Thursday, June 18, 2020

One Pot Orzo with Beans and Veggies

When I find something that Emily will happily eat for lunch, I make a giant batch and freeze it for later! I tried a few variations of this recipe, but finally made a version that makes Emily grab by the handful to shove in her mouth. I freeze in these silicone trays and heat up 2 cubes for Emily's lunch. 

Recipe: One Pot Orzo with Beans and Veggies
Adapted from The Kitchn

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1/2 lb dried orzo pasta
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can beans, rinsed and drained (chickpeas, kidney, black, small red - all work well)
1 cup spinach, chopped (frozen or fresh)
Optional: 1/2-1 cup chopped cooked veggies

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Cook onion until translucent, about 10 minutes. 
Add orzo and garlic and cook for 1 minute. 

Stir in broth, tomatoes, and beans - bring to a boil. 

Cover, reduce to a simmer, and stir frequently to prevent sticking. Cook until the liquid is all absorbed and the pasta is cooked, about 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cooked veggies, if desired. 

Serve warm, or cool completely and store in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

Instant Pot Rice and Beans

We originally made this recipe to go with fajitas - adult dinner. We tried giving some to Emily for dinner the next day and we were shocked by how much she liked it. It is now part of her dinner most nights! I froze cubes of it in this silicone tray - I honestly lost track of how many cubes we got! We just microwave them for ~30 seconds. The best part is we can add a ton of veggies to mix in and Emily just keeps on eating it - she sees them but honestly doesn't care. 

Recipe: Instant Pot Rice and Beans
Adapted from: From My Bowl
Yield: ~12 servings (adult) 

1 tbsp oil
1 onion, diced
1 1/4 cups dried beans (we have used small red beans, black beans or kidney beans)
1 1/2 cups brown rice
5 cups liquid (water or broth is fine)
1 cup salsa

Turn Instant Pot onto saute and add oil. Cook onion until it starts to turn translucent. 

Add rice and beans. Pour in water/broth and stir to mix well. 
Pour the salsa on top, but do not mix! If the salsa gets on the bottom it can burn. 

Close the Instant Pot, set the valve to seal, and use manual mode to set to 28 minutes at high pressure. 
One the cook time finishes, let the Instant Pot release pressure for an additional 10 Minutes (leave the “Keep Warm” feature on).
Move the valve from Sealing to Venting to release all remaining pressure. 
Sometimes, the beans that ended up on top look a little dry. If that is the case, stir well, replace the lid, and wait another 10-15 minutes. 
Serve warm, or let cool completely and store in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

Veggie Pancakes

Here is another recipe I came up with to sneak in some veggies! They can use up any veggies you have on hand, and are perfect for little hands to hold. 
They work with fresh uncooked veggies, cooked veggies, or frozen veggies that have been thawed and squeezed dry. 

Recipe: Veggie Pancakes
Yield: 10-12 pancakes

1-1.5 cups of finely diced or riced veggies - a mini food processor works really well!
1/2 cup flour or oats or baby cereal (anything to thicken them)
2 eggs
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

Mix all ingredients well in a medium bowl. 

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. 
Scoop batter in 1-1.5 tbsp spoonfuls (this scoop works well) onto skillet/griddle, flatten until 1/4-1/2 inch thick. 

Cook 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden underneath and it isn't shiny on top. 
Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes, or until set. 
Let cool completely. 
Keep in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. I like to store between sheets of wax paper in the freezer. Reheat in the microwave for ~15 seconds.