Quick, healthy and simple vegetarian food has made up about 90% of my cooking for some time now. As much as I love baking, I’ve recently found the challenge of producing nutritious and speedy weeknight meals to be much more enjoyable. It’s low stress (depending on the day) and very satisfying, and it allows me to stretch my creative brain on a daily basis.
When my husband became vegetarian we both tried really hard to include plenty of vegetables in our diets, not too much over-processed faux meat. We found ourselves indulging in carbs and cheese a bit too much in the early days, but 5 years on, we’ve got a good repertoire of vegetarian meals. Sure, there are some days where we pull veggie sausages out of the freezer or order a takeaway, but mainly we manage to eat well. Plus, when you live in a village the takeaway options are grim.
This tomato orzo is one of my favourites at the moment. It’s much like a risotto, but quicker to prepare. After being served way too many uninspiring mushroom risottos in various restaurants, my husband isn’t too keen on it. This recipe allows me to fix my craving for risotto without upsetting him!
It comes together in under 20 minutes, giving you time to make a bit of pesto or just potter around the kitchen (look at Instagram). The starchy orzo has a tendency to stick so you need to stir it fairly often, but other than that, it’s super simple. Here I served it with pesto and veggie parmesan, but we’ve also recently had it with a roasted aubergine.
- olive oil
- ½ white onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 250g orzo
- 1 x 400g tin of tinned plum tomatoes, blended - or passata
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 75g vegetarian parmesan
- single cream (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large, wide frying pan
- Saute the onion for 2 minutes and then add the garlic, fry for 30 seconds.
- Add in the orzo and stir fry for a minute until the pasta is coated in the onion
- Pour in the tomatoes, herbs and chilli
- Bring to the boil, stirring regularly, then turn down to a low-medium heat
- Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the orzo is soft, making sure you stir regularly to stop it from catching. A spatula is good here to remove the orzo from the bottom
- Add in a handful of parmesan and the single cream if using, stir to combine
- Serve with the rest of the parmesan, roasted vegetables or pesto.