Butternut Squash And Lobster Brown Rice Risotto
Risotto doesn’t usually come to mind when brainstorming healthy recipes – starchy white rice, lots of cream and butter – delicious, yes, but not what you want to consume on a regular basis when trying to eat healthy.
So here’s what’s different about this risotto. There is zero cream or butter in the recipe, but pureeing some of the butternut squash still gives it a rich and creamy texture. Lobster is a bit of an indulgence but a great low fat protein. I also made this risotto with short grain brown rice to reap all the health benefits of a whole grain rice. The short grain is important though – long grain rice will give you a rather dry risotto.
Now let’s talk a bit more about that butternut, which is the real health superstar here. Butternut squash is rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, low in fat, and delivers a hearty dose of dietary fiber. It’s a great source of potassium, vitamin B6, folate, carotenoids (shown to protect against heart disease), beta-carotene, and vitamin C. And it’s delicious!
The only knock on this dish is that it’s not a quickie. You’ll need to stay nearby durning the second half of cooking and stir it occasionally but you can be doing other things in the kitchen simultaneously. And the rich, decadent taste wrapped up in a healthy little package make it all worthwhile.
– 2 cups short grain brown rice;
– small butternut squash (about 2 cups), peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks;
– 1 tbsp. olive oil;
– medium yellow onion, diced;
– 2 garlic cloves, minced;
– 1 tsp. dried thyme;
– 1 bay leaf;
– 6 oz. cooked lobster meat, cut into small pieces;
– 8 cups chicken broth, divided.
1. Bring the rice and 4 c. chicken broth to boil in a medium saucepan. Lower heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes to partially cook the rice.
2. Boil the butternut squash in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool slightly then puree 2/3 of the squash in a food processor until smooth.
3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
4. Pour the partially cooked rice and any liquid remaining in the saucepan into the pan with the onion and garlic. Add the thyme and bay leaf and stir.
5. Add the remaining 4 cups of broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally each time until the broth has been absorbed before adding another 1/2 cup.
6. Spoon the pureed squash into the risotto and stir to combine. Add the diced squash and lobster and stir gently. Season worth salt and pepper and serve hot.