Monday, May 21, 2012

Brown Rice Risotto with Vegetables

Do you ever crave something that tastes creamy and fatty? Well, if you do, but want something healthy, with literally NO butter, NO cream, and NO cheese, you have to try this recipe. I have always said risotto is one of my best dishes. Once you have the basics, you can make any variety you want. I make butternut squash risotto for Thanksgiving each year for exmple. I also love it with corn and pine nuts. Mmmmm. My sister's boyfriend, Jason likes to make it with tomatoes and basil. They are both med students and so it must not be that complicated of a dish for them to be able to make it!

They key to risotto? Short grain rice!

When I found short grain brown rice at winco, I was super stoked. It didn't work as well as I thought, and took a really long time, but it eventually worked, I just had to be patient.

1/2 large onion, diced
Extra Virgin Olive oil, to cook the onion in
Kosher salt (measurement unknown)
3/4 cup of short grain brown rice
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup of wine (I didn't have white which I would recommend so I used red, it worked fine)
1 32 ounce box of chicken broth (I use low sodium from costco)
1/2 cup dehydrated shitake mushrooms, rehydrated (you can use fresh, but I have a huge box of dehydrated ones)
1/3 cup of green beans, chopped into 1/2 inch slices
1 cup of fresh spinach

1. Sprinkle enough olive oil in a small pot (with a lid) to sautee half of the onion. Add salt to flavor the onion (I have no idea how much I used, probably 1/2 a teaspoon, but honestly, just eyeball it). Let it cook for about 10 minutes on medium, until it soft and slightly browned.
2. Add your rice and let it cook with the onion for about 5 minutes, to toast the grains. Add your chopped garlic cloves and let cook for another 2 minutes.
3. Pour in the wine and stir constantly until the liquid evaporates.
4. Start pouring in chicken broth a bit at a time, about 1/4 cup or so. Stir constantly. When the rice has soaked in the liquid, add in more.

* I realized after about 15 minutes of adding liquid, that it wasn't being absorbed by the rice like in regular risotto. Realizing it was brown rice which needs to steam, I shut the lid for about 10 minutes,  while on medium heat, and then stirred and added using that technique. When I was about 3/4 of the way with the chicken broth, I did not have to continue to shut the lid*

5. When there is about 1/2 of the broth left, add in the mushrooms. Continue as normal.
6. At about 1/4 of the broth left, add in the green beans. Continue as normal.
7. When all the broth has been absorbed, add in the spinach and stir it in.

Best served immediately.

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