We are trying to adopt the Meatless Monday mantra at our house. For those of you who don’t know about Meatless Monday, it’s a pledge to eat meat-free one meal per week as a way to improve our health and the health of our planet. If you’ve never tried this before, summer is the best time to give meat-free eating a go as there are so many alternatives for eating well. One of our favorite Meatless Monday meals this time of year is this Orzo with Roasted Garbanzo Beans.
My kids called orzo “rice” for the longest time, and I can’t blame them. It looks similar, but it’s actually pasta that’s been cut short and shaped like a large grain of rice. Garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas) are a staple in Middle Eastern dishes. They are great sources of fiber and protein, making them a reasonable alternative for a meatless meal. I roasted the garbanzo beans with some cumin and chili powder to give them a crunchy contrast to the orzo. Fresh oregano, lemon juice and goat cheese round out this dish which can be served warm, cold or at room temperature – perfect for dinner one night and leftover lunch the next day. I love meals that pull double-duty like that.
Looking for more Meatless Monday inspiration? Check out these tasty options:
A summer pasta salad with protein-rich garbanzo beans, goat cheese and oregano.
Author: adapted from Bon Appetit
1½ cups dried orzo
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed and patted dry
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
3 – 4 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
4 ounces fresh goat cheese (or more to taste), crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper
Prepare orzo according to package directions. Drain. Rinse with cold water if not serving immediately.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, cumin, chili powder, cayenne (if using) and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add garbanzo beans and stir to combine. Spread coated garbanzo beans on a baking sheet and roast for 25-35 minutes, until the beans are golden and crunchy. Remove from oven and let cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and oregano. Add the orzo and garbanzo beans and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently fold in the goat cheese. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature