch or two of salt and bring to a boil.
- Cook the orzo according to package directions until al dente, about 8 minutes.
- At 8 minutes, add the shrimp to the boiling water to allow it to cook with the pasta for about 2 minutes or until all the shrimp are curled and pink.
- When the shrimp and orzo are cooked, drain thoroughly and return to the cooking pot.
- Drizzle the pasta and shrimp with the lemon juice and olive oil and toss to coat.
- Add the onion, tomatoes, cucumber, artichoke hearts, parsley and dill to the pot and stir to combine.
- Season with the salt and pepper. Add the feta.
- Serve either warm or cold (if cold, pop it into the fridge for a few hours).
Adapted from Chefmom
You guys all know about my love affair with avocados by now, right? You may also know about my love for Gaby, a fabulous chef, blogger and now cookbook writer! Gaby and I worked together for a year, became best buds and basically spent every day talking about food. And now she has written a new book about my favorite ingredient ever, Absolutely Avocados.
I am not only obsessed with this book because it’s Gaby’s or because every recipe involves ‘cados, but because every recipe is easy to make, delicious and filled with Gaby’s fun tips. Meat-lover Q flipped through the book and was immediately set on trying these Cheese-Bellied Guac Burgers and so we tried it!
Five minutes to prep, eight minutes to make, seriously the easiest and most delicious turkey burgers ever. Gaby is such a skilled chef and recipe builder and I knew she wouldn’t lead us astray. These burgers were phenomenal, as is everything else in this book!
Cheese-Bellied Guacamole Turkey Burgers
- 1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt (I used 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon salt)
- 4 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (we used mixed Mexican cheese)
- 4 hamburger buns, sliced
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 cup Bacon Cojita Guacamole (or guacamole of choice)
- Prepare a gas or charcoal grill. For those of you without an outdoor grill, we used a Cuisinart Griddler and it worked perfectly.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes, and garlic salt. Mix together with your hands until the spices are evenly incorporated. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions.
- Take 1 portion of the ground turkey and form it into a large disk. Add 1 ounce of the of the shredded cheese in the center of the turkey disk. Form the patty into a ball to enclose the cheese and then form the turkey into a patty that is roughly 4 inches wide and 1 inch thick. Repeat this process for the remaining turkey and transfer the 4 patties to a plate.
- Brush the hot grill with olive oil.
- Transfer each turkey burger to the grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the burgers and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes, until fully cooked. Remove the patties from the grill and transfer to a clean plate.
- Brush the hamburger buns with the olive oil and transfer to the grill for 1 minute, until they are just toasted (a toaster oven works well also).
- Put 1 burger patty on the bottom layer of each bun. Top with 1/4 cup of more of the guacamole and top with the remaining bun. Serve immediately.
- 3 Hass avocados
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese, plus more if desired
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped serrano chile pepper
- Juice of 1 lime
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 strips cooked bacon, chopped into bite-size pieces
- Cut each avocado in half lengthwise. Remove the pit from the avocado and discard. Remove the avocado from the skin, and place the avocado flesh in a bowl.
- Add the cilantro, cojita cheese, serrano pepper, lime juice, salt and pepper to the bowl. Mash with a fork until half smooth and half chunky. Fold in half of the bacon. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired. Garnish the guacamole with the remaining bacon, and add more cotija cheese it desired.
Recipes from Absolutely Avocados
I made this for dinner a few weeks ago, posted a photo on my Instagram and got a HUGE response that the recipe was needed right away! One friend even called this meal the “United Nations of Food” because of the mix of different countries represented (Turkey, Israel, Greece). I found this hilarious and very fitting.
This dish sounds complicated with its many components, but is a pretty simple recipe. It does call for a lot of pots, bowls and a little prep work, so it’s not the quickest weeknight meal. Q told me recently that I use more bowls and pans to cook one meal than anyone else he knows. I said “I just like to keep everything separate and be super prepared.” Truth. I prepped my spices in a little bowl, mixed my yogurt sauce in one, made my meatballs in another, combined my cous cous in yet another bowl and on the stovetop I had 2 pans and 1 pot going. I think the only reason he cared is because we have a rule in our house that when one person cooks dinner, the other does the dishes. This was his night to do the dishes. Jokes on him!
The trickiest thing I found about the recipe is timing (do your meatballs and put them in the oven before anything else. Then cook your cous cous and if you are good at multitasking then saute your veggies. If you aren’t then do them in two separate steps. Do the yogurt sauce last). Also, my skillet didn’t fit all of my meatballs at one time, so I had to do two little batches.
Turkey Feta Meatballs over Israeli Cous Cous with Greek Veggies and Herbed Yogurt Sauce
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dill
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 1/3 cups uncooked Israeli cous cous
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 yellow squash, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
- 1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts
- 1/2 teaspoon dill
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
Herbed Yogurt Sauce:
- 1/2 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup fat free sour cream
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dill
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Pinch of salt
- For the meatballs: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium in a large skillet or sauté pan.In a large bowl, use your hands to gently mix the remaining ingredients together, including the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, just until evenly distributed. Form meatballs into small, tightly packed balls (about 1 tablespoon around) and add to skillet. Turn meatballs every 3-5 minutes, until browned on all sides. (You may have to add a little additional oil as meatballs cook). Remove pan from heat and transfer to oven for additional 30 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Set aside once cooked.
- For the Cous Cous: Cook cous cous according to directions on package. While the cous cous is cooking and meatballs are in the oven, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium in a medium saute pan. Add chopped squash and zucchini. Saute for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through. In a large bowl, add sautéed zucchini, squash, remaining vegetables, and cooked cous cous. Gently mix. Add herbs, remaining tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix. Set aside.
- For the Greek Yogurt Sauce: Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- For serving: Top one cup cous cous mixture with 3-4 meatballs and cover with yogurt sauce. Serve warm.
I’m a big fan of brown rice bowls. Teriyaki chicken bowl. Brown rice sushi bowl. Crispy tofu bowl. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because throwing “bowl” at the end of something makes it sound a little fancy, but I like it.
This bowl is one of my absolute favorite new dishes. Maybe I love it because it features fresh avocados sent all the way from California (yes, my mom is the best and sends us half a dozen avocados every week from LA to Fairbanks). Or maybe because it’s so simple, yet delicious. Or maybe because from start to finish it takes less than 25 minutes. Or all of the above. This dish is simple, clean, and healthy. The flavors are Asian inspired, but not overpowering. It tastes great for dinner and even better for lunch the next day when the flavors have really soaked in. Seriously, try it!
Shrimp, Avocado and Brown Rice Bowls
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 1/2 tablespoon sake or rice wine
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
- Juice of 1 lemon, divided
- 3 cups cooked brown rice, room temperature
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leave parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Combine all dressing/marinade ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place shrimp in a medium bowl. Add ginger and half of dressing/marinade and toss lightly. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once glistening, add shrimp and marinade (only the half that was used with the shrimp, the other half gets added later). Cook for 3-4 minutes until shrimp are pink all the way through. Remove from heat.
- In a large mixing or serving bowl, lightly toss avocado with half the lemon juice. Add cooked shrimp, rice, remaining lemon juice and the other half of the marinade/dressing and toss. Add parsley and cilantro and toss lightly. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
Adapted from Women’s Health Magazine.