Recipe of the Week: Ricotta and Orzo Stuffed Tomatoes

 I know I’ve mentioned my love of Pinterest.. but it so happens that not only do I like to pin workout and motivation stuff.. I also like to pin food. In fact, most of my feed is food. I sort out some of the healthier options and categorize them according to food or meal type.

On Fridays, my husband and I usually do our shopping for the week. I like to browse my Pinterest selections for good main or side dishes that I want to try. I love cooking and trying new recipes. I usually make something new every week, but sometimes I do fall back on some old favorites. I usually cook on Sunday’s.. sometimes on Saturdays. I don’t have much time to cook during the week, so whatever I make on the weekend, I double or triple the recipe so that we have lots of leftovers. Last weekend, I made ricotta and orzo stuffed tomatoes from Diethood.com.

The link on the picture caption will take you to the recipe. I decided to make these because it was the perfect weekend for cookouts. Saturday I took them to my mom’s as she and her boyfriend were cooking up burgers on the grill. I also had some for Father’s day when we invited my dad over for a little cookout of our own. These make the perfect portable side dish. I also love how the pasta filling fits neatly into the tomato.. so that you can only eat so much (portion control!)

First I hollowed out the tomatoes. I bought 8 of them, which looked really crazy in the grocery store! The tomatoes I bought were beefsteak, and I got them a little firm so that they would hold their shape. I carved out the middle with a small knife, and then used a spoon to hollow it out more. Then I took a little salt and sprinkled it in each one, and put them face down on a baking sheet. I’m guessing this was to draw some juice out.

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Hollowed out tomatoes

While I was hollowing out the tomatoes, I had the orzo cooking. I only needed a cup of it, which is nice. It made plenty for the filling, believe me. The recipe calls for the orzo to be cooked for 5 minutes, but I thought that was a little short. I think mine ended up cooking for 10 minutes. It was not fully done and had a little crunch to it, but I imagine that was the intention, considering the recipe called for less cooking time.

I mixed all the other ingredients in a bowl: I used part skim (reduced fat) ricotta cheese, fresh parsley that I grew, dried oregano, lemon juice (from a bottle, I didn’t buy a lemon), olive oil, baby spinach (the recipe calls for green pepper, but my mom hates them, so I used spinach instead), and garlic. The garlic I had was fresh and I used a press to mince it. Warning though.. do not use too much garlic. I love the stuff and I added 4 cloves instead of 3. Garlic. Overload. I might try it again, only cooking the garlic a little bit also, because the raw garlic left a very sharp spicy aftertaste that I wish was a little more muted.

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mixing the filling ingredients

After the ingredients were mixed, I threw in the orzo.

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mixing in the orzo

After everything was combined, I stuffed the tomatoes

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mmm…

There was no other cooking with this recipe. I loved the fresh combination or the pasta mix and the crisp tomato. It goes great with chicken or a burger, or any other cookout foot. A great summer side dish. For those who are nutrition savvy, below is my version’s nutritional info. Also, if you are doing Weight Watchers, this item is 6 points.

calculated by Sparkpeople.com, serving is 1 tomato.

Calculated by Sparkpeople.com, serving is 1 tomato.

Note that I am in no way taking credit for this recipe, nor claiming that I created it. This post is simply to share my experience and review of the original recipe found on Diethood.com. For a link to the recipe, click HERE.

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