April 2019 Recap

Spriiiiing! It makes me so happy. Winter was mild this year but I LOVE the daylight, everything growing, getting outside more, and transitioning from wintery foods. April was fun with a more social opportunities than I sometimes have with friends and a few fun family festivities. I think our energy is up! I feel like I’m being more realistic about what’s possible in the kitchen and I’m being OK with setting the priority that we eat together and eat different things, but I’m not forsaking all else to stick to my dinner plan. Seeing the little babe smile on the swing when her big brother pushes it when we get home is worth wayyy more than the meal prep I otherwise could make happen that night!

I love a grain bowl and these Thai Coconut Rice Bowls with Pork were such winners. The pork was leftover from a crockpot pork, the rice was ready in 10 minutes from the pressure cooker, and the sauce I zipped together in the blender the day before.
Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
I need to perfect my salmon cooking. I overcooked it but the leftovers were perfect in a Salmon BLT with lemon aoli.
The Three Bite Rule - Lemon Aoli BLT
Next month I have some good stuff coming! I have a burger, a breakfast, and a few other things.

The Baby Girl:

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She’s so fast and so strong. She was pulling up to stand before quite hitting 8 months old. All she wants to do is stand! She’s a quick and quiet crawler who can disappear to explore before you know it! I’m so proud of her sleeping skills, though I’m sure daycare wouldn’t mind her sleeping more there! She has 2 little chiclet teeth on the bottom and wants to eat everything. She’s loving the swings and chewing on T’s raptor dino that is unofficially regulated to being hers now. Her teachers at a daycare-wide dance party swooped her away and brought her around to see everyone. They really love her. She’s so happy and chill even when hungry or tired. We got bows to keep her hair out of her face and they’re just too cute.

The Little Boy:

He’s sooo into favorites right now. What’s your favorite dino? What’s your favorite fork? What’s your favorite color on this picture? I forgot that that’s a thing for kids. He loves the baby and is a fantastic big brother. It melted my heart when he said he “just wants to be 6″ why I asked, “because then C will be 3 and we can play more.” I’ve loved doing puzzles with him. I think he over-does it on some favorite foods and thinks he wants them but then isn’t really into it- like certain cereals. It seems he will always want pasta, bananas, and avocado. He likes all candy- even junky stuff from a town egg hunt. I loved watching him at a daycare-wide dance party. He wanted to participate, was a bit reserved, then got into it. He thrives on having close friends. I missed the deadline for town soccer so he’s doing a little community one. We’ll see where his comfort-level is. He’s been happy on bike rides with Daddy but also is doing fantastic on his balance bike. His love for library books rivals mine.

2019 goals:

Year of ___ decluttering/minimizing/organizing: ehhh. All I did was pull together items for a clothes swap at work. We have a bunch of baby equipment earmarked for a yard sale.
Feeding Littles: I shared dinner of shrimp with Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki sauce, brown rice, edamame. He wasn’t into the shrimp that night but liked it when he had rice in the same bite. 
Work on advanced food prepping: A day-off mid-month was huge for this! I cooked and blogged 3 things!
What I’m reading: I read An American Marriage for bookclub and really liked it. I read China Rich Girlfriend and loved it as much as the first in the series.
What I’m watching: We watched All the Money in the World and The Imitation Game. Both are so intense and fascinating. I want to know more about each in real life! TV-wise, Mr. J and I got into Schitt’s Creek and are ob-sess-ed. Amazing Race is back

Mocha Smoothie

I took a different route on this smoothie and made it into a snack-like smoothie versus a breakfast kind of smoothie. It was really good and hit the spot on a coffee-sat-too-long kind of day. It isn’t super sweet so the coffee flavor is for real. Don’t get me wrong, I love a fun coffee drink, but the serving of fruit can’t hurt. Right?
The Three Bite Rule - Mocha Smoothie

Mocha Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup coffee, chilled
1 1/2 cups frozen pear or banana
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground flaxseed meal

Directions:

Blend everything together. If it is too thick add in a bit more milk or some water.
The Three Bite Rule - Mocha Smoothie
Enjoy!

