Garden Veg Risotto Boats

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I really hope this health food kick that I've been on lately really lasts. I always strive to eat healthy, but sometimes I don't have the wherewithal to make it happen. Something about fresh backyard garden ingredients, farmer's market picks, a certain Clean Eating book, and the lightness of summer has been perpetuating good things in my life and body.

I've been trying more new-to-me foods and making good on my pre-summer goals. In addition to all those goodies I tried a few weeks ago, we can now add eggplant, quinoa, bok choy, Swiss chard, and romaine hearts to the list. I have tried those things before, but I have never made a concerted effort to actually source them from the grocery store/farmer's market and cook them myself. However, I'm sure glad I did. Some things just make sense--like eating foods packed with nutrients.

Last week, I made an abbreviated version of a risotto and stuck in some veggies I had on-hand in my kitchen. Here's what I did:

Garden Veg Risotto Boats

2 c minute brown rice
2 c fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1 can black beans
1 handful chopped zucchini
1-2 chopped garlic cloves
1 handful of quartered cherry tomatoes
soy sauce for seasoning
12 whole romaine leaves

Prepare the brown rice substituting chicken broth instead of the water indicated on the box. Towards the end of the cooking process, stir in your garden vegetables and rinsed black beans. Cook until the veggies heat through and the zucchini gets soft. Add a tablespoon of chicken broth here and there if it gets too dry.

Pretty scientific, huh? I've never been a good recipe follower and I encourage you to be the same way. Experiment with whatever veggies/legumes you have on-hand. Just use the abbreviated risotto base as a starting point. Basically, risotto is prepared by gradually stirring broth in as your brown rice is cooking, but I don't have the patience for that.

I prepared two cups of rice, which was enough to feed me lunch for four days. Each day, I filled three whole romaine leaves with the risotto for lunch and squirted soy sauce over the top. They really do look like little boats, which makes them much more fun. I haven't been this excited about lunch in a long time. All ingredients are either from my backyard or Aldi's. Yep, I'm having a love affair with Aldi's lately. Don't tell anyone;)

Rissoto Boats, Rissoto in romaine leaf

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