I am an EatingWell junkie. I subscribe to the magazine and I use the website obsessively. It makes me feel pleasantly psychotic to have all that exact serving size and calorie information available. Otherwise, I pass snarky judgments on recipes. ie “You have 2 sticks of butter. I think you might be fattening. But also chicken breasts! So probably you’re just awesome.”
See, I don’t really like figuring out how many calories are in things. Just tell me, please.
Anyway, blah blah blah. This is a calorie appropriate dinner, typical of Chez Maggie: it’s from EatingWell, it’s about 500 calories and it has bacon.
Katie asked for it, so here it is, recipes for the pretty dinner.
Butternut Squash Risotto
3 cups of butternut squash chunks (2 cups big and haphazard and 1 cup nicely diced)
3 1/2 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of Arborio rice
5 oz of bacon, cooked and crumbled (and save the fat!)
2 Tbs chopped parsley
-optional extra credit – start by simmering away the squashy gut stuff in your broth for maximum squash flavor. strain that stuff out before starting to ladle the broth into your rice.
-put the 2 cups of big-chunked squash with 2 1/2 cups of water in a sauce pan (big enough for all this squash, water and later, the broth). bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes, then take off the heat and let it sit covered for another 5 minutes. use an immersion blender to blend this up into a baby food type puree. (or use a food processor)
-take 1/4 cup of this puree out of the pan and set aside. then dump the broth in and put this over low heat.
-use another pot for the risotto making and start by heating up a bit of olive oil (maybe a bit of butter if you’re feeling crazy). add the rice and cook it, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.
-add in the 1 cup of nicely diced raw squash bits, 2 1/2 cups of the puree/broth mixture and 1/8 tsp of salt.
-do the risotto thing: stir until the liquid’s nearly gone, add more liquid. repeat until the rice is cooked and you have that risotto-goo texture. never stop stirring! should take about a half an hour.
-if you actually want this to taste yummy and not just like plain butternut squash, i would add in about a cup of grated parmesan cheese once it’s all cooked up. this is not a part of the EatingWell recipe, but would be my recommendation.
-plate it up and top with bacon bits and parsley.
without the cheese addition, this will make 4 servings of 447 calories each. i was quite happy to have less than 1/4th of what we made for dinner and used the leftovers to make baked risotto cakes for later lunches.
For maximum prettiness, serve with a spinach salad.
thinly sliced brown mushrooms
thinly sliced red onion
bacon crumbles (share some from your risotto ingredients)
Andie’s Maple Bacon vinaigrette*
*This wonderful dressing will last for lots more salad than just this dinner, so you’ll have more for another meal.
4 responses to “how to make a very pretty fall dinner”
This looks yummy! I’m the same way. I eschew cookbooks or food magazines with no nutritional information. Also, I hate when restaurants can’t provide nutritional information via their website or through an e-mail. I mean like big chain restaurants. You KNOW they have that info, so they should willingly share it. I figure if they won’t, then their food is highly suspicious. I understand that fine restaurants and small, locally owned restaurants might not have nutritional info. That’s fine. I won’t eschew them.
yay! thanks for sharing. looks amazing.