Monday, February 22, 2010

What's for dinner? Meatless Monday (Baked spinach risotto with asparagus)

Because our eating schedule in this house is as random and varied as I could ever imagine, with running from here and there to a dairy allergy, there's just no way we could give up one single item for Lent.
If I gave up coffee, I would probably die. Literally.
And if the kids gave up candy, what would I feed them when they're really tired but we just need to press through a couple of more hours?
If we gave up fast food, we'd starve. I can't deny this.
So using this Lenten season as a time of sacrifice is really, really hard for us. This year, to make things attempt to go smoother, I decided that we, as a family, are going to eat our normal meatless meals on Fridays (fish allowed), and for the next 6 weeks are going to subscribe to Meatless Mondays. Heard of this movement? You can check it out for yourself at www.meatlessmonday.com, but essentially the thinking behind it all is that if we ate meat one less day a week, we could not only improve our health, but also reduce our carbon footprint and general environmental impact.
For us, it's a simple way to do our part to better ourselves and our natural world. And we like our natural world. And cow farts smell bad. :)
Normally on this blog I like to post a new recipe I've tried and enjoyed one day a week. In honor of Meatless Monday, I'll share my recipes on Mondays. If just one person tried it, that would be better than if no one tried it at all. Just the simplest steps can add up if we all do what we can to make ourselves and our world a better place.

This dish was so good it will become a staple in our house. I did use chicken stock so I suppose it's not completely meatless, but it's a step in the right direction. Veggie broth could easily be substituted. I should note too, that I left out the Parmesan and just stirred in some dairy-free cream cheese. Parm would taste much better, but my way was still delicious!

Baked Spinach Risotto with Asparagus (adapted from Cooking Light)

1 tbl olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
4 oz. spinach leaves (fresh)
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups (1-inch) diagonally sliced asparagus

Preheat oven to 400.
In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion until nearly translucent. Add garlic, cook 60 seconds more. Stir in rice. Then stir in spinach, broth, salt, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and cook 7 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese.
Cover and bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Stir in asparagus and top with remaining cheese. Cover and bake an additional 15 minutes. * I added a bit more liquid with the asparagus. use your judgement.

And while eating this, I have to share the world most hilarious dinner question...
Me to my daughter: Eat your spinach. It's good for you. It's full of iron.
Daughter: Blech.
Son: Why is iron good for you?
Husband: It's good for your bones and your muscles and your blood.
Son: Will it make my wiener grow longer?

We should have said 'yes!' but were instead laughing too hard to even control ourselves.

1 comments:

Samantha Gianulis said...

Tell Toby that Sam who he's never met and lives far far away thinks he's a genuine, destined to be amusing to everyone little dude.

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