Orange Thai Beef Skewers + Orzo with Peppers and Asparagus

I can’t emphasize enough how much I love to grill during the warmer months. Little mess, easy prep, fast cooking (usually) – this is a great way for me to go during the week when we’re busy, leaving the more time consuming meals for the weekend.

Colored bell peppers were on sale 4/$5 last week at Sunflower, so I grabbed a few in different colors. They’re versatile enough that I can always find something to use them for and they’re great for snacking on because they’re so sweet. Asparagus was also on sale, so I grabbed a bunch figuring that it might be the last time we see it on sale because we’re officially experiencing summer now.

I love having enough fresh produce on hand that I’m able the throw something like this orzo pasta side dish together and actually have the ingredients! I’m counting the days till I am able to pick the tomatoes and peppers from my garden. Lots and lots of green tomatoes, and just a few red ones. At last count I had 12 bell peppers (from plants of varying color), but they’re aren’t quite ready to harvest.

This was an excellent meal! The marinade was done during some “down time” in the afternoon. I also chopped all the veggies ahead of time. It’s great when I’m organized enough to do the prep work early on before the dreaded 4-6 pm time where everyone is cranky and ready for the day to be over (including me!). Instead of whining through the “bewitching hour,” the kids and I were able to go over to a friends house for some music circle playtime. When we got home, all I had to do was thread the skewers, throw the orzo dish together, and grill the meat.

Orange Thai Beef Skewers
slightly adapted from Our Best Bites

  • 1 orange
  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 1/4 c rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 1/2 lb flank steak

Zest and juice the orange, adding to a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients through the chili sauce. Whisk to combine. Slice the steak into 1/4 inch strips, cutting across the grain. Add the steak to a Ziploc bag, pour the marinade over, and seal the bag. Allow to marinade in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

When you’re ready to cook the meat, preheat the grill. Then take your skewers (pre-soaked if you’re using wood/bamboo ones) and thread on the strips of meat, like you’re stitching. In order for them to cook evenly, stretch the meat out a bit.

Place skewers on the grill, turning after 3 minutes. These cook very fast, so don’t turn your back. It’s best to have everything else ready (side dishes, family standing by, table set) when you put these on the grill.

Orzo with Peppers and Asparagus
adapted from Sunset

  • 1 1/4 c orzo pasta
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 c thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 c thinly sliced yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 c thinly sliced orange bell pepper
  • 2 Tbs minced garlic
  • 1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed and cut in thirds
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain, rinse, and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add peppers, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and asparagus and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened and starting to brown, about 3 minutes.

Add warm pepper mixture to cooked orzo, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper, stirring well.