Orzo with fresh vegetables may be the easiest side dish to make, and it’s the perfect “Mom, I’m hungry!” snack between meals.
It generally takes me a week or so after school is out to re-acclimate myself to my old life of being a stay at home Mom. By that I mean, a mom that works in the home. I did it for years and as much as I love my job, I truly miss it. I didn’t sleep in (hello…I had small children), I got an early start to my day, got the housework done, errands run, activities completed and we had our afternoons free to do as we pleased.
Now that I work outside of the home, I feel like there is so much to squeeze in on my time off that I really start to dread it a little. So a few years ago, I decided that the first week I would get “my house in order”, so to speak. Get appointments out of the way, get cleaned up and organized so that I can enjoy the time off and the days with my kids.
For me, this works. Over the years I have learned to streamline my life (a little), weeding out what I do and don’t need, how and what I need to spend my time doing, and keeping a healthy circle of friends and support around me. Not to intentionally try to sound shallow, but I have a little mental list of :
Things That NO Longer Matter
This list that runs in my head all of the time. The list includes:
- Keeping my house perfectly tidy at all times. I CAN have a few dirty dishes in the sink when I go to bed.
- My kids CAN pick out their own clothes, even if they look ridiculous.
- I need to stop worrying if I have upset someone before I take in to account how they make me feel, stop OVER apologizing, etc.
Bottom line is, I have had to let a lot of things go, forever. I am a much happier person for it. Every once in a while, you have to trim the branches of your tree. Meaning, if something is causing you great stress and/or anxiety then…SNIP!
Back to the orzo with fresh vegetables…
One thing I had to get accustomed to again this week is the feeling that my kids are ALWAYS hungry. No sooner than I clean up breakfast, I am hearing their stomachs growling for lunch. Sometimes we eat before my oldest son’s 7:30 AM swim practice, so we eat an early lunch and sometimes we just have a big, late breakfast. Ah, the glory of having no set schedule. Eat when you want!
So this orzo with fresh vegetables, lemon, and feta is something that I can make them. It gets their veggies in, PLUS I like it, too! I make a lot of omelets for the Boys (I don’t eat eggs) so it is a double bonus when I can make a lunch I can get 2 days out of. And I would actually serve this to guests that come over for a play date!
Cook orzo in a large pot according to package directions. What I do is add the orzo, add the can of vegetable broth then add a little water just to the top of the orzo. Boil for 6 minutes, then in the last 3 minutes of cook time, add the vegetables that you have cut up.
When orzo is done, remove from heat and add to a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, add the juice, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Allow to cool for a few minutes then add the feta. I like to serve this at room temperature with a dish of fruit (which is what we did today).
I am on a quest to purge the Boys’ desires to have meat with every meal. I would say, on the whole, we consume less meat than even the average family. What we DO eat comes from local producers 80% of the time, so I can KNOW where it slept, lived and what it was fed. There are SO many producers in my area, it isn’t hard to find a good one. I think it is attainable to make small changes for big outcomes.
Like eggs, I cook a lot of meat, but I don’t always eat it. It is not just a humane choice, but also for me, a choice about my health. I can’t control what my kids are fed when they are not with me, I can only hope those that know me and can respect how I feed my kids. ????
Let me say though, that I do eat some meat. Not much, but some. I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite here. I had to make BIG health changes over the last year and a half, so drastically cutting back my animal proteins was one of them. It is not as expensive as you may think and there are a lot of really good products sold at my local groceries (Hampton’s Market, for example).
Another healthy snack between meals is hummus. CLICK HERE for recipes showing ways to use hummus as a snack between meals.