This was the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. A squirt of whipped cream made me fall more in love. I can see this one repeating when it is too hot to think!
The Three Bite Rule - Mocha Smoothie

BLT with Lemon Aoli

The lemon aoli takes this home lunch to the next level. It is tart and perfect with the salmon. It perked up my leftover salmon and brought brightness with the salty bacon, peppery arugula, and juicy tomato. I wanted to make a fun lunch to revive some leftover salmon that I overcooked a bit. It was actually better in this salmon BLT than it was the night before!
The Three Bite Rule - Lemon Aoli BLT

Salmon BLT with Lemon Aoli

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons mayo
juice from half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
pinch salt & pepper
2 strips of bacon
3-4 oz salmon, cooked and cooled

Directions:

Pan fry the bacon and remove from the grease.
Turn off the pan from the bacon and gently warm the salmon in the bacon drippings.
Mix together the mayo, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Lemon Aoli BLT
Toast the bread and slice the tomato.
Assemble the sandwich with lemon aoli on each slice of toast, then salmon forked apart into chunks, then arugula, then bacon, and the remaining bread.
The Three Bite Rule - Lemon Aoli BLT
Enjoy!

This was seriously better than the salmon was the night before. Condiments can make such a difference. An extra special BLT is a great dinner too. Warming the salmon a bit in bacon drippings is definitely a good choice.

Thai Coconut Rice Bowls with Pork

After cooking a pork shoulder in the slow cooker I love having a bunch more servings of pork to “pull” out and become a speedy dinner. This time, I made a Thai-inspired rice bowl instead of my usual BBQ or Mexican twists on the leftovers. Earlier the same week we had pulled pork on sandwiches with BBQ sauce. This bowl is an ideal use for any leftover pork or beef, shredded or ground meat.
Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule

I made the rice in my pressure cooker using white rice for a change, and coconut milk as the liquid. It turned out great- a gentle coconut flavor that isn’t too sweet! I mixed up the sauce in the blender a full day before this dinner which meant we had the speediest dinner ever! I came home to already prepared pork, rice I made that morning, and a sauce from the day before. Assembly time! Sauces often taste even better when made in advance and given a chance to sit before serving!

Thai Coconut Rice Bowls with Pork

Ingredients: (for 4)

1 cup white rice
2 cups coconut milk (unsweetened)
~1 cup shredded pork (or steak or ground meat)
1/4 inch fresh ginger, grated or minced
1 clove/teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sriracha
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cucumber
1 cup shredded carrots
more fresh cilantro to garnish

Directions:

Cook the rice with the coconut milk. (My pressure cooker ratio is 1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups liquid so I used that ratio but usually rice is 1 rice:2 liquid).
While the rice cooks, blend together the peanut sauce with: ginger, garlic, sriracha, honey, lime, soy sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, cilantro, and stream in the olive oil. (Can be made ahead of time)
Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
Warm the pork over medium heat in a medium skillet. When starting to warm, drizzle in ~3 tablespoons of the peanut sauce and cook for another 2 minutes.
Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
Slice the cucumbers into thin sticks.
Serve the rice on the bottom topped with pork, carrots, cucumber, a drizzle of peanut sauce and more cilantro.
Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
Enjoy!

The little one liked the elements of this, but really loved the coconut rice. He hadn’t been into rice lately so that was nice to get back to it, also since coconut rice was something new to us.

Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
The sauce was a bit spicy for Mr. J so I’d say I loved this most (I added in more sriracha at first so go with my quantities above!). The raw veggies make it fun with almost sweet rice and warm pork with a few crispy bits. I had leftovers for lunch the next day and loved it all over again! Raw veggies are the pre-schooler’s preference but tricky for the babe who only has 2 little chicklet teeth poking through. I’ll have to balance that a bit more as she “eats dinner” with us.

Substitute any grain cooked as the coconut base and whatever veggies you like. Need more grain bowl inspiration? I’ve got you covered. ;-)

March 2019 Recap

March just wizzed right by! My birthday kicked off a fun month! I’m feeling like we are so much more in a groove and all doing really well! The babe is so happy and now quite predictable. The little boy has loved the snow and more daylight is so great for us! Mr. J and I are on a roll. Work has been  super busy- which I love. We all were sick through March so we were all to ready to be better and healthy after colds, seemed-like-strep, a stomach bug, and a perpetually runny baby nose.

