Does January make you want to lighten up? And by lighten up, I mean your body, of course, but also your food since the two are certainly related. I’m in the mood to lighten up. Let’s do it together!
A year ago I decided to stop eating meat, and it was for a lot of reasons but health was one of them. And I do feel better now than I did before, both physically and mentally. However, when you stop eating meat for health reasons, it’s helpful to remember that there’s no meat in carbs. Or soda. Or ice cream. Damn. This is harder than I thought.
Of course, with the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day coming up, I’ll be a cheater cheater pumpkin and chocolate eater, but every little bit counts, right?
Orzo, Cranberry, and Apple Salad
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups orzo
4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 medium green apple, diced
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (I have also used red wine vinegar and it still tasted good)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
For the couscous: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the orzo and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly browned and aromatic, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to12 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the cooked orzo to a large bowl and set aside to cool. Add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, apple, dried cranberries, and almonds.
For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Pour the vinaigrette over the orzo and toss to coat evenly.
I let it sit for awhile until the vinaigrette has soaked in and everything is room temperature before serving. Let those flavors marinate!
Source: Adapted slightly from Giada De Laurentis