Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mushroom and Pea Risotto

Wow! This is my 100th post. We've come a long way since just baby food! Like most people, a main goal for my family and me is to eat healthier in the new year. And, like a lot of people, this includes me shedding a few pounds that things like cinnamon rolls definitely contributed to over the holidays. Cooking for a toddler, even if using natural foods most of the time, it can be easy to lose site of keeping things on the lighter side. It's also easy to let reasonable portion sizes get away. Especially if G2 or I are finishing what Graham doesn't. Of course, I am not concerned with the little tot losing any weight, so I need to keep things on the menu that will make him grow big and strong. We tend to eat more fruits and veggies when incorporating a lighter diet, so that's always a plus. Hopefully I can find and/or create some great family-friendly light dishes for 2011.

Although a risotto is not usually considered a light dish, this one is. But, it's rich, comforting and delicious. Even though it's a (dare I say it?) Weight Watchers recipe. But it does use real butter and even wine! I also added some fresh thyme and about a cup of green peas into the veggies when I removed them from the pan.

5 cup(s) vegetable broth, mushroom-flavor recommended
1 spray(s) cooking spray
1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 small onion(s), minced
1 pound(s) cremini mushrooms, shredded or thinly sliced (also known as baby bellas)
1/3 cup(s) white wine
1 1/2 cup(s) uncooked arborio rice
1/2 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano recommended
1/2 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
1/2 cup(s) parsley, fresh, minced

Instructions
Place broth in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, coat a large saucepan with cooking spray; place over medium heat. Add1 teaspoon butter and cook until melted.

Add onion; cook, stirring, until onion begins to caramelize, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms release moisture, about 5 minutes. Add wine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; reduce liquid by half, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove vegetables from pan; set aside.

Add remaining teaspoon of butter to same pan; cook until melted. Add rice; stir to coat with butter. Pour about 1/2 cup warm broth into rice; stir to keep grains from sticking to sides of pan. Keep stirring until all of broth is absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup warm broth and repeat process. Keep adding broth and stirring in this manner until all of broth is used and rice is just cooked but not mushy (should still be slightly chewy), about 18 to 20 minutes.

Stir in vegetables and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper; stir in parsley.

Graham loved this. I know I'm a little spoiled in the fact that my little pig-o will eat just about anything, but it seems like risotto would be a hit with almost all kids. It's also easy for him to eat because it sticks to that spoon! This is definitely a keeper, but I will add more fresh herbs next time around.

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