The Diet Detective: 6 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Squash-Studded Orzo

Healthy recipe by: Jackie Newgent, R.D., culinary nutritionist, author of Big Green Cookbook and healthy cooking instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education
 
(Makes 6 servings)
 
Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup whole-wheat orzo
1/3 cup freshly grated organic or locally produced asiago cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground or grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
 
1. Heat the oil in a large stick-resistant skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saut? until soft, about five minutes. Add the garlic and saut? until fragrant, about one minute. Add the butternut squash and stir to coat. Add 3/4 cup of the broth and cover.

2. Simmer until the squash is only slightly firm, about six minutes. Turn off the heat and let lid cook (cook covered while the burner is off) until the squash is just tender and liquid is nearly absorbed, about five minutes. Immediately transfer the squash mixture along with any remaining liquid to a large serving bowl.
 
3. Meanwhile, stir the orzo and the remaining broth together in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and turn off the heat. Allow to lid cook until the orzo is al dente, about seven minutes. Drain well, reserving the cooking broth for another purpose.
 
4. Transfer the orzo to the serving bowl with the squash mixture. Stir in the cheese (if using), sage, cayenne and nutmeg. Add the salt and black pepper. Adjust seasoning. Serve while warm.
 
Nutritional Information (1 1/2 cups)

  • 190 calories
  • 5 g total fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fat)
  • 10 mg cholesterol
  • 490 mg sodium
  • 34 g carbohydrate
  • 7 g dietary fiber
  • 5 g protein

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