Thursday, 25 August 2011

Chicken and Quinoa Risotto

Like most of us on a limited diet, I get "cooks block". You know when you get sick of eating the same thing and just want to make something different... that's been me lately. I think you could say I am uninspired. Add to this my general disorganisation, and dinners lately have been a bit boring and we have been overdoing the chips.

Tonight was no different, except that on a whim I said to my husband "How about risotto?" Since it was five o'clock and he didn't have a better idea I ran with it. Risotto is really quite versatile and you can add almost anything to it. The quinoa was a last minute idea, it adds a bit of flavour and lots of goodness. If was to make this again I would add more. I didn't want to over do it though as it can taste like grass. If you don't have quinoa, just leave it out. You wont need as much liquid.

Chicken and Quinoa Risotto
(Makes enough to feed a small army - or the four of us three times over)

Hmmm... Not exactly appetising, but even non-failsafe risotto looks like that.


3 tbsp FS oil or nuttelex (or a combination)
1 large leek (finely chopped)
4 cloves of garlic
3 cups Aborio rice
1/2 cup Quinoa (rinsed)
8 cups homemade stock (or water or a combination; more stock = more flavour)
2 chicken breast fillets cut into smallish pieces (if you don't have stock using thighs would boost flavour)
1 cup chopped green beans
1/2 cup finely chopped cabbage
can of cannelini beans (drained and rinsed)
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Place oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and saute leek and garlic until soft.
Add rice and quinoa and stir until it is coated in oil and the rice starts to get translucent on the edges.
Add enough stock to cover, lower the temperature to a bare simmer and stir until it is all absorbed.
Add another few cups of stock and the chicken. Keep stirring as this is what gives it its creamy consistency.
As the stock is absorbed add more until the rice is cooked.
When the rice is done add the remaining vegetables and salt and cook for a few more minutes.
If the rice looks too dry add a little more liquid. Risotto should be saucy.
Stir through the parsley and serve.

Optional extras - dairy - use butter and add a few tablespoons of cream cheese at the end.
                          - glutamates - use peas instead of beans.
                          - salicylates - add chopped zucchini.

Buon Appetito!



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