I made this recipe knowing full well that my husband would not like it. I did at least wait for a night when he already had dinner plans. I’m caring like that. 🙂
Turns out I’m the only person in family that did like it. The girls said it was just ok. Oh well. I’m still calling it a win since I thought it was awesome. It also served as our meatless dinner for this week. We’ll get back to that topic in a bit. First, here’s the recipe. I made a recipe and a half to ensure leftovers and I’m glad I did! Risotto for lunch. Yum.
Barley Risotto with Cannellini Beans and Kale adapted from Smitten Kitchen
5 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
1 cup pearled barley (7 ounces)
1 cup cannellini beans
3 cups chopped kale
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons Smart Balance light
Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 6 minutes.
Add the barley and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine if using and cook, stirring until absorbed, about one minute.
Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook, stirring, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time in six additions — you’ll have a cup of stock left in the pot — stirring until it is nearly absorbed between additions.
SmittenKitchen suggests adding a little more stock so that the risotto is a little on the “loose” side. I did just that.
Add the beans and let them cook for a minute. Add the kale and let it wilt and then cook for an two or three minutes.
Stir in the 1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano and the Smart Balance and season with salt and pepper. Serve at once, passing more cheese at the table.
Nutritional Info: 446 calories, 13 gram fat, 62 grams carbs, 14 grams fiber, 21 grams protein
Back to the meatless dinner topic. My husband protests when I serve meatless dinners. He says its not a meal without meat and swears I’m trying to turn us into vegetarians. Yep, one meal a week is going to do that. I tried (to no avail) to explain that there’s plenty of protein in what I do cook. He was having none of it.
Since I do the meal planning, list making, shopping and 99% of the cooking he’s learning to live with it. Or eat a PB&J, which by the way is meatless.
Do your dinners always include meat (unless your a no-meat type person of course)?