I’m going to call this MY version of grown-ups mac&cheese. Because truly, this is what I would pick over baked Mac&Cheese, or anything similar. This is my comfort food. YUM!
original recipe credit: http://www.lifeasastrawberry.com/parmesan-spinach-orzo/
(Anything that I Change or Add, I will put afterwards with a parenthesis or an asterisk *)
- 2 and 1/2 cups whole wheat orzo (*I used high-fiber orzo)
- 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 green onions, chopped (* I used a sweet onion)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp. flour
- 1 cup milk (I used skim!) (I used unsweetened coconut milk)
- 2/3 cups spinach, chopped
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded, plus extra for garnish
I then cooked 2 pieces of pre-cooked Trader Joe’s uncured bacon in the microwave until extra crispy, and set it aside. (approximately 40 seconds)
Take 4-6 frozen Trader Joe’s boneless chicken tenderloins and put into skillet w/2-3 turns of extra virgin olive oil. (They do not need to be thawed). Put salt&pepper, garlic powder and a little bit of Mrs. Dash to each side of the tenderloin, and simmer on medium to low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until firm. Then remove from heat and set aside.
- Cook orzo according to package directions. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper and saute for 1 minute or until onions are translucent. Add flour to form a roux and cook for an additional minute.
- Add about 1/4 cup of the milk to the pot and whisk to work out any lumps from the roux. When lumps are worked out, add the remaining milk and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened, about 8 minutes.
- Add chopped spinach to sauce and cook an additional 2 minutes or until spinach has cooked down. Remove sauce from heat.
- Stir parmesan cheese into sauce. When cheese has melted, add cooked orzo to sauce and toss to coat. Garnish with extra parmesan cheese and *crumbled bacon and add *chicken to top or chop the chicken into bite size pieces, and serve immediately.