Creamy Vegetable Risotto

I made my own broth for this dish by simmering odds and ends from vegetables I had stored in my freezer for about 30 minutes.  I also amped up the savory goodness of the broth by adding a parmesan rind and a 1/2 tsp salt.  If you’re interested in making your own veggie broth, The Kitchn has a great tutorial.  Of course, your favorite pre-made brand will work as well.

Creamy Vegetable Risotto
makes 3 servings

Ingredients
– 3 Tbsp butter, divided
– 1/2 onion, diced
– 2 shallots, finely chopped
– 1 large carrot, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
– 2 cups frozen green beans, thawed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
– 1 cup Arborio rice
– 1 cup dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc works well), divided
– 5 cups vegetable stock
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, heat broth to a simmer and then turn the burner to low.  You’ll want it to remain warm for when you’re ready to add it to the rice.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add onion and shallots and sautee until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add carrot and green beans and sautee another 10 minutes.  Try not to let the onion get browned.

Increase heat to medium-high and add rice.  Stir constantly for about 3 minutes, until the rice grains are translucent.  Add 3/4 cups wine and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Lower the heat back to medium and begin adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring regularly until most, but not all the liquid is absorbed.  The rice will be tender in about 30 minutes.

Remove risotto from heat and stir in remaining 1/4 cup wine, 1 Tbsp butter, and cheese.  Stir until butter and cheese are melted and fully mixed in.  Serve immediately.

* I added this post to this week’s Full Plate Thursday.

Breakfast Porridge

The cold weather is definitely here and, with it, a change in my breakfast routine.  During the summer months, I am a huge fan of smoothies packed to the brim with fruits and vegetables.  With the chill in the air now, a big cold glass of anything seems unappetizing.  These days, it’s all about the rice porridge.  This is similar in texture to Cream of Wheat but it’s a much healthier whole grain option.  I made mine by simply grinding short grain brown rice in the dry container of my Vitamix, but you could definitely buy the exact same thing pre-ground for you (Bob’s Red Mill is a good option).

I’m the kind of person who starts looking forward to the next day’s breakfast before I even get to bed.  The plan for this recipe came together as I was drifting off to sleep.  I knew I wanted something sweet, warm, and comforting.  The next morning as the rice porridge was heating and softening on the stove and I was happily mashing a banana, I came to a realization.  “Oh!  I’m making BABY FOOD right now!”  Which kind of makes sense, as cold weather makes me regress to a much earlier stage of development in a real Freudian kind of way.  All I want is food, sleep, and blankets.  If you feel the same way, this breakfast might be just the thing.

Breakfast Porridge
serves 1

Ingredients
– 1/4 c brown rice cereal (see directions for making your own below)
– 1 1/4 c water
– 1 banana (over-ripe is best)
– 2 Tbs raisins
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
– a few dashes of cinnamon
– 6 walnut halves
– 1/2 Tbs coconut oil (or butter)

1. If you are making your own rice cereal, put a few cups of your favorite style of brown rice into the dry container of a high-powered blender.  I’ve heard that a coffee grinder can also work and so might a food processor.  Set to medium high and allow rice to be ground down to the desired consistency.  It should be similar in grain to sand.  I let mine go for about 10 seconds and then gave it some additional pulses.

2.  Cook the rice and water over medium-high heat until soft, about 5-7 minutes.  While it’s cooking, mash the banana and add to the pot along with the raisins, vanilla and cinnamon.  Mix well.

3.  Scoop into your breakfast bowl and top with coconut oil or butter and walnuts.