My #1 go-to meal? Risotto it is.

I used to be scared to be in the kitchen. I always needed a recipe. I always followed the rules. In the last 2 years, I have used the kitchen as a creative canvas of sorts. I like to try new things. Push the limits. Not play by the rules.
As a kid, I loved to paint and draw. I even participated in local art shows and even won a few first place blue ribbons! I have found myself longing for that creativity again. I have found it in cooking. Maybe Madilyn has found it in coloring?

Risotto is one of those dishes that sounds so classy. So preppy. So fancy. If you would have asked me in college if I knew how to make a risotto, I would have laughed in your face. It is actually incredibly easy to make. Risotto is a class of Italian dishes consisting of rice slow cooked in a broth and turned into an amazing creamy consistency. Risottos typically use Arborio rice but I have experimented and used brown rice to give it a healthier kick. Tastes the same just takes a little longer to cook.
The first time I made risotto it burned and stuck to the pan. No worries. I tried again and a few years later it has tuned into a weekly staple in my house. Risottos are a great way to “sneak” a truck load of veggies into dinner without the hubster or Madilyn complaining. Plus, if you ask me, anything with parmesan cheese on top is delicious!

Roasted Garlic, Mushroom and Zucchini Risotto
recipe adapted from Sandra Lee from the Food Network (
1 head garlic
2 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth or one container of chicken broth
2 cans water
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 (8-ounce) package sliced mushrooms
1 zucchini, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups brown rice, soaked overnight
1 tablespoons unsalted pastured butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Slice the top off the head of garlic. Put it on a large square of aluminum foil and drizzle 1 teaspoon of the extra-virgin olive oil over the exposed cloves. Wrap the foil around and over the garlic. Roast until it is soft, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Pour the broth into a saucepan, over low heat, and add 3 cans of water. Bring to a low simmer.
In a large, heavy bottomed skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and zucchini, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until the veggies release their juices, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute to toast.
Add 2 ladles full of hot broth to the pan and gently stir the rice. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Adjust the heat so that the pan is just gently bubbling. Continue adding broth and stirring until all the broth is used and the rice is cooked but not mushy, about 60 minutes. Once the rice has absorbed all the liquid and is nice and creamy, stir in the butter, Parmesan and the garlic pulp. Cover and let rest for 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.

Get creative with this one.  I have added kale, collards, celery root… you name it!
What is your #1 go-to meal?

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  1. You know, I’ve never made a risotto myself but I love it and have been wanting to try. Thanks Betsy! My #1 go to meal as of late has been thai green curry tofu. Super easy.

  2. HA! EVERY time I make rice or risotto I totally burn it. I put it on the stove and walk away thinking it will magically come out perfectly, only to come back 5 minutes later and see that it’s all black and dry and on fire…
    My #1 go to meal right now is sauteed collard greens with eggs and some bacon!

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