White Bean and Parmesan Baked Orzo.

This is the first time in nearly four weeks I’m not a single lady.

I’ve been playing the single lady card for almost an entire month while my husband travels, and I’m not gonna lie… I sort of love it.


I am a person who craves her alone time, and it feels oh so fabulous to: peacefully sleep in the middle of a big bed with the ceiling fan on high speed, watch constant Felicity marathons and Cheaper By The Dozen thrice in one week without judgement, peel off all my nail polish piece by piece without a sideways glare, not have to tune out Monday Night Raw, not have to shower immediately {…or at all} after a workout, read for four solid hours every evening and eat whatever the heck I want for dinner at whatever the heck time I want. Dinner often presenting itself in a bottle of wine and a wedge of brie.

Things that are not so fabulous include: killing spiders the size of my head, taking out the trash {easily my least favorite chore}, doing monotonous laundry like dish towels {we have an excellent system on this front: I use them and throw them in a pile; he washes them once he can’t take it anymore}, baking two dozen cookies and having them all to myself {wait. maybe that’s good?}, having to manically clean the kitchen, the dining room, the family room, the bedroom and the bathrooms in a matter of minutes since I’ve neglected them for a month, having to turn off my mixer, turn off my oven, blow out my candles and run to the store mid-recipe because I forgot to buy lemons and having to carry annoying items up the stairs from the garage like 25 pound bags of flour.


I see a pretty even pros and cons list here.

This is just one of the few dishes that I made in bulk over the last few weeks, if only because having something readily available to pull out of the fridge enabled me more time to lose myself in some chick lit and ensure that the couch didn’t lose my body mold. And don’t worry, I wasn’t really alone. I clocked in a fair amount of TV time with Alexander Skarsgard.


But really… this is good stuff. So good in fact, that I made some again yesterday. I even added chicken since my lonesome days are over, and that was pretty dang tasty too. Beans and their creaminess are completely underrated.

White Bean and Parmesan Baked Orzo

serves 4+

1 cup of whole wheat orzo pasta

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 cup of sliced mushrooms

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 cups of raw spinach

1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

fresh herbs for garnish, such as cilantro, parsley and basil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring water to a boil and prepare pasta according to directions, lessening the cooking time by 1-2 minutes since the pasta will bake.

While pasta is cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions and peppers and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add in mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes more, tossing occasionally. Add in garlic and spinach, and stir until spinach wilts, then turn heat down to low. Add in white beans, drain pasta and add pasta to the mix, then toss to combine. Turn off heat, add half of the grated parmesan, and toss once more.

Spray a baking dish (mine was 6 inches in diameter and almost 3 in height) with non-stick spray. Spoon orzo mixture into the baking dish, then top with remaining cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, then if desired, broil for 1-2 minutes until cheese on top is golden. Garnish with fresh herbs.

And this bread? Oh… I’m totally going to tell you about this bread. Soon. Two words: brown butter.