Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WIAW: Pumpkin Risotto {20 Minute Pantry Meal!}

Hello!!  Happy Wednesday!  We are halfway through the week--yay!
I expect most people are feeling a cold front in their neck of the woods.
Although I really don't know for sure.  I should do some research, but I think I'll just ride on that assumption ;) #lazyblogger
So, with assumed cold fronts coming your way, I'm sure you are in need of some comfort foods!  I have a, probably not even 50, but whatever...comfort food fall recipes on the blog.  Feel free to search over there on the right side of the page for fall recipes to get you all warm and toasty.
But for anyone without the extra time for searching through my poorly organized recipes, I bring you another 20 minute meal!  This time it's pumpkin risotto!!! We'll get to that.  First, let's discuss the eats for the day...

Peas and Crayons

Breakfast: Healthy Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

These oatmeal cookie pancakes are super dense and healthy, but also delicious.
For breakfast, I whipped up a batch using 1 mashed banana, 1/2-3/4 cup of quick oats (I did not measure), 3 tbsp egg substitute and about 1/4 cup almond milk.  After all was mixed together, I just scooped out 1/2 cup portions onto the oiled griddle and cooked until they were brown on both sides.
I added some thawed (frozen) blueberries on the top and sugar free syrup.  Yum!
Also, I had 2 cups of coffee.

Morning Snack: Yogurt

For snack, I actually ate a yogurt.  I like yogurt alot, but it is one of those things that never sounds very appetizing to me.  So, this container has been sitting in the work fridge for a week, while I just ignored it.  But, today, I topped it with the remaining blueberries (from breakfast) and it was so super tasty.  Makes me wonder why I never want it as a snack.

Lunch: Fish Taco & Soup

For lunch, I made my boyfriend and I some leftover fish tacos and we split a can of Italian wedding soup.  Kind of a random meal, but it was filling and quite delectable.
On the taco--blackened tilapia (I made Monday night), shredded lettuce, cilantro, tomato, avocado and goat cheese on a carb smart tortilla.

For dessert, we had some knock off Samoa type cookies and some coffee.

It was too cold out to walk, so we just hung out with Reggie inside (Bizzy stayed home.  No use in driving her across town to watch us eat).

Afternoon Snack: Graham Squares

I got hungry for a snack around 3:30, so I went rummaging through my work snacks that I stash in the kitchen.  I found some unopened graham squares, so I enjoyed two of those...I might have added peanut butter after the picture was taken ;)

Perfect to hold me over until boot camp, which was filled with squats, jumping and shoulder presses..oh my.

Dinner: Pumpkin Risotto & Spinach

Dinner came together so very quickly!  I made this dish last week when I was just searching through the pantry for something to make.  A box of chicken broth, a box of orzo and a can of pumpkin and 20 minutes were all I needed to get me started.
This is comfort food, for sure.  If you aren't crazy about pumpkin, try it.  It tastes like the best mac and cheese of your life...without all the calories.  I added some cooked frozen spinach on the bottom of my dish.

Pumpkin Risotto
serves 4, as a main dish

3 slices of bacon--optional, but delicious*
2 tbsp olive oil
1 box of chicken broth (32 oz)
1 small box of orzo pasta (1 lb)
1/2 can of pumpkin puree (1 cup)
1-2 minced garlic cloves
1/3 cup goat cheese crumbles (or any kind of soft cheese-I also have used Lauging Cow Swiss wedges in this and they are amazing)
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Heat a medium sized pot over medium heat and add half of the olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot.  Cook bacon until crispy, and remove from the pan. 
Add the rest of the olive oil and garlic & pour in your orzo, stirring to coat. Toast the orzo in the oil for about 2 minutes. Stir it the whole time (or most of the time) it is toasting.
Add 1 cup of chicken broth to toasted rice and stir, stir, stir. Once that liquid is absorbed for the most part, add another cup of chicken broth and repeat.  Keep doing that until it tastes done.  It takes about 15 minutes until it is done.
Stir in pumpkin and cheese.  Chop the bacon and add as a topping.

*Again, the bacon is totally optional.  If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, omit the bacon and use vegetable stock  instead of chicken broth.

*Also, you can use arborio rice instead of orzo,  if you want to make a more traditional risotto.  Or you can use brown rice to make risotto.

All mixed up..a beautiful mess!

After dinner, I did a few house chores and cuddled with this gal.  Unfortunately we had no dessert in the house, but I stuffed myself full of risotto so it wasn't really necessary.

Have an amazingly awesome rest of the week!  Thanks for reading :)

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