I made these cheeseburger turnovers with tots in them and they were so fun and an ideal one to prep in advance.
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Turnover
I took a Trader Joe’s haul to the next level with tips to take Trader Joe’s items and turn them into a full meal.
The Three Bite Rule - Trader Joe's Favs into Meals
I also made a nutella croissant baked French Toast and LOVED it. My nutella tip is key!
The Three Bite Rule - Nutella Croissant Baked French Toast
Next month will have a rice bowl and a sandwich and I’m not sure what else. We are heading to Maine for Easter. I will probably make a Carrot Cheese Ball. I also make some chocolate peanut butter eggs to have at home.

The Baby Girl:

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What a happy lady! She sits up and suddenly started going from laying to sitting- transitions hadn’t been smooth until just now! Baby C is eating and loving it. We are working her through all the baby foods to ensure there aren’t allergies and also we need her to eat enough to be a meal before reducing to fewer bottles because of her challenge to gain weight. She has 2 bottom teeth that popped through. She loves to bite on everything.

The Little Boy:

He love love loves playing in the snow. Now that it is gone, we’re mucking around in boots and getting outside more. Thank goodness! He’s very into PJ Masks which isn’t my fav. I love seeing how many books he’ll dive into in a row. Some meals he gobbles them up quickly and wants more, other meals take for-ev-er. Breakfast for dinner of eggs and sausage is a current favorite. He likes “snacky lunch” meaning- not a sandwich.

2019 goals:

Year of ___ decluttering/minimizing/organizing: ehhh. I didn’t really make it happen. I hope to tackle the kitchen utensils.
Feeding Littles: I shared a repeat dinner I made before- we did of “Pizza” polenta bowls with white beans- for all. 
Work on advanced food prepping: I did this pretty well this month with some morning prep to give me a head start.
What I’m reading: I read The Slap for bookclub and none of us enjoyed it. I also read Today Will be Different and The Map of Salt and Stars which was so amazing.
What I’m watching: We watched Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri and was blown away. So good. We also watched Tag and laughed out loud. The little boy watched a few movies. Snow days and sick days seemed like good times to snuggle for movies! He liked Moana and Trolls.

Nutella Croissant Baked French Toast

This one had to cut the line because Trader Joe’s goodies aren’t always there forever! I used croissant bread for this nutella croissant baked french toast but a few large croissants chopped up would work the same too! The real trick is in the nutella…
The Three Bite Rule - Nutella Croissant Baked French Toast
I froze little blobbies of nutella (technical term) to easily insert that flavor without becoming a sticky mess! It was delicious and only took 10 minutes to be frozen!

Nutella Croissant Baked French Toast:

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons nutella
1/2 loaf croissant bread (or 3-4 croissants)
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup (more for serving)

Directions:

Spoon ~1/2 teaspoon blobs of nutella onto a sheet of wax paper and freeze for about 10 minutes – 1 day.
The Three Bite Rule - Nutella Croissant Baked French Toast
Chop the bread (or croissants)
Whisk together the eggs, cream, extract, cinnamon, and maple syrup.
The Three Bite Rule - Nutella Croissant Baked French Toast
Pour the croissant pieces into the liquid mix and stir to coat well- being careful to saturate it well but not break the bread up.
Spoon about half of the mix into a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Pop about half of the nutella chunks in, then repeat: add the remaining croissant mix and last nutella chunks.
The Three Bite Rule - Nutella Croissant Baked French Toast
Cover and refrigerate overnight (or bake and enjoy immediately).
Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees covered, and another 10 minutes uncovered.
The Three Bite Rule - Nutella Croissant Baked French Toast
Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
Enjoy!

This was great! What’s not to love?? The big pockets of nutella were great and baked french toast aka, bread pudding is so much easier than whole pieces of french toast. The little guy liked it. He usually just sees nutella if he requests “fancy toast”.

Trader Joe’s Becoming Balanced Meals

Every influencer can show you their Trader Joe’s haul, but it is easy to leave Trader Joe’s with fun things that don’t really get you closer to a complete meal. I don’t pretend anyone can/should do all their grocery shopping there, but Trader Joe’s is suchhh a lifesavor at this stage of my life for meal starters or a hands-off main dish! These shortcuts to getting varied dinners on the table is a huge asset to me. If I’m not strategic shopping at Trader Joe’s, then I do leave with fun things that have me scratching my head of how we’ll eat them or did I just spend $50 on things that don’t go together and I’m still not ready for dinner?

