I’m not so stringent with my quest to eat a healthy diet that I have a set of rules I have to follow or I freak out. Eating a whole foods, unprocessed diet as much as I can is important to me. But it isn’t everything, and even though I write this blog sharing my ideas, I’m not obsessed with it. Passionate about my goal of eating in a way that nourishes me and my family’s bodies for long-term health? Yes. Obsessed? No.
A few years ago I discovered this risotto recipe by Giada De Laurentiis. It was one of those recipes that I made it once and it instantly became a family favorite. Although I was okay with using Arborio rice once in a while, I decided why not try swapping it out and making a brown rice risotto? Sometimes healthier swaps are easy and just as delicious. It totally worked with brown rice and the whole grain rice lends a heartier, nuttier flavor to the dish.
I also tried using uncured turkey bacon in place of the regular bacon. You can use either, but I much prefer the regular bacon. Look for uncured bacon, preferably organic. With only four pieces of bacon in the entire dish, each individual isn’t eating a ton of bacon and it adds great flavor to the meal. Besides, it has kale. That totally cancels out the bacon, right? If you want to make this a vegan meal, try adding some liquid smoke to get the smoky bacon flavor without the meat.
The roasted vegetable portion of this recipe is very flexible. I have used a variety of vegetables with success, and I list those in the ingredients. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand!
Don’t let the name risotto scare you. You don’t have to stand over the stove stirring in order to have a creamy risotto. While this dish does have a longer cooking time because brown rice takes a while to cook, much of the time is hands-off as the bulk of the cooking time is done in the oven. Even though this isn’t a quick dinner, it is an easy dinner.
While I’m happy to not obsess over little things like eating Arborio rice once in a while, I’m glad I gave this recipe a healthy makeover and can enjoy it more often.Print