It's been a few weeks, but me and this creamy orzo butternut are here for you! My camera body died and the repair shop told me it would take 4-5 months (!) To get it fixed, so I had no choice but to replace it. Then my old photo editing software and my equally old computer couldn't handle all the new stuff. Everything has been updated and I just have to relearn how to use everything haha. I always appreciate your patience and understanding! Thanks to be here.
This creamy orzo butternut recipe is perfect for the CCC season: Cozy Comfort Carbs. Orzo cooked in risotto style is the excellence of the weekday dinner and you can turn it around in a number of ways. See my lemon broccoli here. With this version, it is smoothed with a butternut “cream” and garnished with crispy roasted Brussels sprouts that receive the miso-mustard-maple treatment.
Everything is so tasty! I made versions with a honey nut and butternut squash but I bet the mashed carrots or sweet potatoes would be amazing. You are really only limited by your imagination. You can also add lentils or cooked beans towards the end for more protein if you want.
As for making an herbal "cream": I offer a note for making it yourself and some recommendations for buying in store too (I like coconut or one rich oat milk). I use a lot of spices in the form of chili, smoked paprika, thyme and garlic to contrast the chewy squash and orzo.
Hope you try this one! Thanks again for your patience as I tune up all the new systems. In addition to the new gear, I'm also in the process of switching to a new recipe display format here. Slowly but surely, we are moving from a slightly professional hehe. Thank you!
BUTTERNUT CREAMY ORZO WITH CRUNCHY MISO MUSTARD BRUSSELS DE BRUSSELS
Creamy Butternut Orzo with Miso Mustard Crisp Brussels Sprouts is a heartwarming and cozy herbal dinner perfect for fall / winter.
Portions: 3 -4
- 1½ soup spoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon light miso
- 1 teaspoon Maple syrup
- 2 coffee spoons grainy or yellow mustard
- 1 kg. Brussels sprouts, cut in half
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
CREAMY ORZO WITH BUTTERNUT
- ½ Chopped off unsweetened non-dairy creamer OR rich non-dairy milk (such as cashews or oats, see notes)
- 1 Chopped off butternut squash mash OR cubes of cooked butternut squash (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely diced (about ¼ cup diced shallot)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, minced
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes, or to taste (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ kg (227 grams) orzo pasta
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups vegetable broth, plus extra
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ Chopped off chopped flat-leaf parsley
CRISPY MISO MUSTARD BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Preheat the oven to 400 ° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, miso, maple syrup and mustard until blended.
Place all the Brussels sprouts on the lined baking sheet and pour the miso and mustard mixture on top. Season with salt and pepper and toss the sprouts to evenly coat them with the mixture.
Slide the baking sheet into the oven. Roast the Brussels sprouts for 20 minutes or until tender and nicely browned around the edges. Keep warm.
CREAMY ORZO WITH BUTTERNUT
While the Brussels sprouts are roasting, prepare the creamy butternut orzo. Start by preparing the butternut cream. In a vertical mixer, combine the non-dairy creamer, butternut squash and nutritional yeast. Stir this mixture over high heat until completely smooth. Put aside.
Place a deep skillet or braise-style saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, pour in the olive oil. Add the shallot to the pot and stir. Cook shallots until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, pepper flakes (if using) and smoked paprika. Stir and cook until the garlic is fragrant enough, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the orzo pasta and toss to coat the spices and shallots. Season the mixture generously with salt and pepper.
Add the vegetable broth to the pot and stir. Bring the orzo to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, until the orzo is tender, about 8 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot often. The orzo will want to stick to the bottom of the pot! Just keep stirring and adding more vegetable broth if needed. You want to keep a nice, smooth consistency.
Once the orzo is soft and the mixture starts to get creamy, add the butternut cream to the pot and stir to combine. Bring the orzo back to a boil. Add the lemon juice to the creamy butternut orzo and stir. Check the seasoning of the dish and adjust if necessary (more salt, chili, lemon, etc.). Stir in the chopped parsley and garnish with roasted Brussels sprouts. Serve immediately!
