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Skinny and Dreamy, Vegetarian Broccolini Risotto

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Risotto is an elegant Italian rice dish. I’m sure many of you have heard it takes some effort to make it. It’s really not difficult, just a lot of stirring and the results are sooo worth the effort.  When you cook rice this way it becomes a delectably creamy grain that remains separate and firm, not mushy. I’m adding savory flavors to the rice like broccolini, which taste slightly sweet, shallots, garlic and wine.  Many risotto dishes are fattening because of the amount of butter, cheese and cream added.  I’m using a small amount of oil and adding no cheese or cream and yet this skinny, vegetarian risotto taste incredible!  One main course serving has 259 calories, 6 grams of fat and 6 Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes


Ingredients

1 bunch (8 ounces, about 3 cups) broccolini, cut into bite-size pieces

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons shallots or onions, minced

1 cup Arborio rice, see shopping tips

¼ cup white wine

1 cup vegetable broth, heated

¾ cup water, heated


Instructions

1. Coat a nonstick pan with cooking spray.  Add 2 teaspoons olive oil and heat.  Add garlic and broccolini.  Stir-fry until broccolini is soft, about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

2. In a nonstick saucepan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium.  Add shallots; sauté about 3 minutes.  Stir in rice; sauté 1 minute.

3. Add wine and deglaze pan; simmer stirring constantly until the liquid has evaporated.

4. Stir in ½ cup warm broth and simmer until liquid is absorbed.  Stir frequently; adding more broth and then warm water in ½ cup increments only after previous liquid is absorbed. When all liquid has been added and absorbed the risotto is cooked.

6. Add in sautéed broccolini and mix well.

7. Serve at once.

Makes 4 servings (about 1 cup each)


Food Facts

The type of rice used in most Italian risotto is called Arborio.

When making risotto, the continuous stirring helps release the starch in the rice and makes the risotto creamy.

Broccolini, also called baby broccoli, is a cross between broccoli and Chinese kale.  It looks like a lankier version of broccoli.  It tastes slightly sweet compared to broccoli.


Healthy Benefits

Broccolini is  an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C.


Prep Tips

There are a few basic tips to make perfect risotto:

1. Don’t rinse rice before using.  Some of the starch from the grain will be washed off and you need it to be creamy.

2. Always sauté the rice for a few minutes before adding the liquid.

3. Use another pot to heat the broth and/or water to easily add the warmed liquid in ½ cup increments to the risotto.


Shopping Tips

Arborio rice can be found in the rice section of most large supermarkets.


Serving Tips

Serve this vegetarian dish as a main course for “Meatless Mondays” and serve with a vegetarian salad to go with it.
This risotto makes a wonderful side dish for chicken, beef or fish. If using as a side dish, make each serving 1/2 cup. I especially love it with Fiery Lemon Glazed Chicken To Wake Up Your Taste Buds.


Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints
 6
Weight Watchers SmartPoints
6

Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS
7

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving
259 calories, 6g fat, 1g sat. fat, 0mg chol, 6g protein, 49g carbs, 2g fiber, 159mg sodium, 0g sugar
FACTS: for SmartPoints
210 calories, 1g sat. fat, 3g protein, 0g sugar