I have yet another confession to make. I am a die hard risotto lover and can’t get enough of this starchy rich comfort food. I could seriously eat risotto any day, any way and just love experimenting with different combinations of ingredients, knowing that it will always turn out decadent and flavorful. Unfortunately, traditional risottos are usually laden with cheese and other high calorie add-ins. Luckily, there’s a solution to this problem – brown rice risotto!
I always made risotto with Arborio rice and at least a cup or two of parmesan in the past so it was truly a splurge, but recently I’ve made the switch over to short grain brown rice and will never look back. It takes a little longer and will have a heartier texture in the end, but I think it gives it more flavor and love the earthiness that brown rice adds. Factoring in the extra nutrients and minimal guilt that come along with the switch, I’m sure you’ll be a convert too.
Can we all agree that butternut squash and sage were pretty much made to go together? The butternut squash, sage, pecans, and mushrooms all meld together harmoniously in this satisfying comfort food makeover. Something about the fresh, herbiness of the sage and the sweetness of the squash complement each other perfectly.
It really doesn’t take too many ingredients either. In the picture here, I have a frozen 10 oz. package of butternut squash because this is all I had this time around, but if you can buy fresh squash, please do! The last time I made this I used a package of pre-cubed fresh squash and roasted it in the oven before adding it to the risotto and this was so much better than the frozen stuff. I have a love hate relationship with butternut squash because it can be so hard to peel raw. Luckily most grocery stores sell peeled and cut cubed squash these days though which makes cooking with it a breeze. Just make sure not to let the pre-cut stuff hang out in the fridge more than a few days or it will get slimy and gross.
Brown Rice Risotto with Butternut Squash & Mushrooms
Servings: 4 (main course size)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
1 cup short grain brown rice
4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup white wine
10 oz. butternut squash, cubed (either frozen or fresh)
2 Tbsp. coconut oil*
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
10 oz. package baby spinach
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup pecans, chopped and lightly toasted
Salt and pepper
*I prefer coconut oil so I use it often, but you can use whatever oil you have on hand.
If using fresh cubed butternut squash, rub with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake until lightly browned (10-15 minutes) at 425 degrees F.
In the mean time, bring a medium pot of water to a boil with approximately 1 tsp. salt and add rice. Boil rice for 15 minutes (do not cover). Heat broth in a separate pan until simmering. Remove rice from heat and drain water using strainer.
After starting rice, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in medium-sized pan and sauté onions for 2-3 minutes to soften. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook for an additional 10 minutes until mushrooms are soft and reduced. Set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon coconut oil to pan that rice was cooked in. Add rice back to pan and cook stirring for 2-3 minutes. Add white wine to rice and stir until absorbed. Ladle broth into pan with rice, adding about half a cup at a time and stirring continuously. Repeat adding more broth every few minutes when rice has absorbed most of liquid. Add spinach and sage to rice and stir 1 minute until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and add mushrooms, butternut squash, toasted pecans, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Nutrition per Serving
Carbs: 55.9 g
Fat: 16.7 g
Protein: 14.5 g
Sodium: 794 mg
Dietary fiber: 8.2 g
Sugar: 6.4 g