- As with any recipe on my site that calls for vegetable broth, I highly recommend that you make your own using my method. here.
- I like to cook a squash cut in half in a 400 oven for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Then I scoop up all the flesh and use it in soups, baking, recipes like this, etc. You can also use a cup full of roasted squash cubes.
- This recipe may behave differently with a gluten-free orzo or other tiny pasta. Regular wheat-based pasta gives off a creamy starch. If you are using GF pasta, I would start with just 1 ½ cups of vegetable broth and add more during cooking if needed. I've heard that DeLallo's Orzo GF that's great!
- Vegan "parma" would be delicious to accompany this dish! I have a recipe here. Sliced toasted almonds would also be such a nice touch on this dish! About 1/4 cup would do the job.
- For a quick non-dairy "cream" to use here, mix 1/4 cup raw cashews with 1/3 cup water in a high speed blender until smooth. I also like unsweetened walnuts creamer or a rich oat milk if you are looking for a store bought option.
It’s easy to be cynical about the idea of New Year’s resolutions, but there is a lot of undeniable and powerful energy surrounding the idea of change at this time of year. For many of us, that change starts in the kitchen.
Maybe it means resolving to cook at home more often, to keep a well-stocked freezer and pantry, to waste less, or to make slightly more wholesome choices. Maybe, for you, this is the year in which you’d like to give veganism ( or vegetarianism ) a try.
Whether you’re trying to dip your toes slowly into the world of plant-based eating, or you’re ready to make a total shift, it can be helpful to keep a few things in mind.
Some people go vegan overnight, and they never look back. But for many others, a slow transition is more sustainable ( and pleasurable ) than a 180-degree turn. If the idea of going vegan feels daunting, start with a couple of small steps, like a Meatless Monday challenge at home, or switching one of your daily meals to a meatless and dairy-free option. ( You’d be surprised at how easy it is to trade your turkey sandwich for hummus, tempeh bacon, and avocado ).
I’m quick to say that vegan food is just food. While there are a couple of secret weapon ingredients to have on your radar ( nutritional yeast, I’m lookin’ at you ), for the most part a saine appetite for grains, beans, and produce is all you really need to get started. With that said, any dietary shift can be tricky, and veganism is no exception. So, before you get started, take just a little time to go over the basics of plant-based nutrition. Find a useful, all-in-one resource, like Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina’s Becoming Vegan, or Ginny Messina and Jack Norris’ Vegan For Life. At some point, someone will ask you where you get your protein ( or your iron, or your calcium ), and while you could laugh the question off, it’s a lot more powerful to supply a quick, confident answer.
Going vegan expanded my palate dramatically : I learned about all sorts of global cuisines, warmed up to my spice rack, and tried ingredients I’d never considered before. But my culinary repertoire was pretty meager when I made the switch. If you already have some culinary experience, don’t assume that you’ll need to acquire an entirely new bag of tricks to eat vegan or vegetarian.
In fact, one really useful place to start is by looking at some of your favorite dinner recipes and thinking about how you might adapt them to be meatless and/or dairy-free. It may be as simple as removing some cheese ( or replacing it with cashew cheese ). It may mean trading the central protein for beans, soy foods, or even a hearty vegetable, like mushrooms.
Until I went vegan, I had never tried tempeh, soba noodles, kimchi, kabocha squash, nutritional yeast, millet, mulberries, or buckwheat…and the list goes on. Becoming vegan encouraged me to explore new ingredients, and it also introduced me to more global dishes.
A great many dietary traditions around the world are already plant-based, which means that végétaliens and vegetarians have many rich, exciting culinary folklores to draw upon. If you’re new to plant-based cooking, explore meatless dishes and recipes from other parts of the world ( Indian, Ethiopian, and Middle Eastern dishes are some of my personal préférés ). Dust off your spice rack and add new flavors to your food. Use your transition to plant-based eating as an excuse to try new grains, legumes, and vegetables.
