I absolutely adore risotto. It is simply so delicious, so creamy and quite fun to make. I must however also advise you that as tasty as it is, it is not the sort of dish you want to eat often. With all due respect to all the risotto lovers out there let’s just say eat it rarely and enjoy it when you do.
Are you wondering where I’m headed…? Since I adore risotto I had to of course create a healthy risotto recipe. This recipe will seem quite different but keep in mind V Well’s Healthy Risotto Recipe is actually made with barley. Oh and did you need some protein? Well sure, so our recipe includes beans.
Lest you doubt me, allow me to clarify. I chose barley because it is so extraordinarily healthy. Additionally, I chose barley because after the heat in the dish is turned off the barley continues to expand and cook thereby becoming a great texture; almost the texture of risotto. Without further delay here is:
V Well’s Healthy Risotto Recipe
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (divided)
- 3 stalks of celery (washed and sliced)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 3 carrots (washed, peeled and sliced)
- 1 medium red pepper (chopped)
- 1 large sweet potato (peeled and chopped)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger (chopped)
- 15-20 shiitake mushrooms (sliced, I use the stems, you may not want to) (important note about mushrooms, never wash them, use a damp paper towel to clean them
- 5 large garlic cloves (chopped)
- 1/2 bunch collard greens (washed well and sliced thin)
- 1/2 bunch Swiss chard (washed well and sliced thin)
- 1/2 bunch kale (washed well and sliced thin)
- 1/2 bunch dandelion greens (washed well and sliced thin)
- 1/2 bunch parsley (washed well and chopped)
- 1 1/2-2 cups of uncooked barley
- 1 15 oz can of low sodium beans (use your favorite beans)
- 12 cups of water
- juice of 1 large lemon
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- As always I recommend you have all the ingredients chopped and ready to go. The first part of this recipe cooks very quickly so you must be prepared to add the ingredients. Remember you want to saute but not burn, so have everything prepared.
- In a very large pot over medium heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil, celery, carrots and onions. Saute 5 to 10 minutes until the onions are translucent.
- Add the red pepper, sweet potato and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, saute 10 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and add ginger, saute for 2 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and garlic, saute for 5 or 10 minutes.
- Add all greens and parsley, saute for 5 or 10 minutes, stir constantly.
- Add water, bring it to a light boil, reduce to simmer, add barley and beans. Stir often so risotto does not stick to bottom of pot.
- Add fresh lemon juice, turmeric, paprika and salt and pepper to taste.
- Turn down heat to low or simmer, simmer for roughly 35 to 40 minutes. Check the vegetables to see if they’re done.
- Once the vegetables and barley are cooked cover the pot with a clean kitchen towel and lid tightly, let sit for one hour (this will enable the barley to become textured similar to risotto).
There you have it folks. Healthy risotto that will boost your immune system too! Want to turn up the health level? Add more lemon juice and turmeric to your own serving. I like to add lemon wherever I can. Remember add salt and pepper if you need to. Use this dish as a side to accompany many meals. It is extremely low in calories and filled with healthy goodness. Keep the cheesy risotto for special occasions and enjoy this one as much as you want.