Here are a few of my favs, and what I do with them:

Orange Chicken + Edamame in the shells + brown rice:

I usually make the rice that morning, or the night before, to speed us up. The package comes with 2 packets of sauce so making half is an easy option. The breaded chicken is baked then gets tossed into a sticky sweet sauce. This is a true fav of ours so we make the whole thing for 2 adults, 1 preschooler who eats like a teenager, and a leftover serving for lunch. He looooves popping edamame out of the pods too so it is fun to eat a veggie in a different way.
The Three Bite Rule - Trader Joe's Favs into Meals

Cauliflower Gnocchi + Pesto:

TJ pesto is the best out there- of any brand. It freezes well too if you don’t want it too often when opened. The frozen cauliflower gnocchi is such a hit for TJ fans. It does taste like cauliflower but the true trick is that it shouldn’t be prepared according to the package! Saute in a pan with just a tiny bit of water. Get it some toasted/golden sides and toss in pesto for big enough flavor to lean towards gnocchi instead of cauliflower. Make 2 packages if serving more than 2 people. For 2 adults and a little kid, 2 bags are really necessary. This is a 10 minute dinner in 1 pan. Done.
The Three Bite Rule - Trader Joe's Favs into Meals

Eggplant Cutlets + pasta + sauce:

I love plain kitchen ready tomatoes instead of regular sauce but Trader Joe’s has some good sauces too! Their pasta there is always super cheap but I had some on hand. More importantly, the eggplant. It is the best, and one of the only places to find it! I love it to be eggplant parm, eggplant parm subs, on pizza, in calzones, in grilled cheese even, and it is great as a stack with cheese, sauce, and the above pesto! Because it is frozen it is easy to pop a few into the oven or toaster oven!

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Veggie Fried Rice + Dumplings + other mix & match Asian-inspired goodies

The veggie fried rice only takes a few minutes to cook in a pan and while we love it, I think it needs a little drizzle of soy sauce or teriyaki sauce. The pork potstickers are great and easy to make just a few. There are always other fun Asian inspired frozen foods to mix & match like bao buns, spring rolls, etc. I also like to cook a few pot stickers alongside sesame noodles. These freezer goodies really make dinners feel different. Roasting some broccoli then topping with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds is a simple side. I’ve also tossed cucumber in sesame oil & rice vinegar for a 2 second side!
The Three Bite Rule - Trader Joe's Favs into Meals

Roasted Corn + Chicken & Cheese Tamales:

The roasted corn is so fun and a great side to tacos or inside burritos. We probably have something Mexican once a week so I like having this around. It is great in Mexican Street Corn. Tacos + roasted corn + a few chips makes for a fun dinner. I love the tamales and Mr. J and I liked mini chicken tacos but the little one wasn’t as into those. I should try again though. This corn is often a side and I open up some black beans to go into the tacos or on the side too.
http://thethreebiterule.com/easy-sesame-noodles/

Sauces & Pantry items:

These can be a bit seasonal – I was shocked to find Marsala sauce a second time, but the Trader Joe’s bottled items are really fantastic and great time savors. When I had just a little leftover marsala sauce, I added some veggie broth, mushrooms, and marsala wine to stretch the leftover sauce a bit. I was inspired by a balsamic & fig dressing and can definitely put this Island Soyaki to work. I grabbed Chili Lime seasoning and the umami seasoning to try them out. I make my own Everything But the Bagel but that is a fantastic one too! Having a sauce on hand can really make basic dinner items come together quickly. Adding any of these sauces to some turkey meatballs over rice or egg noodles would make for efficient meal with salad or veggie of your choice. Or using a sauce with chicken to become a sandwich or panini would be delicious.
The Three Bite Rule - Trader Joe's Favs into Meals
Their bakery items are also great- the focaccini rolls are super soft and a fun way to elevate a sandwich or the pretzel buns with sausage & peppers is so good. I always grab some snacks. The sesame sticks are a constant and I like their trail mix variations into portioned packs. I can’t ever get over how economical their cheeses are! I sometimes grab frozen fish and the refrigerated pastas are helpful to be quick dinners too!