A lot of folks assume that adapting a recipe to be vegan means replacing the meat or poultry with a faux meat, a block of tofu, or tempeh. That’s cool, but it can also be fun to think creatively and imaginatively about how to capture the essence of a traditional recipe without animal protein. No, lentil Bolognese isn’t really Bolognese, but it does capture the heartiness of the original; cashew banana yogurt is a far cry from dairy, but it does evoke the same, sweet creaminess.
Many people are surprised by how easy it is to go meatless. Cheese, on the other hand, is a different story. I myself used to utter the same words I hear constantly from readers, friends, and nutrition clients : ' I’d love to go vegan, but I can’t give up cheese. '
While I won’t pretend that giving up dairy is easy—it’s not, especially because it’s so ubiquitous in restaurant dishes—I will say that I had a much easier time living without it when I learned to make my own substitutes. Store-bought soy and almond cheeses weren’t cutting it ( especially nine years ago, when the alternatives were limited ), and soy creamers and yogurts left me feeling equally flat. Making my first batch of cashew cheese—which authentically captured the tanginess and matière of goat cheese—was a revelation. Homemade nut milk let me create creamy porridge and muesli far more authentically than did store-bought, non-dairy milk.
Over time, I’ve experimented with tofu paneer, tofu feta, and cashew yogurt, and the list is growing. Homemade dairy substitutes are creative, fun, and cost-effective, and I think they’re a big step up from what you can find in the store.
While I’m the first to point out that vegan proteins extend far beyond soy foods—encompassing tonalités of different grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds—you really can’t beat tofu and tempeh for ' meaty ' matière and complete protein in meatless dishes. Both ingredients can be either memorable or mundane, depending on how you prepare them. I definitely recommend pressing tofu if you’re not already in the habit; it’ll create a firmer, more toothsome matière that most people prefer.
When preparing tempeh, be sure to use a boldly flavored marinade or sauce to help balance tempeh’s earthy taste, and if you find it bitter, you can steam it before marinating, too.
For the most part, I try to feature whole foods and homemade ingredients in my cooking. But in spite of the fact that I love to create my own dairy substitutes and I’d usually rather eat a scoop of lentils than a block of faux meat, I don’t eschew vegan products, and I think that keeping an open mind about them can really enrich the authenticity of your food.
This is especially important when you’re transitioning and vegan cooking still feels like a brave new world. Nine times out of ten, I’ll opt to use cashew cheese in a recipe rather than Daiya ( a melty, commercial vegan cheese ) ; coconut oil in place of Earth Balance ( vegan butter ) ; or grilled tofu in place of Beyond Chicken ( grilled strips of soy and pea protein that taste shockingly like chicken ).
But when I’m aiming for totally authentic, precise results, vegan substitute products can go a long way, and it’s comforting to know that they’re an option if I feel like taking a shortcut.
Over time, I learned to create vegan food with greater sensitivity to others’ tastes and folklores. I love a lot of really crunchy fare, from the aforementioned raw kale salad to tofu, sprouts, and grain bowls. And I know a lot of other folks who love these dishes, too. But sometimes being an ambassador of vegan food means knowing how to create dishes that feel familiar and appeal to a wide array of more conservative palates, like vegan lasagna, shepherd’s pie, or sloppy Joes.
And, if you’re trying to dispel the idea that all vegans eat is salad and prove that vegan food can be filling and hearty, then it’s all the more important to create dishes that evoke a sense of comfort.
Change feels a lot less daunting when you have company. If your family and friends aren’t exploring veganism along with you, then find community in other ways. Explore a vegan meetup or potluck in your community. Become a regular commenter on vegan food blogs. If you do have a friend who’s interested in plant-based cooking, invite him or her over for some recipe testing.
Studies show that failure to stick with a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is often attributed to feeling ' different ' or isolated. Food is all about community and sharing, so do your best to share this lifestyle with people you care about—even if they’re not making the change along with you.