There is nothing better than good food to fix a difficult day. I was exhausted, baby L didn’t sleep more than 30 min all day and my dear toddler J was full of energy. At some point, baby L was crying while J was singing very loudly to “help her sister sleep”. I was loosing it. I’ve asked J so many times to stop singing so loudly… I tried putting baby  L to sleep in another room but J would come in all the time “trying to help”. I felt defeated trying to handle an  over tired baby and an overactive toddler…

I couldn’t start dinner until husband got home. He asked me if we should order food and my answer was NO! I needed my time alone, in the kitchen with no kids. It would be good for everyone, believe me.

I left my husband in the living room with the two bundle of joys, got my glass of wine and started to make one of my favorite quick meals. I’m calling it orzo flavor explosion, you will understand when you make it. It is delicious!

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For this recipe, I used frozen broccoli, frozen artichoke hearts, tomato medley, sun dried tomatoes, a can of chickpeas, fresh minced garlic, and orzo.

Follow these steps for an awesome flavorful meal:

Cook the orzo and set it aside.

Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil (I used extra virgin olive oil) to a frying pan and fry the garlic until light brown.

Add the frozen broccoli and frozen artichokes with a little bit of water (one tablespoon, approximately). Cover the pan and cook for a couple minutes. Just enough to thaw the vegetables.

Add the chickpeas, sun dried tomatoes and zest of one lemon.

Add salt, red wine vinegar, and cayenne pepper to taste and cook for approximately 3 min. Careful to not overcook the vegetables, they should be  just slightly soft.

Lastly, add the tomatoes. I cut the tomatoes in half or quarters depending on the size. Cook for 1 minute or so, just enough to get the tomatoes hot so you get the flavors out.

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Add the orzo to the mixture and voila! 🙂

Important note: You really want to use a mix of different tomatoes, like the tomato medley so you get different flavors. Also, the key is to have the right amount of salt and red wine vinegar to make it perfect. I usually add a little bit with the veggies and than I add more with the orzo as needed.

If you are happy with a vegetarian meal that’s all you need. I had some Italian sausage in the fridge that needed to be cooked soon. I sliced and fried the sausages to a nice brown color and then I arranged them on top of the orzo.

It was the first time I added meat to this meal. My husband loved it!

Also, it is good hot or cold.  Enjoy it!