Happy shopping! What am I missing? Any favorites of yours?

Cheeseburger Turnovers

These cheeseburger turnovers are an appetizer turned into a main dish! Follow how my mind worked: I started out with the idea of a cheeseburger eggroll but then decided I really didn’t want to fry anything so I went with crescent dough. I then the more I thought about tiny ones made me think that it’d be way faster to make fewer but big turovers/pockets. Thus, my cute app became dinner! There’s a key ingredient to make them so much more fun than burger filling into pastry….

The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Turnover
I put tater tots into them! Those become such a fun and a bit unexpected bite! Like burgers & fries! I prepped and partially baked these in advance, then just warmed to eat come dinner time! I loved these burger pockets and would totally make them again. Maybe next time they’ll even get to live out life as an appetizer!

Cheeseburger Turnovers

Ingredients: (for 4)

1/4 bag of tater tot crowns (the flat disks, or regular ones will work too)
1/3 pound ground beef/chicken/turkey
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 tube crescent dough (mine was a single sheet, or pinch seams together if using crescent triangle dough)
~1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped (they’ll stay together better than a big tomato chopped)
~3 pickle spears, chopped
~1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Directions:

Bake the tots according to the package.
Saute the ground meat until it is cooked through seasoning with worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Then remove the meat and saute onions in the same pan until they are translucent and getting golden.
Chop tomato and pickles.
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Turnover
Unroll the dough and slice into 4s. Top with cheese, ground meat, tots, onion, tomato, pickles, and more cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Turnover
Fold it and pinch or use a fork to close all the edges together.
Poke holes onto the top to vent and bake for ~15 minutes (bake according to the crescent dough packaging). Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds a few minutes before they finish cooking.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Turnover
These are so fun and a great dinner to prep ahead of time! I almost did a special sauce drizzle inside – maybe next time. If you like these, then you’ll love Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Turnovers or Chicken Parm Turnovers. I made the Chicken Parm Turnovers as mini apps for a holiday party and they were a hit!

Making fun dinners in advance is the story of my life right now. I want dinners to be varied but that time between daycare pick up and dinner is a rush. Throwing dinner in to warm up while I get to change out of work clothes, cuddle the baby before she’s ohh-so-ready for her post-daycare nap, play or at least converse while the preschooler plays, encourage hand-washing, and dodge the dogs who are underfoot to be fed- is in-ter-est-ing to say the least.

February 2019 Recap

February seemed to just roll right along. The end of February means my birthday is right around the corner! Bring it on! It has been strangely rainy without too much snow. I’ve tried to get outside as much as possible and I think it makes a world of difference for myself and the little ones. I wish daycare could take the preschoolers out more – there’s some magic temperature they have to go by but I have more faith in our hearty little New England babes than the temperature suggests!

This crispy fish rice bowl was prob my fav thing I made all month. It was on repeat a few times! I transformed a fish taco concept into a rice bowl and loved it.
The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Fish Rice Bowl
This Greek Orzo Chicken Soup with Lemon was such perfectly. I prepped it to be lunch for a few days and found it comforting with more flavor and interest than it even looks like!
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Orzo Chicken Soup

I have some good stuff ahead for March – an appetizer that turned into dinner, and maybe a smoothie. I’m going to test out a breakfast option so we’ll see how that goes.

The Baby Girl:
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She’s such a smiley baby! Her party tricks include sitting and rocking back and forth on all fours. Baby girl wants to move! She’s sleeping like a champ even since we swapped out the magic merlin suit (which really is magic) so now she rolls all around and can re-discover her pacifier to settle back into sleep. Baby C tried cereal and loved it. She’s had some purees too and loves eating them and wants to do the spoon herself! She looks so big sitting in the high chair with us at the table! There’s a tooth coming in! I just went through her next size of clothes and realize I don’t take her to nearly as many formal occasions as other people who hand down dresses with tulle. Her fav toys are an activity cube with a mirror, and rubber toys to chew which look SO much like dog toys. She LOVES the tub and will kick her feet to splash for as long as we’ll let her.

