A one pot meal for Monday

This Monday I had MOPS and brought banana bread for my mama friends.

I made a bunch of loaves so the kiddos had some for breakfast.  They gave it the thumbs up.

I had some of my own bread and nibbles of other stuff as well as heaps of coffee as we chatted the morning away.  It was a rocky start because V cried a lot when I dropped her off.  I stayed with her for a while and tried to get her comfortable but each time I’d start to talk her through my departure, she’d freak out and cling to me.  After a few times of this, the brilliant child care volunteer just told me to go.  It was so hard leaving her wailing.  I was nearly in tears myself.  But then one of my girlfriends went to check on her for me a while later and reported back that she was happy as could be so then I was able to breathe a bit easier and relax.

I continued my snacky eating for lunch too – because nothing really called out to me.  I knew I wanted carrots and Mary’s Gone crackers, so I added sheep pecorino romano to the mix and called it a meal.

I went back for crackers three more times, but ate nice and slow to give myself time to tune in to my real hunger.

We hit up the park with friends that afternoon and it was the most perfect crisp weather.  We have been so lucky because even though the morning’s have been downright frigid, it warms up to 60 degrees by the afternoon which allows us to get some fresh air and work off energy before dinner.

I made this really yummy meal and feel like I should share the recipe – even though it’s not super precise.

If you know of a place to find GF orzo, let me know!  I used wheat orzo and was ok with it because the rest of my day was low fodmap.

Spinach and Tomato Orzo chicken Skillet


  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic infused olive oil (or 4 tbsp EVOO + 1 tsp minced garlic)
  • 16 ounces orzo pasta
  • 1/2 large yellow onion minced
  • 2 tbsp roasted red peppers (with the oily marinade)
  • 6 oz spinach
  • 1 cup diced canned tomatoes
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper as needed

*optional: top with shaved parmesan


Add the olive oil to a large skillet and toast the orzo in it for a few minutes.  Then add the onions and roasted peppers and sauté until the onions become translucent.  Add the tomatoes and stir to combine.

Next add the chicken, clearing little holes for it between the orzo, and let each side sear.  Salt and pepper each one. Flip and sear the other sides of the thighs, then add the spinach and put the lid on so it can wilt.

Once the spinach has wilted, add the broth and stir it all up so the chicken isn’t stuck to the bottom of the pan and the spinach is mixed in with the other stuff.

Simmer on low until the orzo has cooked through.  Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

It’s so easy to do ahead of time because you basically add things in one by one and then let it simmer (hands off!) while you go about your business and then it’s ready for you when you want to eat.

The kids LOVED this and ate a ton.  And there were leftovers too!  Kyle will get at least two lunches out of it, unless the kids claim it for their lunches.

The best parts were the nearly fried orzo pieces that were all brown from the first step.  Yum.

So many variations with this formula too.

Booch to end the night.  Just like last time, a few days of no desserts and my sweet tooth is gone.  It’s amazing what a little time off can do to reset your palate.

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Comments (10)

  1. Janice

    How do you keep your banana bread from not being mushy down the middle?

  2. Elise (Post author)

    Hmmm…I don’t know? I don’t know too much about the food science side of baking because it’s so confusing, but for some reason I can make quickbreads with my eyes closed and no recipes. I don’t even know why or how, but if I follow my instincts and don’t measure things they always turn out. Non-mushy centers may have to do with the temp of the oven and baking time, but I can’t be too sure. Sorry! What kind of breads do you usually have that issue with? Do you typically bake without gluten or grains? Because those recipes usually involve lots of eggs and tend to sink after they cool…but still shouldn’t have mushy centers.

  3. Michelle

    Vitacost has gluten-free orzo! I haven’t tried it, but the reviews are good.

  4. Elise (Post author)


  5. Janice

    I just use regular flour and it’s only with my banana bread. I’ll try adjusting the temperature of my oven. Thanks!!!!

  6. Elise (Post author)

    Hmmm…yeah that’s weird, maybe try cooking lower for longer so the top doesn’t burn but you still get the center cooked through.

  7. Elise (Post author)

    Don’t take it out of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  8. Ttrockwood

    What a great one pot meal recipe! Even better that it was such a hit with the family :)) i found dr kracker on sale at WF last week so my lunches were similar snacky plates with veggies and smoked tofu or edamame hummus. I’m always disappointed when i buy a different flavor or brand so now if i buy booch it’s that gingerade- my own is nearly the same flavor but gts adds carbonation and mine is a more gentle fizz.

  9. Elise (Post author)

    Maybe 2018 is the year i tackle making my own booch…

  10. Pingback: Emptying the fridge – Hungry Hungry Hippie

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