Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms and Mascarpone Cheese

I’m a sucker for a good risotto.  I love you, creamy, cheesy, savory goodness!  My favorite one is in the Jamie Oliver Italy cookbook, and it’s full of cheesy buttery fat; so bad for me, yet SO good!  I saw this one in an old Cooking Light and thought I’d give it a go, and while it’s not quite as good as my bad-for-you favorite, it’s definitely a close second.  And much better for me!

Risotto wiht Porcini Mushrooms and Mascarpone Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  cups  boiling water
  • 1/2  cup  dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)
  • 1  (14-ounce) can less-sodium beef broth
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
  • 3/4  cup  chopped shallots
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2  cup  dry white wine
  • 1/4  cup  (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) mascarpone cheese
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Combine boiling water and mushrooms; let stand 10 minutes or until soft. Drain through a colander over a bowl. Reserve 1 1/4 cups soaking liquid, and chop mushrooms.

Bring soaking liquid and broth to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil). Keep broth mixture warm over low heat.

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add rice, shallots, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add wine, and cook until liquid evaporates (about 2 minutes).

Add 1 cup broth mixture to rice mixture; cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Add mushrooms, cheeses, thyme, salt, and pepper; stir gently just until the cheese melts. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
198 (28% from fat)
Fat:
6.1g (sat 3.2g,mono 1g,poly 0.3g)
Protein:
8.9g
Carbohydrate:
27g
Fiber:
1.2g
Cholesterol:
15mg
Iron:
1.9mg
Sodium:
449mg
Calcium:
113mg
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Published in: on April 1, 2009 at 2:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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Fennel and Rosemary Crusted Rack of Lamb

I thought I’d do something special for Valentine’s day, but since my parents were here VDay plans were postponed till now.  And wow, it was worth the wait!  This was my first foray into lamb, and it was so easy and so good it won’t be my last.

Fennel and Rosemary Crusted Rack of Lamb

Ingredients

  • 1  tablespoon  fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 6  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  (12-ounce) French-cut rack of lamb, trimmed (6 ribs)
  • Cooking spray
  • Rosemary sprigs (optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 475°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub lamb evenly with garlic mixture; place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 475° for 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 145° (medium-rare) to 160° (medium). Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
227 (49% from fat)
Fat:
12.3g (sat 5.5g,mono 5g,poly 0.5g)
Protein:
23.1g
Carbohydrate:
5.2g
Fiber:
1.6g
Cholesterol:
72mg
Iron:
2.8mg
Sodium:
354mg
Calcium:
68mg
Published in: on February 24, 2009 at 2:49 am  Comments (1)  
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Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Vinegar Pan Sauce

Damn.  DAMN!  Next time I’m making a double batch because Grossman and I ate the whole thing.  All of it.  And then he licked the plate.  I served this with broccoli and orzo.

Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Vinegar Pan Sauce

Yield

4 servings (serving size: 1 breast and 2 tablespoons sauce)

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2  cup  balsamic vinegar
  • 2  teaspoons  honey
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1  tablespoon  vegetable oil
  • 4  (5-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I used a package of boneless, skinless thighs.  I think there were 7 in there)
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 2  tablespoons  finely chopped shallots (didn’t have a shallot on hand so I used red onion)
  • Chopped parsley (optional)

Preparation

Combine broth, vinegar, and honey.

Melt butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat.

While butter melts, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour; shake off excess flour.

Increase heat to medium-high; heat 2 minutes or until the butter turns golden brown. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add shallots, and sauté 30 seconds. Add the broth mixture, scraping to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Serve sauce over chicken. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
269 (27% from fat)
Fat:
8.1g (sat 2.7g,mono 2g,poly 2.5g)
Protein:
34g
Carbohydrate:
13.1g
Fiber:
0.2g
Cholesterol:
90mg
Iron:
1.7mg
Sodium:
331mg
Calcium:
29mg
Published in: on February 4, 2009 at 2:12 am  Comments (2)  

Three Bean Chili

And while I’ve got the blog open, I may as well post another recipe I just tried tonight.  Once again, it’s from Cooking Light.  I’m loving all of the healthy recipes I’ve been making lately!

Grossman suggested doubling or even tripling this he loved it so much.  I’m thinking of making a triple batch and freezing part of it; I’ll report back on how that goes if/when I do it.  I also whipped up a quick batch of instant cornbread to go with this.  So good!

Three Bean Chili

Ingredients

  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1  cup  prechopped onion
  • 1/2  cup  prechopped green bell pepper  (I don’t like green pepper so I skipped it)
  • 2  teaspoons  bottled minced garlic  (I minced three cloves of garlic)
  • 3/4  cup  water
  • 2  tablespoons  tomato paste
  • 2  teaspoons  chili powder
  • 2  teaspoons  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1  (15 1/2-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (15 1/2-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (15 1/2-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (14 1/2-ounce) can organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)  (I used low-sodium chicken broth)
  • 1  (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1  tablespoon  yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro  (didn’t have it, didn’t add it)
  • 6  tablespoons  reduced-fat sour cream

Preparation

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup water and next 9 ingredients (through diced tomatoes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Stir in cornmeal; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro. Serve with sour cream.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
180 (25% from fat)
Fat:
4.9g (sat 1.5g,mono 1.7g,poly 0.3g)
Protein:
8.4g
Carbohydrate:
29.5g
Fiber:
8.6g
Cholesterol:
5mg
Iron:
2.3mg
Sodium:
714mg
Calcium:
86mg
Published in: on January 25, 2009 at 2:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Chicken Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese

I’m getting a lot of use out of my Cooking Light magazines lately.  This one was dang tasty; so much so that I’ve now made it three times.  I plan on having some friends over for lunch soon and I just might have to make this for them.

Chicken Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4  cups  uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 3  cups  chopped grilled chicken breast strips  (I used thighs)
  • 1 1/2  cups  trimmed arugula  (I used spinach)
  • 1  cup  grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2  cup  chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4  cup  prechopped red onion
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh basil
  • 1  teaspoon  chopped fresh oregano
  • 2  tablespoons  red wine vinegar
  • 1  tablespoon  extravirgin olive oil
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 6  tablespoons  (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese  (I thought I had it on hand but it turns out it was Feta.  Still tasted great though)

Preparation

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well.

2. Combine pasta, chicken, and the next 6 ingredients (through oregano) in a large bowl; toss well.

3. Combine vinegar, oil, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle vinegar mixture over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
295 (23% from fat)
Fat:
7.7g (sat 2.9g,mono 2.8g,poly 1.1g)
Protein:
24.4g
Carbohydrate:
32.1g
Fiber:
2g
Cholesterol:
55mg
Iron:
2.4mg
Sodium:
788mg
Calcium:
40mg
Published in: on January 25, 2009 at 2:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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