Thursday, November 12, 2009

I know I'm my own biggest fan, but...

See, this is why I cook. There are meals you order in restaurants that make you wonder if there's a point to ever cooking at home...they taste as though they've taken all day to prepare, tons of time to plan, and a master chef to cook.

And then you make a meal that brings on the same feelings and realize you just saved, like, 30 bucks, and feel not only accomplished, but like a pro. And awesome.

I was in the mood for something different tonight...but something easy to finish last minute (only 2 more weeks of football!), so I went with an easy protein (grilled steak) and sides I could make/prep in advance. I remembered a veggie side I'd been looking forward to trying (squash ribbons), and figured for carbs, I could go with my old favorite, risotto, and play with it a bit since I had time to kill. And since I still had just a bit of brie and pine nuts left...this is what happened. It might be one of the most ridiculous things I've ever made. In a good way.

Pine Nut & Brie Risotto
1/2 c arborio rice
olive oil
2 green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c white wine
14oz can chicken broth
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
Big pinches (1/4-1/2 tsp) salt & pepper
2 oz Brie, cut in small cubes
1/4 c Parmesan or mixed Italian cheese

Saute the garlic and onion in a bit of olive oil for a couple of minutes over medium low heat. Add rice, and stir til rice is shiny and coated with oil. Add wine, and stir frequently til most of it is absorbed. Repeat with a small pour of chicken broth (1/2 cup or less) until you've used all the liquid (about 20 minutes or so). The rice shouldn't be overly soft, but shouldn't be too hard either.

When it's just about done, stir in remaining ingredients. Stir until cheese is melted. Serve warm.
For four servings: About 250 cals, 13g fat, 2g fiber, 20g carbs, 8g protein

Zucchini Ribbons
1 zucchini, cut into ribbons with a veggie peeler
1 yellow squash, cut into ribbons with a veggie peeler
olive oil
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
Big pinch salt, pepper, and small shake crushed chili
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
a couple cloves garlic, minced

Heat a bit of oil in a saute pan over medium. Saute garlic about a minute, then add onion, salt and pepper, and chili. Saute about another minute, then add squash/zucchini ribbons. Mix gently, and saute about 2-3 minutes or until soft. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.
For two servings, about 120 cals, 4g fiber, 11 carbs, 8g protein

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