Youvetsi is a Greek Lamb Orzo dish that is cooked in one-pan. The tomato-based stew tastes absolutely delicious and is full of flavour. It’s made into a Slimming World friendly recipe with a few simple changes and is just 1 Syn per serving if you are Food Optimising.
I’ve got lots of great Slimming World Recipes for you to enjoy – right-click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one.
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Greek Lamb Orzo
If you are one of the many people following the Slimming World (SW) plan and get stuck for what to cook for dinner, don’t worry, I’ve got your back!
The Greek Lamb Orzo recipe has been adapted from an official SW magazine.*
Regular readers will know that I am of Greek-Cypriot heritage and have got lots of authentic Greek-Cypriot recipes on my blog. This recipe, however, is Greek from Greece. I know because I phoned up my dad to ask him!
I discovered the Greek name for this dish after a quick search online, and it is one I’ve never heard of before. That said, as soon as I saw the recipe in an old magazine, I had to make it, and also, had to tweak it just wasn’t Cypriot enough for me!
The original recipe called for allspice which I have NEVER used in any of my Greek-Cypriot cooking. And it also had celery in it, which is a vegetable that I hate the taste of with a passion! There were also carrots, but I left them out too.
Instead, I added more herbs, spices, and garlic than the recipe said, and I also an aubergine (eggplant) which I found hanging out in the fridge.
I found that I had to add some more stock than was called for as well, so keep a kettle of boiling water handy and a stock cube, just in case you find the same.
The finished dish tasted really good and one I will definitely be cooking again.
The orzo had a tasty tomato flavour and the little nuggets of lamb that were scattered amongst the pasta were always a yummy surprise.
The feta crumbled on top is more of a garnish, and if you wanted to make this dish completely FREE you could leave it out.
This recipe for Greek Lamb Orzo serves 4 and has 1 Syn per serving.
I just know if I could have added some olive oil it would make the recipe sing even more!
Olive oil is 6 Syns per level tablespoon, so it all depends on one’s Syn count for the day.
A Greek-Cypriot girl not being able to be free with olive oil is tough, but I know, for me right now, it is for the greater good!
*Why I Adapt Recipes
It’s simple really – I usually adapt recipes to suit my family’s personal tastes.
This might be leaving out an ingredient we don’t like (e.g., celery), adding more or fewer ingredients (e.g., chilies or spices), or tweaks to the way the original recipe is prepared.
As a family, we are all trying to eat healthier and lose some weight, so you can rest assured that any changes I make are going to be Slimming World friendly.
So for example, I wouldn’t replace 5% beef mince (Free) with 20% beef mince (not Free) or add olive oil to a recipe without including the Syn count.
All of the SW friendly recipes I share on The Purple Pumpkin Blog have been made by me and tried and tested by my family.
I hope you enjoy the recipes I share! I’m posting them to keep me focused, motivated, and on-track to reach my goals. I hope they help you to reach yours too!
About Slimming World
Slimming World’s Food Optimising plan is a healthy, flexible approach, based on everyday foods, to help people lose weight without ever going hungry. It’s a practical, family-friendly plan that fits easily into everyday life and doesn’t require complex weighing and measuring or obsessive calorie counting. – Slimming World
Disclosure: I am not affiliated with Slimming World in any way other than being a member and following their Food Optimising plan.
If you are reading this blog post or printing this recipe (which you’ll find at the end of this post) the chances are you already follow SW and know all the ins-and-outs of how it works. Please check with your consultant, in your member pack, or online at Slimming World’s website for full details about the plan.
I am not a doctor or dietician, or providing medical advice and hold no responsibility for the complete accuracy of calorie counts and nutritional information. And where applicable, Syns in Slimming World friendly recipes. I advise you to check your own resources if you are using recipes to lose weight. All weight-loss programs should be followed on advice from a doctor.
Slimming World Food Diary Printable
If you follow Slimming World, you will know that one of the crucial things to your success is keeping a Slimming World Food Diary.
Tracking what you eat at each meal, along with your Healthy Extras, and Syns means you can monitor when things go well – and when they don’t – so can figure out how to improve next time.
I’ve got a free printable Slimming World Food Diary & Meal Planner here which now includes a diary for Extra Easy SP.
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More Slimming World Friendly Recipes
Want a few Slimming World recipes to try next? Here are some of my favourites:
- Greek Cypriot Stuffed Vegetables
- Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Extra Easy Chicken Tikka & Aubergine Rice Pilaf
Know someone who is following Slimming World and would love to try this recipe? Why not forward it onto them by email or WhatsApp?
Greek Lamb Orzo Recipe Tips
- Remove any visible fat from the lamb before cooking.
- The lamb is cooked first and set aside while other elements of the dish cook. Keep warm by covering with foil.
- When frying with low-calorie cooking spray, a splash of hot water is always your friend. I have a kettle of boiled water ready to add from if needed.
- Orzo can be a bit tricky to get right – it seems to absorb a LOT of liquid. If you find that the orzo is not quite tender enough but all the liquid has gone, add some more hot stock so as not to dilute the flavour already in the dish.
- Discard the cinnamon stick before serving.
- The Syns in this recipe (1 per serving) is from the Feta which is crumbled on top of the dish. You can leave it out if you wish for a completely FREE recipe.
- You could stir some fresh spinach into the orzo just before serving, or serve some steamed spinach and/or green beans on the side.
- I think the orzo tastes great cold/room temperature the next day!
- Low-calorie cooking spray
- 600g lean lamb steaks, visible fat removed, cut into bite-size chunks
- 2 large onions, cut in half and sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 medium aubergine/eggplant, cut into small cubes
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 (400g) can chopped tomatoes
- 4 Tbsp tomato purée/tomato paste
- 600ml lamb or chicken stock
- 300g dried orzo
- 50g reduced-fat feta, crumbled
- fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve
- Place a large, non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray.
- Add the lamb and cook for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned all over. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Spray a little more cooking spray into the pan and add the onions, garlic, aubergine, rosemary, oregano, ground cinnamon, and a splash of hot water. Cook for 10 minutes until softened and lightly browned. Add more water if required and stir occasionally.
- Add the lamb back to the pan with the cinnamon stick, canned tomatoes, tomato purée, and stock. Stir to combine and bring to the boil.
- Stir in the orzo and reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 30 minutes or until the orzo is tender, stirring occasionally to prevent orzo from sticking.
- Discard the cinnamon stick and divide between four warmed bowls or plates. Sprinkle evenly with the crumbled feta and chopped parsley.
This recipe for Greek Lamb Orzo serves 4 and is 1 Syn per serving when Food Optimising on Slimming World.
Make the dish FREE by removing the Feta.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 784Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 562mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 10gSugar: 15gProtein: 52g