Well Rounded Recipes: Orzo and Pesto

These healthy springtime dishes are perfect for a new mom.

Springtime calls for lightened up, fresh flavors. These two recipes are great for afternoon mommy-gatherings and playdates. They’re both free of gluten, dairy and soy and loaded with protein and fiber so you can feel good about eat nourishing bite.

Serve the orzo as a main dish or a side dish alongside sandwiches or a tender green salad with fresh fruit. Try the pesto served atop gluten-free whole grain crackers as well as in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches and wraps. It’s also a great dip to serve with tortilla chips or tossed into a gluten-free pasta dish.

Both recipes are versatile and can be served in numerous ways for luncheons or baby showers, too! You may choose to serve these springtime recipes al fresco in the sunshine or indoors when it showers.

gluten-free spring orzoWarm Weather Sundried Tomato & Garlic Orzo
This orzo dish can be prepared and served on the dinner table for a weeknight meal in less than 30 minutes. Leftovers are great the next day served over a bed of dark leafy greens such as baby spinach or baby kale. The hummus and almonds give you a hearty dose of protein to keep you satisfied and give you energy for your day, whether you are nursing or running after the little ones. Extra-virgin olive oil, sundried tomatoes and garlic make this dish dance when they’re tossed with the cooked pasta. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4
12 oz. gluten-free orzo pasta
1 garlic clove, minced
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. fresh baby spinach
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup plain hummus
3 tbsp. whole almonds
10 sundried tomatoes in oil, drained

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place pasta back in the empty pot. Add garlic and olive oil; cook for 3 minutes. Add spinach, sea salt and pepper; cook for another 3 minutes or until spinach is wilted.
2. Remove from heat; add in hummus and sundried tomatoes. Transfer to a large serving bowl and top with almonds.

Almond Spinach Dairy-Free PestoSpring Almond Spinach Dairy-Free Pesto
This is an easy homemade condiment that you can serve on gluten-free whole grain crackers or toast. It also makes a lovely topping for sandwiches and burgers in place of mustard or mayo. It’s full of protein from the almonds and lots of fiber as well as antioxidants and nutrients in the organic spinach and garlic to keep you and your baby healthy!

Makes 1 cup
· 4 cups organic baby spinach (such as Earthbound Farm)
· ¼ cup slivered almonds
· 4 Tbsp. olive oil
· 1 large garlic clove
· Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a food processor, pulse ingredients until it forms a pesto consistency-smooth yet a little chunky if desired. Serve with gluten-free toast or crackers.

Photography by The Healthy Apple.

Amie Valpone

Amie Valpone

Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP is the Editor-in-Chief of TheHealthyApple.com; she is a Manhattan celebrity chef, culinary nutritionist, professional recipe developer, food photographer, writer, and motivational speaker specializing in simple gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free ‘Clean Eating’ recipes. Visit Amie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus and Pinterest @TheHealthyApple. Amie's first cookbook on 'Clean Eating and Detox' will come out in early 2016.

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