Everyday Mom's Meals: Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Jane}

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Jane}

Welcome to your weekend, once again! I hope you had a wonderful week, and if you are as lucky as we were, a very sunny, warm one! Spring might have began this week, but Mother Nature apparently lost her calendar, b/c it was more like summer at our house! Do you have fun plans for the weekend? Today I'll be attending a baby shower for my future nephew!! That's right, your Everyday Mom is going to be an Everyday Auntie, once again. Adam's brother and his wife are expecting their first, a boy, this May. So today is the day we are going to celebrate this new life and begin the spoiling. However you're spending your weekend, I hope it's a safe, happy, and healthy one! Now, please welcome Jane to ~EMM....

Good morning and happy Saturday!! I am Jane from “See Jane Run, See Jane Cook” (http://seejanecookseejanerun.blogspot.com/), and I’m so happy that Krista from Everyday Mom’s Meals gave me this great opportunity to be a guest blogger!  I do a lot with my day, like most everyone, some of which includes working full time, teaching spinning classes, and meal planning for individuals, couples and families.  I think that healthy living doesn’t have to break the bank, and it doesn’t mean waking up and changing the world that you know.   Making healthy changes is all about one little thing at a time, letting it become habit, and then changing something else.  Simple as that!  So that’s my gig.  My blog covers different recipes that work and don’t work for me, as well as general rants, raves and life wonderings.  It’s sometimes scrambled, but it almost always makes sense in the end.

The recipe I’m going to share with all of you today is one of my absolute go-to recipes.  I probably make this at least once a week, if not more depending on my schedule.  It’s completely customizable based on your tastes and your appetite.  It’s originally a Weight Watchers recipe (although you’d wouldn’t guess it!) but as I said, I’m more of the “use what you’ve got, make it different” kind of cooks.  This is a great side dish to a chicken or pork main dish, or it’s wonderful as a light dinner on a warm spring evening, much like I’ll enjoy tonight!

Asparagus Risotto Originally found at Weight Watchers (5 point plus)

You’ll need:
½ tsp table salt, for cooking water
1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 sprays cooking sprays
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 small shallots (**I use half a small onion instead of the shallots, and then I add about 1 tsp chopped garlic**)
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 cups canned chicken broth
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp table salt or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper or to taste

-Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Fill a large bowl with ice water.  Add asparagus to pot; blanch for 2 minutes.  Immediately remove asparagus from pot and place them into ice water to stop the cooking process and help retain their bright green color – set aside. 
-Coat a medium pot with cooking spray and set over medium heat.  Melt butter.  Add shallots or onions and cook, stirring frequently until translucent – about 5-7 minutes.  Add rice and toss to coat.  Cook for two minutes, then add the lemon juice; cook until all the lemon juice has been absorbed. 
-Meanwhile, bring broth to a simmer; keep warm.  Add ½ cup of hot broth to pot at a time; stir until absorbed.  Repeat with remaining broth, making sure each addition of broth is absorbed before adding more.  The process takes about 20 minutes.
-When rice turns creamy and just done (should be slightly chewy and not mushy), remove pot from heat; add cheese and stir well.  Stir in asparagus; season with salt and pepper. 


Now, the alterations I’ve made and will continue to make include:
-Using beef broth instead of chicken broth, then adding portabella mushrooms instead of asparagus
-In addition to asparagus, I’ve used broccoli florets, zucchini, finely diced red and green peppers (although red and yellow peppers would add a wonderfully sweet note that the kids will LOVE)
-You can add things like Italian sausage, ground turkey or tofu if you’re looking to make this into a main meal

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