We frequently find ourselves turning to ‘comfort food’ in an effort to feel better. Comfort food tends to be somewhat traditional, is often a warm dish and usually carbohydrate based.
Did you know that you need carbohydrates (carbs) for optimal brain function?
Unlike other parts of the body that can use fat and protein for fuel, the brain runs exclusively on carbohydrates. Including carbs in our diet provides the brain with the fuel it needs to elevate serotonin, the brain chemical that increases mood. The brain and central nervous system require about 100 grams of carbohydrate per day to function at its best.
Risotto is often served in upscale restaurants, but the dish is truly synonymous with Italian home cooking and comfort food.
MUSHROOM AND SPINACH RISOTTO
Serves 12 – 1 cup per serving
- 3 chicken breasts (~500 grams) cut in 1 inch cubes
- 4 Tbsp butter – divided
- 1/2 tsp Club House Italiano Seasoning
- 2/3 cup diced onion
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups button mushrooms
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 3 cups fresh spinach, package
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Heat the chicken broth to a simmer in a pot, then lower the heat so that the broth just stays hot.
- Melt 1 Tbsp of butter in a heavy bottomed pot and brown the chicken. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Remove and set aside.
- Add 1 Tbsp of butter to the pot and sauté the carrots, onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are slightly translucent.
- Add the Arborio rice to the pot and stir so that the grains get coated with butter. Sauté for another minute or so, until there is a slight nutty aroma. Do not let the rice brown.
- Add the wine and cook while stirring until the liquid is fully absorbed.
- Add a ladle of hot chicken broth to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of broth and repeat the process.
- Return the chicken to the pot, add the mushrooms, paprika and pepper.
- Continue to add the broth one ladle at a time as in step 6 for 20-30 minutes or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. If you run out of broth and the risotto still is not done, you can finish the cooking using hot water in the same way as the broth.
- Add the spinach to the risotto and cook until the leaves are just wilted.
- Add the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter and the parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with paprika.
- Serve immediately. Risotto becomes glutinous if held too long.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving)