Seafood Orzo Risotto

by Joanne on December 27, 2014

It’s tough leaving family when Christmas Day is over. Ted and I looked at the weather and it looked like a wintery mix for Sunday so we left South Carolina Friday, taking a couple of days to get home.

I finished my long run on Friday, 16 miles which felt AMAZING considering I’ve had knee issues, We cleaned up, ate breakfast, kissed Mum and Dad goodbye then hit the road by 11:30 am. We made it to Warrenton, VA.  After spending the night in a not-so-elegant hotel, sleeping less than 5 hours due to nasty smells (which weren’t the dogs), TV noises coming from adjoining rooms, and a bed just a tad larger than a twin, we were up and on the road by 5 am.

Early Start

Only us and the odd truck on route 17.

Once the sun began to show, we stopped for breakfast, taming it down a bit from our holiday gluttony fest.

back to clean eating

Is that the image of CLEAN EATING or what?!!! An Egg Beater Mediterranean Omelet with sun dried tomato, spinach, feta cheese, fresh fruit and a dry rye toast. 

As for lunch, it didn’t happen. Ted grabbed a multi grain bagel around 11:30 from Starbucks and I nibbled a Clif Bar. All those carbs didn’t go to waste because as soon as we got home, around 2 pm, we unpacked, put the wash on, and got into some working out duds.  Ted was on the bike while I hit the road with the dogs for a 6 mile fun run. 

The weather when we arrived home was something that had to be taken advantage of. NO SNOW!  52 DEGREES. Perfect! Besides, tomorrow a wintery mix is predicted and I am not up to running in that after returning from South Carolina weather.  Shane ran 3 with me and Zoey ran the same. Both dogs were anxious to get some exercise in so the afternoon worked out great for everyone.

As I said above, it’s back to clean eating and to follow up on that healthy breakfast, healthy workout, was this favorite, not so bad for you meal… Seafood Orzo Risotto.  Please – read on…

A version of this recipe was found in the Martha Stewart Holiday edition and is called “One-Pot Seafood Orzo Risotto”.  


Serves 6 – 8  *If you can’t find some of the seafood listed, add your own variety. You can use canned clams if you like and/or crab meat.  Mix it up. Make it personal.

  • 2 TBS Olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, cored and chopped
  • 3 TBS tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads, crushed
  • 1 lb. orzo
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 12 mussels or just the mussel meat available at some food stores
  • 1/2 lb. large raw shrimp, peel and devein
  • 1/2 lb. calamari rings (also available frozen at some food stores)
  • 1 lb. meaty white fish such as cod or haddock
  • flat leaf parsley to finish

*Your one pot that you use will have to be oven safe and able to go under the broiler. 

Preheat broiler with rack 8 inches from heat source.  Prepare a sheet pan with boil to place the fish on for the initial broiling. Season white fish fillet with salt and pepper and allow to sit while you do the following in the braising pan:

Heat oil in a large oven proof braising pan over medium high heat.  Add the garlic, onion and fennel and sauté for 3 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and season with salt and pepper.  Stir and cook for 2 minutes.   Stir in vermouth and saffron and cook 1 more minute.

Put the white fish into the oven for 5 minutes under the broiler.

Add orzo, clam juice, and broth to the braising pan and bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes. Stir in mussels, shrimp and calamari and cook for 3 minutes more, adding broth if necessary. 

Once the fish has been in the broiler for 5 minutes, remove and place on top of the orzo mix. Place the braising pan back into the oven for another 5 minutes or until fish is flaky.

Remove from oven and cover, allowing to sit for 5 minutes.  Top with parsley and serve.


Delicious little shrimp


Meaty little mussel


Tender calamari ring


Flaky white fish


What does your CLEAN EATING meal look like now that Christmas dinner is over?

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  • At 2014.12.28 00:23, Mary said:

    You sure got back into the groove quickly after your holiday with both your eating and getting in your runs! I have started logging my calories as of yesterday, my weight gain wasn’t so much from the holidays, I think, as from a previous vacation and from having to cut my skating hours all fall. I still have house guests, though, so there will still be special meals. I even made more mashed potatoes today to go with our leftover cranberry sauce. BTW, do you think you will be doing any marathons in the Northwest (like maybe Seattle) in 2015? Let me know, maybe you can email me.


    • At 2014.12.28 11:07, Joanne said:

      Hi Mary: I’m hoping my fall marathon will be the Marine Corp in VA. Since they went to a lottery system, I won’t know until I try signing up in the Spring. Not sure of the 2nd one, most likely on the East coast.

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