Monday, March 25, 2013

Baked Orzo with Fragrant Lamb

Baked Orzo with Fragrant Lamb 

1/2 pound orzo 
6 ounces lean ground lamb 
1 onion -- chopped 
1/4 cup chopped fennel bulb 
2 cloves garlic -- minced 
1 teaspoon dried mint 
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
1 can crushed tomatoes -- (14 oz) 
3 tablespoons tomato paste 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
3 ounces reduced fat feta cheese -- crumbled 
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese 

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 8 inch square baking dish. Set aside. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. 

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the lamb and cook, stirring to break up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned - 3-4 minutes. Remove lamb with a slotted spoon and transfer to the bowl with the orzo. 

Add the onion, fennel, garlic, mint, and oregano to the same skillet. Cook, stirring, until onion begins to soften 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and cinnamon. Cook until thickens, 6-8 minutes. 

Combine the tomato mixture with the orzo and lamb. Stir in the feta and mix well. Pour mixture into the baking pan. Sprinkle top with the parmesan. Bake until hot, 25 minutes. 

This recipe serves 6 (1-1/4 cup) 
PointsPlus™ Value = 

286 Calories; 6 g Fat; 38 g Carb; 20 g Protein; 3 g Fiber

Lamb Chops with Mushroom-Thyme Orzo

Lamb Chops with Mushroom-Thyme Orzo 

1 cup whole wheat orzo 
1 tsp grated lemon zest 
8 ounces cremini mushrooms -- sliced 
1/2 tsp salt 
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme 
8 bone-in loin lamb chops -- (2-1/2 oz) trimmed 
3/4 tsp black pepper 

Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt if desired. Drain and transfer to medium bowl; stir in lemon zest. 

Meanwhile, spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and 1/4 tsp of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are browned and all liquid is evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and thyme to orzo; toss to combine. 

Sprinkle lamb chops with remaining 1/4 tsp salt and the pepper. Spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add lamb chops and cook, turning once, until meat thermometer registers 145F, about 8 minutes. Serve lamb with orzo. 

This recipe serves 4 (2 chops with 2/3 cup orzo) 
PointsPlus™ Value = 

312 calories; 9 g fat; 25 g carb; 32 g prot; 4 g fiber. 

Note: Serve the lamb with fresh steamed green beans tossed with lemon juice and S&P to taste.

Lamb with Orzo

Lamb with Orzo 

9 Servings 
Prep: 30 min. Cook: 8 -10 hours 

1 boneless lamb shoulder roast (3 pounds) 
3 tablespoons lemon juice 
3 garlic cloves, minced 
2 teaspoons dried oregano 
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 package (16 ounces) orzo pasta 
2 packages (9 ounces each) fresh spinach, torn divided 
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese, divided 

Cut roast in half. Place in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Drizzle with lemon 
juice. Sprinkle with the garlic, oregano, lemon peel and salt. Cover 
and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat is tender. 
Cook orzo according to package directions. Remove lamb from slow cooker. Shred meat with two forks; set aside and keep warm. 
Skim fat from cooking juices if necessary; return 1 cup cooking juices to slow cooker. Add one package of spinach. Cook on high for 
5-10 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Drain orzo; add to spinach mixture. Stir in reserved meat and 1/2 cup feta cheese. 
To serve, arrange remaining fresh spinach on nine individual plates. 
Top with lamb mixture. Sprinkle each with remaining feta cheese. 

Yield: 9 servings. 
Nutrition Facts: 1 cup lamb mixture with 1/2 cup spinach equals 490 calories, 21 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 94 mg cholesterol, 291 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 32 g protein.