And the Cupboards Were Bare…

I just recently returned from a 14 day road trip to the East Coast.  And what’s the one thing we always find when we return from an extended trip…bare cupboards.  The last thing I want to do is run right out grocery shopping.  It’s a lot easier being creative with what’s left over in the pantry and freezer.  With the pickens slim, I rounded up a box of orzo, frozen chicken breasts, frozen broccoli and an abundance of tomatoes and basil from the garden.  I was able to come up with two dishes with all of this.

Bruschetta Salad

½ box of cooked, cooled orzo

6 – 8 roma tomatoes seeded and diced

6 leaves of fresh basil chiffonade

2 cloves of garlic made into a paste (chop fine and then smash w/ kosher salt to make a paste)

Balsamic Vinegar

Olive Oil

Salt & pepper to taste

1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

Mix tomatoes, basil, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper together.  Let it sit for about 30 minutes.  Mix in orzo and parmesan cheese.  Chill until ready to serve.


With the other half of the cooked orzo, I came up with a one-dish meal,

Grilled Chicken and Parmesan Orzo

½ box of cooked orzo

3 boneless-skinless chicken breasts pounded to ¼ inch thickness and marinated in Italian salad dressing for about 1 hour or longer.

2 cloves finely chopped garlic

1 – 2 tbsp. Butter

1 16 oz. of broccoli florets – steamed just until they are defrosted

1 cup of parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper to taste

Grill chicken until done.  Let rest and slice thinly on a diagonal bias.  Melt butter in large sauté pan – do not let it brown.  Add garlic and stir until it infuses the butter.  Mix in orzo and turn heat up a little.  Add chicken, broccoli, salt and pepper to taste – heat thoroughly.  Right before serving, mix in parmesan cheese and have more cheese available to addon top.


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