The last time I made risotto I was pregnant with Meghan. I was still in the sick-all-day phase, but apparently feeling ambitious. I stood over the stove, nauseous, while I stirred, stirred, stirred that rice. Soon I pulled up a chair, doubled over with my arm extended so I could continue to stir. And stir. And stir.
Tim watched TV, completely oblivious to the scene in the kitchen. I tried to persevere, but surrendered to the sickness. Tim, who doesn’t know his way around a kitchen unless it’s to find a box of cookies, hesitantly took over stirring duties. I found myself in a fetal position, covering my nose to shield it from the smell.
The risotto was made, but I didn’t eat a bite of it. My dinner was a few Saltine crackers that my body rejected. I haven’t made risotto since then for a reason. I can just think of that risotto experience and my stomach turns. Standing over a pan of rice and stirring for the better part of an hour isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
So let me assure you, friends, that this risotto isn’t the kind you have to stir until your arm is tired to achieve the creaminess that comes with the classic Italian rice dish. It’s kind of like cheater risotto. The carrots are cooked and pureed and added to the rice, lending a creaminess that you can let your family think happened from tedious labor.
Don’t worry, I won’t tell.Print
Creamy Carrot Brown Rice Risotto
A healthier version of a classic Italian dish
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 65 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: main meal / side dish
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 cups water
- 3 medium carrots, sliced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon tarragon
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
- In a medium saucepan, add the brown rice and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the rice is just tender, 40-45 minutes. Alternatively, you can use your rice cooker and set the timer for 45 minutes. Drain any excess water and set aside.
- Meanwhile, steam the carrots until they are tender. In a blender or food processor, process until smooth. You should have about 2/3 cup. If you have a little more or less, that’s okay. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook 8-10 minutes, until soft and just starting to brown. Add the garlic, tarragon, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper and stir for about 45 seconds.
- Add the rice, broth, carrot puree, and simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes, until some of the liquid has evaporated and you have a creamy-looking rice. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if you prefer.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 144
- Sugar: 4.5g
- Sodium: 226mg
- Fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 24.2g
- Protein: 2.25g
Keywords: healthy risotto
Made with brown rice, this creamy risotto is healthier than your standard risotto. The flavor is mild enough for little ones and has the creaminess so many kids crave. Even though it’s kid-friendly, this healthy risotto can be elevated to an elegant side dish, as well.
Best of all, your well-rested arm will thank you for making it.
Question: Do you make risotto the traditional way? What’s your favorite flavor?