Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Slow cooker Sunday: Just throw it all in

leftover risotto 2

I had a lot of butternut squash, spinach and onions left over from my Christmas dinner. I also had a bag of 17 Bean and Barley mix from Trader Joe’s (which Dennis said looks like bird seed) that I had been dying to make. The problem is that I really don’t care for soup. I mean, I do, but I’d rather have a stew or something thicker than just soup. So I thought, “what the hell?” and decided to throw everything into the Crock Pot for a leftovers version of my butternut squash risotto.

leftover risotto 3

In my Crock Pot went:

  • 1  1/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1.5 cups butternut squash, diced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup 17 Bean and Barley mix (basically just dried beans and barley)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

First, I cooked the onion and spinach in a pan for about 5 minutes, just enough to sweat the onions and wilt the spinach. Then I cooked it on high for 2.5 hours, stirred, then added 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese. However, I should have added another cup or 2 of water since I added the beans. It was still good, but I had to add water to it when I reheated it in the microwave (which helped get it back to the risotto texture I was looking for)

leftover risotto 1 

I measured out 7 one-cup portions to store in zip lock freezer bags, and have eaten this three times already (once Sunday for dinner and twice for lunch) So I’m assuming that for about $15, I was able to get 10 meals out this. Nothing beats that.

Another good thing about this meal is that it’s full of fiber and has a ton of veggie power. This meal (one cup portion) kept me full for hours, but didn’t overstuff me.

Dennis: Whatchya got there?
Me: Risotto with a bunch of leftover stuff thrown in it.
Dennis: Hmm. Looks like baby food.

If I had put the right amount of water in it originally it wouldn’t have looked so dry. Don’t let it scare you though, it was really good!

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