The Little Boy:
I’m shocked to say he’s really not into rice/grains at the moment. He wants pasta whenever he gets to choose. I loved seeing him jump right into the crispy fish in a taco. He didn’t eat much on a his/hers night of steak & salmon but tried each without any prompting from us. Then he went to town on chicken and black bean enchiladas one night and pulled pork another night so it is safest not to assume anything. He loves the snow and is enjoying winter. We took him to a Paw Patrol Live show and he was enthralled in his way of quietly absorbing a new activity. He’s been great in his toddler bed and takes the ok-to-wake rule of his light/sound machine very seriously. He stays in and calls out “mommy daddy, my light is greeeeen”!

2019 goals:

Year of ___ decluttering/minimizing/organizing: My closet feels like shopping with matching hangers! Next I have my sights on the kitchen utensil drawers.
Feeding Littles: The pre-schooler was trepidatious but loved the Copycat Cracker Barrel meatloaf. The combo of getting dinner on the table and not having phones at the table is tricky for photos since I also don’t want to interrupt a hungry little guy. 
Work on advanced food prepping: I’ve been on top of prepping some things in the morning. Even clustering ingredients in the fridge or from the basement freezer is helpful.
What I’m reading: I read The Girl with Seven Names for bookclub and The 57 Bus and All We Ever Wanted.
What I’m watching: We watched a few movies- Bad Moms Christmas, Gone Girl, and Crazy Rich Asians. I loved Bad Moms and wasn’t impressed by Gone Girl as a movie. Crazy Rich Asians was pretty good, but much better as a book. I caught up on a few Project Runway All Star episodes and loved them. I haven’t done any Bachelor this season- am I missing anything? I’m loving a CNN series of the 1980s- which seems like a necessary refresher for politics in our lifetimes, and have the 1990s next. I really think I could have benefited from more US history and government education instead of Mesopotamia, or so much on ancient Egypt, or all the hours I spent in early art history being quizzed on cave drawings- don’t get me started on Shakespeare’s Histories and Tragedies or astronomy which never covered any stars.

Greek Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup

One little box of orzo pasta seems to have about 10 lives. Soup felt like a good idea to make in advance and to pack for lunch. This one was ohh-so-amazing despite seeming ordinary so I might need to whip it up again. At first I thought about a small batch but then I added in the remainder of my box of orzo and kept adding broth to keep it soupy. I absolutely loved the lemon and found it really comforting.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Orzo Chicken Soup

Greek Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup

Ingredients: (for ~5 servings)

~1 1/2 cups roasted chicken (~1/3 of a roasted chicken)
4 cups water (to make chicken broth from the roasted chicken bones, or 4 cups broth)
1/2 onion
2 large carrots, chopped (or 2 cups baby carrots)
1 lemon
1 cup orzo
2 tablespoons (~8 sprigs) of fresh oregano

Directions:

Remove the roasted chicken from the bone and reserve 1/3 of the chicken for this soup. (I froze the rest & used some in enchiladas and some became chicken salad.)
Place the chicken bones, chicken skin, the carrot ends, onion peal, and oregano sprigs into a large pot with 4-5 cups of water. Heat to medium high heat and cook for 15 minutes.
While making the broth (homemade broth is really good and so worth it), in a heavy pot saute the onion in olive oil for 10 minutes over medium heat, then add the carrots when the onion is getting clear.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Orzo Chicken Soup
Strain the bones and veggie remains and put the chicken broth into the pot with the onions and carrots.
Add in the chicken and juice from the lemon and cook for about 5 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Orzo Chicken Soup
Pour the orzo into the pot and cover the pot to cook for 10 minutes.
Add in the oregano, stir well, and enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Orzo Chicken Soup

The lemon makessss this soup. It is so flavorful from the lemon and the oregano to instantly transport you to the Mediterranean. I made mine super thick so I added water just before heating come lunchtime at work. Baby carrots are a little bit funny but they’re so perfectly all the same size!

It feels very Barefoot-Contessa to say “if you don’t make your own, pre-made broth is OK too”. This is just an easy time to use a roasted chicken and make some broth with the bones, carrot tops, onion peal, and oregano sprigs. I froze some and it tasted great but some of the orzo broke down a bit in the freezing/defrosting/warming and stirring. I can deal with that though.