Monday, August 11, 2008

Athenian Shrimp & Orzo

As much as I love sweets, I try to be on average, a healthy grocery shopper. I usually select whole grain over white breads, and will pick reduced fat items when I know it won't compromise taste. In general, here's my thoughts: fat free salad dressing = quasi-edible; fat free cheese = gummy, scary mess; nonfat yogurt = yummy.

A few weeks ago, I purchased a tub of vanilla yogurt that blatantly advertised that it was "FAT FREE." After making his daily breakfast combo of yogurt, granola and fruit, hubby proclaimed that fat free yogurt was "gross. thin. unflavorful." mmm, kay. I tried to point out that his anti-fat free product aversion was most likely a creation of his head, but I was only met with a frown.

Fast forward to what's probably our 4th grocery shopping trip of the week (obviously not always the best of planners). We cruise by the dairy aisle and hubby mentions that Light 'n Fit has always been his favorite yogurt brand and tosses a few in the cart.

My response: "Really? I also love Light 'n Fit because it's fat free!"

He refused to believe me until this morning when he opened the refrigerator, groaned as he checked the yogurt label and saw with his own eyes a big fat zero next to grams of fat. He didn't say anything else 'bout it. It's all in your head, my love.

What does Athenian Shrimp and Orzo have to do with yogurt? Well, not much except that this dish is also healthy and low in fat. Though being low fat typically counts as a virtue, its sometimes best to keep those facts a secret from the ones you love. So, for all of you turned off by low fat meals, pretend I never told you.

Today's dish comes from Eating Well and is advertised as a heart healthy, high in calcium, high in potassium and low in fat meal. Because we still have no baking dishes, I skipped the baking, kept the house relatively cool and cooked everything on the stove. Low fat or not, we both loved this dish!

Check out Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this week by the fabulous Ruth of Once Upon a Feast.

Athenian Orzo and Shrimp
Source: Eating Well
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 tablespoon drained capers
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 pound medium shrimp (30-40 per pound), peeled and deveined
1 cup orzo
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450°F Coat a 9-by-13-inch (or other 3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. (or skip the baking if your house is too hot already and cook entirely on the stove).
Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil.
2. Heat oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add wine and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley, capers, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper; cook for 5 minutes. Drop in shrimp and cook, stirring, until barely pink, about 2 1/2 minutes.
3. Cook orzo in the boiling water until tender but still firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Toss with the tomato-shrimp sauce. Sprinkle with feta and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley. If not baking, simply toss in the orzo to the shrimp mixture. Add feta and parsley and serve.
4. Bake, uncovered, until the feta is bubbly, about 10 minutes.


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

LOOOVE orzo!

La Bella Cooks said...

Another delicious orzo dish! I love all the flavors in this one.

Aggie said...

I have to agree with your thoughts on healthy eating!

This really looks good, I love everything in it. I will be making this very soon!!

Unknown said...

i love full fat version of anything

but sometimes my head will tell me that i cant afford to always indulge, so i'll opt for healthier version

olive oil for butter
grains vs white
veggie vs more meat
1 sugar vs 2 sugar

i hv this paranoia abt fat free products being high i don't buy "fat free" or "no cholesterol" most of the time

and you are right, fat free cheese = rubbish. and low fat milk doesn't taste like milk ^_^

Sophie said...

What a pretty photo! :) This sounds so full of flavor, and the fact that it's healthy is just the cherry on top!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Oooh! I love the combo og shrimp and orzo.

tigerfish said...

I do not like anything which is totally fat-free. Either another wicked substitute has been used or it will just be totally yucky!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Men can be funny sometimes with their low fat aversion!I only eat non fat iogurts and milk and it doesn't bother me at all.
Your shrimp and orzo looks delicious, low fat or not!

grace said...

i totally agree with your thoughts, especially the cheese issue--fat free cheese is downright offensive. :)
this is an awesome dish, especially since you were able to do everything on the stovetop! :)

Jenny said...

This looks so scrumptious! Great recipe and it's even healthy too! Thanks girl!

Maria said...

