Oh, Rachael Ray.

Confession time.  I can’t believe I’m writing this but, here goes:

I. Like.  Rachael.  Ray.

In spite of her obnoxious perkiness.  In spite of her Oprah-like tendency to be overly branded and just, well, everywhere.  In spite of her stupid sayings: “Yumm-O!  Pour some EVOO over those ham sammies!”  I mean, gag me, right?

Well, over the last few months I’ve somehow come to like her.  In fact, I kind of love her.

If you want to know what I’m doing from 10 to 11 every weekday morning, here’s a good guess: I’m sitting at my little bistro table that doubles as a desk, sipping tea, digesting my breakfast, plugging away on my laptop and chuckling along with Rachael.  Yep, it’s become my standard morning TV show.  Embarrassing.

But you know what?  Her show is actually pretty fun.  I love it when they get viewers to test out ridiculous gadgets and then report back.  Like the woman talking about how she used a boobie vacuum every day to purportedly make her breasts bigger?  That’s comedy gold.  And don’t get me started on the swag.  I want to go be in her studio audience just to get the free stuff.  I swear, the people who go to those tapings must walk out of there with boxes of stuff, for all of the freebies she gives away!

And the food.  For every dumb, obvious recipe that she has on there (really? turkey burgers are a “recipe”?), there’s a truly delicious gem.  Like the Butternut Squash Lasagna that she had on last fall (which I really need to make again – that was deeeelicious).  Or the Greek Chicken or Shrimp with Everything Orzo that was on this morning.

As soon Rach (yes, we’re on a nickname basis) started making this on her show, I knew I’d be making it for dinner tonight.  Both lemon and parsley figured prominently – both flavors that I love and the hubster hates.  (Seriously, he is so bizarre sometimes.  Although I can’t even look at a pickle without gagging, so I guess I can’t judge.)

Anyway, since he was out of town, I immediately took a chicken breast out of the freezer and planned a quick afternoon market trip to pick up some parsley.  Which brings me to….

Today’s EAT: Seriously, this was SO delicious and SO healthy and really SO easy.

I modified RR’s recipe as follows:

  • I used whole wheat bowtie pasta instead of orzo.  I wanted something a little healthier!  Really, any smallish pasta – penne, corkscrew, whatever – would work with this recipe.
  • I omitted the Kalamata olives.  Not on purpose, I just forgot to get them at the store.  Oops.
  • I omitted the banana peppers.  Because – yuck.  (See pickle comment above – they are too similar in texture for my liking.)
  • I used one small vine-ripened tomato instead of all those cherry tomatoes.  Just not the biggest tomato fan.
  • I added a generous splash (maybe 1/2C) or white wine to the veggies while they were cooking.  It would have been way to dry otherwise (probably because of my tomato substitution)
  • I probably tripled or quadrupled the red pepper flakes.  Meaning I just dumped a whole bunch in there while the chicken was marinating.  I like me some spicy.

Unbelievably simple and delicious!  My only complaint is that cooking the chicken made a bit of a mess of one of my pan, with all of the lemon and garlic in there crusting to the surface.  I guess I should have used some more, ahem, “EVOO.”

Today’s DRINK: Columbia Crest “Two Vines” Chardonnay:

It’s pretty meh.  Don’t think I’d buy it again.

Today’s RUN: Five miles, my usual Hudson River path route, super super easy.  I didn’t even bother taking my watch.  Ugh…the first run back after vacation is always rough, huh?

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6 responses to “Oh, Rachael Ray.

  1. Haha I feel the same way about Rachael Ray…I make a big show of rolling my eyes every time I see her, and yet I secretly like her!

    Your dinner looks amazing. And I have to say, your food photography skills are awesome!

    • Thanks Katie! I’ve been trying to work on my photo skills lately. 🙂 I use our Canon Rebel DSLR and usually take about ten photos for everyone one that comes out well – gotta love digital photography! 🙂

  2. OMG I love RR, so I’ll join the club! I have a standing 4:00 date with the dog everyday where I pack up work and go watch me some Rach before the gym! The dog even knows when I say “it’s 4:00” and runs up the stairs!
    I saw this yesturday and it’s now on my list too!

  3. Haha, love you Rachel Ray comments.

    I HATE pickles!

  4. I have to admit, I like Rachael too. I call her Rachael since we are yet to be on a nickname level. lol

    I have to modify her recipes to make them healthier, but what I like about them is that my family will eat them! My husband and son are so picky, so I am limited to what I can cook for them. Usually I end up making two meals; one for them and one for me!

    • I usually modify them a little bit too. Like subbing the wheat pasta for white in this one. And I try not to go too nuts on the “EVOO.” Haha.

      Any other suggestions on modifying her stuff to make it healthier – I’d love to hear them!

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