Asparagus, chicken and pea risotto

I know my last few posts have not exactly been about anything healthy, by any kind of means.  All those oreos and snickers and cream pies don't give you much in the nutrition area.  I know it may be hard to believe, but I do try to eat healthy a lot of the time.  Yes, I do make a lot of sugary baked goods, but the majority of the time I give them away to friends or neighbors.  Sometimes Jeremy and I just devour them on our own.  And then Jeremy blames me for his fluctuating weight.  And I rationalize the situation by claiming that I need to gain more weight for the babies in my belly, and it's all good because I'm a runner, right?  Ha.  Well, here I present a pretty healthy and delicious recipe.

Risotto.  We're obsessed.  The creamiest, smoothest rice dish ever.  This kind contains lean mean protein and vitamin packed veggies!  Chicken with Asparagus and peas.  The chicken is tender and lightly seasoned with garlic, the asparagus is earthy and crisp, and the peas are a slightly sweet.  Spring = asparagus season.  I have every intention of making good use of all this asparagus.  I bought about 3 bunches of it the other day, and I intend to consume all of it.  We will definately be making that pizza again, and I have a few more ideas also.  Stay tuned for more asparagus!  (Sorry and bear with me if you are disgusted by the green stalks).

Asparagus, chicken and pea risotto

For the chicken:

1 lb chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp olive oil

Heat oil in a large skillet.  Season both sides of the chicken breast with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Saute in skilled on both sides until lightly golden.  Bake in a 350 preheated oven for about 15 mins, until the chicken is cooked through.  After it is cooled, shred the chicken.

For the risotto:

4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 bunch asparagus, washed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 cup peas
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup of white wine
5-6 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the broth until simmering and keep covered. Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and garlic and cook until the onion has softened, about 3 minutes. Next add in the rice and cook, stirring for a minute.

Add in the white wine and stir until the wine has been absorbed. Continue simmering the risotto and adding in stock, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition become absorbed before adding the next. Do this until the rice is just tender and creamy (about 30-45 mins).  

While the rice is getting all nice and creamy, cook the asparagus.  There are many ways to do this.  I usually just steam them or blanch them.  Blanching is easier if they are already chopped.  Boil a few cups of water in a pot.  Once boiling, add the asparagus and and continue boiling for just a few minutes, until the asparagus turn bright green.  Immediately drain the asparagus and rinse with cold water.  set aside.

When rice is done taking all the liquid it can handle, stir in the peas, asparagus, cheese, butter, salt and pepper until all is combined together smoothly.  If it's too thick, you can add a little more broth.  

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