I just got married and it is fun cooking for two! We too try to eat healthy, minus all the treats I make:)
This dish looks great. I will have to try it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I usually sneak whole grain and reduced fat products into my husband and just don't say anything - most of the time, he does notice though. :(

This looks delicious and healthy! I definitely agree that fat-free cheese is not tolerable.

That Girl said...

I have the same thoughts as you on full fat v. fat free - but the yogurt debate in my household revolves around "light" yogurt. Fat free we can do, but the low calorie gets a raised eyebrow and pursed lip from my husband.

Sharon said...

veggiegirl - me too! It's been a relatively new addition in our house and I'm not sure what I was waiting for all these years :)

Bridgett - the flavors are tasty. I'd use some fresh basil next time!

aggie - let me know how it turns out!

rita - I agree that a lot of reduced fat & fat free items just hike up things like sugar to compensate on taste. Strangely enough, I prefer baked potato chips over fried ones!

sophie - I agree. Healthy & tasty is the best it can get! Oh, wait except for tasty but not healthy desserts ;)

lisa - Orzo doesn't overpower the shrimp like some pasta dishes. I'd prefer to get full off of the shrimp, not the pasta!

tigerfish- most fat free things also scare me, but I love fat free yogurt.

clumbsy cookie - he also has a reduced fat feta aversion. I used full fat this time though he couldn't tell the difference from the last when I used low fat!

grace - since your roundup, I've been making a conscious effort not to turn on the oven. It's just dreadful when i do but I never learn

jenny - thanks!

maria - we're the same way. I try to eat healthy, but when it comes to dessert, that's a whole other ballgame...

carmen - adding whole grain to our diets is another thing we're working on.

thatgirl - maybe its just me, but I like all yogurt - full of fat, low fat, low sugar... :)

Sarah said...

YUM!!! Shrimp, orzo, tomatoes, and a little wine.

Can't get much better than that. If only NH could eat shrimp (he has a shellfish allergy :-(

I'll have to try to make a single portion for myself.

Anonymous said...

Ha! You showed him. This looks very yummy and full of flavors. I love recipes from Eating Well, they always turn out so good!

vanillasugarblog said...

I hear that! My hubby eats tofu and has noooooo idea. He thnks it's his usual sausage, but nope its tofu. I won't ever tell. hee hee
Anywho, this dish looks terrific; I love anything with feta.

daphne said...

the fat free comment is hilarious! I love my low fat yogurt and wouldnt exchange it for full fat!

Emily said...

Yum. I love orzo.

I get some satisfaction from you proving your husband wrong.
I'll have to try that yogurt. I used to like peach yogurt a lot.

Anonymous said...

Back YEARS ago, I tried the fat free craze and tried eating fat free cheese....UGH! I would much rather eat a thin slice of the really good, fattening than a box of the healthy/fake/soy cheese!
But I have tried the light n fit and it's REALLY GOOD!
Thanks for this healthy recipe, it looks totally satisfying and guilt-free.

Mama Mia said...

I never make Orzo at home! I should! THis looks yummo~

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

I have never made orzo at home but the combination of it with the shrimp and feta is too much to not try!!

Mo said...

Around here we eat relatively healthy so we CAN have dessert. :)

This shrimp and orzo dish looks like a winner. i can't wait to try it!

Ruth Daniels said...

See...who says eating healthful dishes has to be tasteless. Great post, great dish...thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

test it comm said...

That shrimp orzo looks really tasty!

MrOrph said...

I think I'm with your husband on this one.

Fat free = taste free.

Maybe it is in my head, who knows?

Isn't orzo a reallyu versatile pasta? Gotta luv it!

Meandering Eats said...

The orzo is gorgeous! D. has a ton of mental hangups about food, so it's always fun to tease him about it. ;) It's also always met with a frown. He feels the same way your hubs does about many fat-free items, most notably cream cheese. No changing his mind about it, though.

Elle said...

I love dishes like this! Well, I guess anything with shrimp is great in my book, hehe. Beautiful!

And chuckling about the "all in your head" thing. :)