One Pot Spinach Mushroom Orzo is very tasty main course option that is easy to adjust to fit even vegetarian or vegan diets. It takes full advantage of the protein punch of spinach and the satisfyingly earthy, meaty quality of Cremini mushrooms. Topped with a creamy Parmesan sauce, it’s a very satisfying meal that uses Orzo, a largely misunderstood and often ignored pasta. Orzo is frequently confused with Arborio rice which is used in risotto. It’s also often confused because its similar in appearance when cooked to couscous.
Orzo is the word for barley in Italian and also might refer to a popular barley based beverage. It’s also a very popular tiny pasta shape or pastini that resembles the grain but is usually made from semolina or whole wheat flour. Also often referred to as ‘risoni’, orzo is not often the main event as its usually added uncooked to soups or stews. This is because it tends to hold its shape while readily absorbing liquids. Orzo is a great choice because it adds a pleasing bulk to any prepared dish.
Also key to this dish, and what makes it a main course in my eyes, is the 4 cups of baby spinach added right at the end. Spinach is a dark leafy vegetable believed to possess powerful antioxidant, cancer fighting properties. It’s a particularly rich source of calorie-free protein and contains Vitamins A, C and E. Its dark green colour comes from chlorophyll which has powerful anti inflammatory properties. Its also low in fat and carbohydrates and is packed with water soluble fibre making it an ideal food for aiding digestion and assisting in weight loss. Eating spinach also promotes eye-health and healthy bones and it’s considered an excellent food if you’re battling hypertension. The zinc and magnesium in spinach help you relax so, eating it promotes better sleep. While its iron and folate content battle anemia which among other things can lead to hair loss its antioxidants in general can make your skin look and feel healthier.
One further note about Spinach. It’s a very versatile food that can easily be added to most stews, soups and pasta dishes. Adding spinach is a powerful Veteran Move that can quickly add significant nutritional value to any dish…
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