Monday, October 25, 2010

The Return of Meal Mondays is Here!! :) ~Orzo and Vegetable Pie~

About a year ago or so, I came across a really great healthy cooking cookbook that I absolutely love! I have tried several of the recipes and each time, I've been so pleased with the outcome. One of these great recipes is Orzo and Vegetable Pie, which is actually a vegetarian recipe. The only change I have made to it is instead of adding the mushrooms it calls for (not everyone in our family likes mushrooms!), I add a can of kidney beans instead. They add a great flavor and also some needed protein.

For some, this recipe may seem a little scary. ;) My mom, for example, doesn't usually care for zucchini. However, she loves this! So, I would encourage y'all to at least give this recipe a try; you may be surprised by how scrumptious it is! :)

Orzo and Vegetable Pie

2 medium-large zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4in. thick (about 2 1/2 cups)

1 1/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (like I said above, we do a can of light red kidney beans; feel free to experiment with different kinds of beans, if you would like!)

1 cup diced plum tomatoes (about 3 medium)  ~This last time I made it, I just did a can of diced tomatoes instead!~

1 t crushed fresh garlic (or dried minced is fine, too!)

1 t dried Italian seasoning (or more if you'd like even more flavor! ;)  )

1/8 t ground black pepper

2 T grated Parmesan cheese

nonstick cooking spray (we use the olive oil kind)

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


8 oz. orzo pasta (about 1 cup) ~Orzo is a pasta that is similar to rice and can be found along with the other pastas at your local grocery store~

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg


 1. To make the crust, cook the orzo al dente according to package directions. Drain well (this is important, or else the crust will not set up well), and return to the pot. Add the Parmesan cheese and egg, and stir to mix well.

2. Coat a 9-in. deep dish pie pan with nonstick cooking spray, and place the orzo mixture in the pan. Using the back of a spoon, pat the mixture over the bottom and sides of the pan, forming an even crust. Set aside.

3. Coat a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray, and preheat over medium heat. Add the zucchini, mushrooms (or beans!), tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, and pepper, and stir to mix. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes, or until the zucchini is crisp-tender and the tomatoes are soft. Remove the cover, and cook for 3 additional minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

4. Spread the vegetable mixture evenly over the bottom of the crust, and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Spray the exposed edges of the crust lightly with the cooking spray.

5. Bake uncovered at 400 F. (adjust to your oven, if needed) for 15 min., or until the dish is heated through and the top is lightly browned. Spread the mozzarella evenly over the vegetables, and bake for 5 additional minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

6.Remove the dish from the oven, and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving. And last but not least, enjoy! :)

Yield: 6 servings

This serves as a great dish for lunch. Just pair with a nice salad or fresh bread or both! :)


  1. That looks yummy! :-) I'm vegan but could probably make something similar using vegan substitutes. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Hi, Maya'lee! :) Yeah, you probably could! In fact, the recipe itself called for 1/4 cup of egg substitute, which is the equivalent of 1 egg. Hope you like it!

    Thanks for the note,

  3. Yum! Maybe we can try this this week yet!

  4. I don't do much vegetarian cooking, but I'm going to have to try this. I love zucchini & Italian style food.


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