Thursday, February 16, 2012

Green Risotto

I love risotto. I don’t remember the first time I tasted it, but since that first bite I have been hooked. It is creamy and rich as any comforting starch should be. Usually I pair it along side roasted chicken, but in attempt to have a more nutritious meatless meal, I added lentils and lots of vegetables (I added more vegetables to my dish after I took the picture!). You would not have to add the lentils at all or you could add more or less as you desire. I had some leftover lentils for a few nights ago and thought they would add some more fiber and protein. You can also vary the vegetables. I used what was in the refrigerator and would cook in about the same amount of time. I love using my cast iron skillet to sauté vegetables because it gives them a char and almost a grilled flavor, plus the iron from the pan gets transferred to the pan giving us a little more nutrition as well. Per serving this dish provides: 374 calories, 10g of fat, 2g saturated fat, 46g of carbohydrates, 10g of fiber, and 17g of protein. Not bad at all. Enjoy!

Green Risotto

Serving Size~ 1 cup; Serves 4
2/3 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup French lentils, pre-cooked for about 15 minutes (or you could try adding uncooked at the same time as the rice and let me know how it turns out)
2 tbsp oil (olive or grapeseed), divided
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, chopped
3 cups green beans, asparagus and zucchini cut into 1” pieces
2 shallots, diced
2 large garlic cloves, diced
½ cup white wine
4 cups chicken broth
1 oz parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pot. Add shallots and garlic and heat gently until fragrant (be careful not to burn). Add rice and allow to toast for a few minutes. Add white wine and allow to cook off for 2-3 minutes. Add the lentils. Add chicken broth, about ½ cup at a time slowly over the next 15-20 minutes. Stir after each addition of chicken broth. Continue adding chicken broth until rice is soft and appears to be suspended in the liquid. (You may not need to use all of the broth. I think I ended up with about ½ cup left at the end)

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet. Add vegetables and sauté until soft (about 8-10) minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. When rice looks like it is close to being done, stir the spinach into the rice and allow to wilt. Add parmesan cheese, remove from heat. Rice will thicken and continue to absorb liquid while it sits. Season with salt (probably won’t need much if the broth is not low sodium) and pepper. Serve with sautéed vegetables and additional parmesan cheese if desired.

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