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Creamy Orzo and Acorn Squash

Is it just me, or are warm and cozy meals the only desirable menu items at the moment? In Los Angeles, we’ve been having temperatures dip down into the 40s! I know that’s not terrible for some areas, but for us thin-skinners, it is FREEZING. That’s why I can only bring myself to eat hot comforting meals lately – and that’s exactly what this Creamy Orzo and Acorn Squash dish is. The decadent mouthfeel of the creamy squash with vegan parm and almond milk mixed with the orzo is a combination guaranteed to comfort you even on the coldest winter days. Plus, acorn squash is rich in antioxidants that will help to boost your immunity during this critical time of year.

Ingredients:
1 acorn squash
2 T olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp pepper
salt to taste
2 T vegan butter
1 shallot sliced
4 cloves garlic diced
1 cup gluten free orzo dry
4 T sun-dried tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 ⅓ cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup almond milk
2 handfuls spinach chopped
⅓ cup vegan parmesan

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the bottom tip of the squash off so you have a flat surface. Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Slice the squash into ½ inch slices.

Place in a bowl and add the oil, garlic powder, pepper and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine. Place on the baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Flip and cook for another 10 minutes.While the squash is roasting, melt the butter in a skillet. Add the shallots & garlic and cook for 60 seconds. Add the orzo and cook for a couple of minutes, or until it starts to smell toasted.

Add the sun-dried tomatoes & herbs and give it a toss. Pour in the broth and milk and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring every few minutes. This should take approximately 15-20 minutes to get the right consistency. Once most of the liquid is absorbed, toss in the spinach and vegan parmesan. Garnish with fresh herbs. Enjoy!

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