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Summer Vegetable Lemon Risotto

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All my recipes have some sort of inspiration.. whether it be one of the 13854651 magazines that I receive in the mail each month (and due to the fact I cannot seem to get rid of any of them- they now line the bottom of my closest..and under my bed..and in the bottom of the bookshelves.. you get the point.) or a resaurant meal I’ve sampled and I’m dead set on re-creating in a more healthful way, or one of the many FOOD shows out there that fill my DVR each week and I then, in turn, get random texts from my fireman “We have 22% availablity on our some shows, Amber.” oops :)

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Whatever it is- I see something and the wheels start turning.  I read my cookbooks and/or magazines with an ink pen close by- making it easy for me to make notes, cross out, and change to make it more to my liking.  I often will take something I’ve learned from another book or mag and apply it to a ‘new’ recipe I’m trying out.  Little tweaks and changes make all the difference- and not to mention the pride that goes with the idea of creating your own recipe for yourself, your lovie, or the family (or all three!) Take for example this recipe that was in a recent issue to Cooking Light (hands down, the greatest healthy cooking magazine on the planet.)
This Summer Vegetable Risotto struck my brain..and my belly (even with it being full after lunch last week) as being perfect.  Like the title suggests- this rice dish boasts a lemon-scented summer inspiration- including some of the most beautiful green veggies- ripe for summer picking, and seasoned deliciously for eating.  Summer is not only peak for glorius fruit- but for the most tasty vegetables- we cannot forget those!  I like this recipe for its incredible versatility.  Filling the dish will low calorie greens replaces the bulk that you normally would get with the Arborio rice..allowing for such a large portion size for a main dish- or cutting it back to about 3/4 cup for a healthy side dish.  My fireman and I had leftovers (and I am the leftover Queen..easy and quick lunch for the next day!) and I tossed the risotto with some store-bought rotisserie chicken breast.  Nice.. and my work mates were super jealous. 

Needless to say- I changed very little- and it came out awesome!  We had fired up the grill for the salmon I had marinated, so what was the harm in grilling the vegetables rather than steaming them?  Not only did it offer bolder flavors to stand against the lemon juice, but kept my kitchen cool in the 100+ degree heat we’ve got going here in Texas.  The pop of color from the fresh Roma tomatoes provided beautiful plating and a refreshingly cool bite next to the piping rice.  This one will be a repeat.. for sure :)

Summer Vegetable Risotto
with Lemon

1 bundle (about 1-pound) asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half
1 (8-ounce) zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 (8-ounce) yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 3/4 cups organic vegetable broth
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup diced Roma tomatoes
Preheat your grill to medium heat. In a large bowl toss together the first 4 ingredients. Drizzle the 2 teaspoons olive oil over the vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss together until coated well. Pour veggies into the grill basket or pan and place directly over the heat. Cover grill and allow to cook, tossing every 5-6 minutes. Continue cooking until vegetables are softened, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immeadiately. (or place a foil tent over the basket until ready to serve.)
While veggies grill, bring vegetable broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick saute pan over medium heat. Add red onion, and cook for 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in rice, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook until liquid is absorbed (about 30 seconds), stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup broth; cook 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Reserve 1/4 cup broth. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 22 minutes total). Stir in vegetables; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in reserved 1/4 cup broth and remaining ingredients. Top each serving with 1/4 cup tomatoes.

Nutrition Information:
Serves: 4 (1 1/2 cups each)
Calories: 395
Fat: 12.3 g
Carbohydrate: 56.2 g
Fiber: 7.1 g
Protein: 10.6 g


  1. Anonymous says:

    This recipe was unbelievably good! Thanks so much!

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